Build IKEA Furniture Without Crying: A Step-by-Step Guide

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STEP 1: Acquire IKEA furniture. You are the kind of person who will carry a 40 lb box on the bus to avoid paying for an Uber, but even you know that hauling a dresser all the way from Schaumburg by yourself was beyond your physical capacity. Order the MALM dresser online and gladly pay the $30 delivery fee.

STEP 2: Become flummoxed that the dresser comes in two packages. Didn’t you only order one dresser? Were you double charged? Oh wait, the first box is the frame and the second is the drawers. Ha ha.

STEP 3: Diligently count all the little pieces, but not so diligently that you notice there is one screw missing and that it will come to haunt you.

STEP 4: Sentence your pet to kitty cat jail (the bathroom) because he’s viciously biting through the cardboard boxes and it has started to make you feel uncomfortable about what he’d do if you died and your corpse were to rot alone in this unventilated apartment. Shudder.

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STEP 5: Assemble all the drawers first, but since you don’t understand one of the tools illustrated and this Swedish instructional manual offers nothing in the way of explanation, you leave them sprawled across the apartment, with one step left for completion.

STEP 6: Take a break to eat the remainder of the Chewy Chips Ahoy! cookies in your pantry (because you have no taste) and snap your progress with static pictures and overly long captions (because you never really figured out Snapchat and just use it like Twitter).

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STEP 7: Start assembling the frame. Realize that you are missing a screw and proceed to scour the apartment. Stare at your pet and wonder if he has hidden the missing piece as a sort of karmic comeuppance for locking him in the bathroom.

STEP 8: Forget this screw. You never cared about it anyway.

STEP 9: Understand why the instructions advise you to do this with a buddy when you try fitting two heavy, three-dimensional pieces together with only wooden dowels. Try not to tump over, stub your toe, or rupture something.

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STEP 10: Listen to faves from middle school like Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, and Boys Like Girls, and briefly wish you were back in that time when you weren’t expected to put together furniture by yourself. Take it back because, ew, middle school sucked. You’re not sure that anyone was really having any fun in middle school.

STEP 11: Try and fail to remove a warning sticker on the bottom of a drawer. Douse it in rubbing alcohol, because hey that’s what you’re supposed to do with adhesives, right? Regret this decision as the alcohol proceeds to dissolve the label, dooming your fingernails to scraping it off for the next half-hour.

STEP 12: Realize that you have put the bottoms of the drawers in upside down, meaning you have to redo all of your efforts. Boo!

STEP 13: Hammer 20+ nails into the cardboard backing of the dresser, disturbing you, your cat, your upstairs neighbor, and his cat too.

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STEP 14: Stand the dresser upright and put all of the slightly unfinished drawers into the frame. Good enough, right?

STEP 15: Marvel at your handiwork. Bask in the moment. Take a swig of ginger ale, the only carbonated beverage you drink now apparently. You deserve it, champ.

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