Expat Life

Flat-Pack Frenzy

My husband’s favourite phrase is ‘just get it done’. This phrase, in part, is his way of motivating me to get off my bum and do something, but it’s also his insane need to have a to do list that contains zero items. If he has a to-do list, he must cross everything off before he can relax. On the other hand, I am quite happy to let the to-do list fester while I sit in the sunshine drinking coffee.

Unfortunately, when it comes to a battle of heads between my husband and me, he usually wins out, and this was no exception.

So, over the last couple of weeks we have visited every single furniture store within a 90 minute radius of our home and collated enough furniture to fill every room in our 1100 square foot apartment. Considering we came to the States with nothing but a bed and a chair, this is some mean feat.

However, as you can imagine, filling an apartment with furniture does not come cheap, and although we’d part budgeted for this scenario, we had to be sensible with our purchases.

So, it was time for the flat pack. Over the years, I’ve been involved in building many a flat pack furniture set, usually in pairs and usually with a man in tow. This time it was predominantly me doing the building.

2015-06-22 10.29.49

2015-06-22 10.58.02

2015-06-22 19.55.23

The drawer was open on this photograph because I couldn’t close it… I tried everything to get the screw out I’d put in the wrong way round but to no avail. Much to my dislike, I had to wait for hubby to come home to fix it. I was so close to achieving it single handedly!

2015-06-22 11.42.57

Things I’ve learned when taking on the flat-pack:

  • Set out your stall. Organisation is key in flat-pack building. Make sure you put all the ‘like for like’ pieces together before you start building. It saves hours of undoing mistakes made by using the wrong screw or plank of wood.
  • Planks of wood may look the same – they are often not. Check for every groove, hole, colour and material difference. They all count. Believe me.
  • The right tools make a huge difference. Surprisingly, if you use a screw driver with the right shaped head the screws magically seem to screw into the holes more easily. Who knew?
  • If you screw in the screw or hammer in the nail straight, the process is infinitely simpler…
  • Read the instructions thoroughly. Don’t think you have it sussed until you are absolutely, completely DEFINITE you have the piece of wood the right way around. One mistake could cost you hours of time. It took me two full days to build three pieces of furniture.
  • Injury is inevitable. This was when I stabbed myself with the screw driver. It doesn’t look much, but it hurt. However, I have a new found respect for the phrase ‘blood, sweat and tears’.

2015-06-22 19.55.14

  • Building furniture in 80 degree heat, even with air con, means you sweat. Lots. Yum, I know, but I’m telling a story here!
  • It turns out building flat-packs is much like one giant jigsaw. I like jigsaws. Maybe this isn’t the end of flat-pack for me.

So, we are rather quickly making progress with our new pad. It’s very much taking shape, and as much as I want to scream and shout and stamp my feet when my sergeant major husband surfaces with his ‘must do to-do list’, I am really happy with the results. So hubby, I forgive you 😉

Photos to follow.

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s