Monday, February 03, 2014

Impressed with Ikea!

Preparing for the wedding had taken a physical and emotional toll on everyone. Some chose to be minimally responsive while others endeavoured to direct people on how to make things work (but don't do much to contribute) and there were the workers (cut the shit and just do it).

With the recent termite attack, we needed to get a new wardrobe for L. So after looking through the Ikea catalogue, L agreed on one of the suggestions. About a week before the big day, mum and I went to Ikea after work to buy the chosen wardrobe. Little did we know that the Brusali wardrobe came in 4 boxes which were so heavy and long (n.b. this was our first time buying furniture from Ikea).

The funny thing was that when we realised 2 ladies definitely could not carry those boxes off the shelf, we went looking for an Ikea staff and upon returning to the aisle someone had stolen our trolley! So I had to search for the trolley dispenser which had stopped its service as it was almost closing hour. Finally, an Ikea staff signalled a bunch of us customers waiting at the dispenser, to go to the front to manually take a trolley, but it wasn't the flat bed ones that we needed.

Nevermind about that, I went ahead pushing the basket trolley to the aisle and alas, I saw that someone had abandoned a flat bed trolley nearby. So I swapped the trolleys and the Ikea staff helped us load the 4 boxes unto the flatbed trolley. Pushing it to the cashier was another challenge! And upon finding out that we could've had a free dinner at the Ikea Cafe due to our large purchase amount, we felt a little silly. But no point crying over spilt milk.

Earlier I had asked the Ikea staff who helped us, how much the delivery and assembly charges were. The former was RM75 and the latter was 8% of the purchase price, which totalled up to about RM200 extra. Since I was the one signing for it, I said let's just try to do it ourselves!

So we pushed pushed pushed our purchase all the way down to the carpark and when mum drove over the car, it really seemed that we might have a problem fitting the long boxes into the car. Number one, we couldn't lift the boxes on our own. Number two, the boxes were soooo long!

So to settle number one, I asked the security guard nearby to help us load the boxes into our car. And for number two, I had to figure out on the spot how to release the back seat of our sedan so that the boxes could go through our boot and rest on the folded down back seats (I don't drive this car therefore I don't know how to operate it completely... mum? haha don't ask!). Finally figured out where the lever was and how it worked but when the boxes went in, there wasn't enough space!

We had to push the front passenger seat forward so that the boxes would fit in. And I had to sit there squashed for the whole journey home! What a feat we had accomplished! Mum had been ready to give up and pay that extra RM200 (if Ikea was still open, that is).

The next morning, we started opening the boxes and unpacking the pieces of wood and all the screws etc. It was a pretty daunting task (well, at least the idea of it) but since many people have done it, I'm sure I could do it! Read through the assembly manual and it was easy enough to understand without a single word in it.

Assembly took a day to complete and basically the hammering and screwing could be done by one person. However, flipping up the frame to a standing position required at least 2 persons. Here we had some family help.

Secretly, I think dad and I have an interest in working such things out. We thrive on logic and troubleshooting when things don't go as expected. So needless to say, most of the assembling was done by us two.

I've never done such things before. I was really impressed with the shallow cylindrical plastic fitting things where you just needed to tighten it clockwise using a screwdriver and it would pull the two pieces of wood together tightly. A screw in one of the pieces of wood would catch at this plastic fitting thingy. (please excuse the horribly inapt language)

Learning point was that we should always follow how the diagrams are drawn. In one instance, we figured that we could continue with the other steps without flipping the frame over. Boy were we wrong, one of the screws ripped through the wood. I thought we had just wasted RM800 with this mistake. Thankfully dad said we could try to fix it by hammering the wood back in. It did work and visually it was a very small defect.

assemble complete
Ikea Brusali wardrobe completed!

After completing the Brusali wardrobe assembly, I discovered that there were visible gaps between the doors. Even for this, the Ikea booklet had diagramatic solutions. It took me awhile to get a hang of it (probably because it was already past midnight) but I finally managed to fine tune the doors to fit nicely (like it's supposed to be). Eureka!

This project got me thinking that if I were a guy, it would've been a much more easier task. Physical strength is my limitation in such tasks. Point to ponder... hmm...


  1. Awesome! Thinking of getting this same wardrobe. I see that its in white hopefully there is a brown or black.

    1. This one was white with a lime wash finish. I don't recall seeing other colour options, but this was a few years back ;)

    2. Ikea has it in a dark brown too.

  2. Anonymous4:27 AM

    Did you fix yours to the wall? I have the same one and I'm not sure if you really need to fix it if you don't intend to be clambering over it. Thoughts?

    1. I didn't fix mine to the wall either, and so far it's been pretty stable with no incidents. But if you have kids in your home, perhaps it would be better to take precautionary measures and secure it to the wall.

  3. I am thinking of purchasing this wardrobe and building it myself too! Something that caught my notice though, that Ikea doesn't give 10 year guarantee on these as it does on their PAX wardrobes.. Have you personally noticed any faults over time?

    1. So far it's been good. However, it's now in a spare room so we don't use/open it often anymore.