Saturday 24th August
I have just survived fifteen rounds (and two hours) with a flat-pack wardrobe. I am of course in France again, and fed up with trying to share a small wardrobe, and inevitably living out of a suitcase we decided to buy a second wardrobe. The good news is that the only suitable one we found was reduced from 200 to 140 euro’s, so in a way the most painful part of the whole project was not quite so painful.
But though it came in two packages they were both incredibly heavy. Some sort of veneered chipboard of course, but it did look pre-hole drilled at least. It was too heavy to carry up-stairs so had to be unpacked and carried piece by piece up the stairs. Full of far more hope than experience I opened the instructions. You guessed – they were in French, though there were drawings too, so I started. I did try to clear the room, but most it is taken up with the bed, which is solid pine and almost immoveable.
All went well, until you had to start putting the sides to the bottom, and align a shelf and two sides, both rawl-plugs and the tightening screw. Nine, then 12 to be lined perfectly at the same time. We just about shifted the bed and could squeeze in and after a lot of huffing and puffing got it together. Not before having screwed one piece in upside down completely, which had to be unscrewed and then rescrewed. Eventually we got to sliding the flimsy hardboard back –piece into the groove. It never goes in properly. or once in, stays in the groove until the top is securely in place. Then we discovered that two tightening screws had to be put in late. Back to the diagram and no – no picture of the little screws at all.
Finally it was beginning to look like a slightly distressed wardrobe sans doors. We manhandled the incredibly heavy beast into the alcove with one centimeter to spare either side. Then the hanging of the doors. I always dread this bit, but actually after a couple of tries I managed it. And it was done. And so was I, dripping with sweat, slight headache and sore hands. One wonders why as consumers we put up with it. They will expect us to go straight to the factory door and pick out all the bits ourselves next. And actually Ikea isn’t that far away from that either.