What IKEA Doesn’t Tell You

This weekend Penelope and I made a trip up to IKEA in Burbank and bought a new bed, dresser and a couple of cool lamps. The Burbank IKEA seems to be somewhat nicer compared to the IKEA in Carson which never has what we are looking for and is usually thrashed from a combination of neglect and general IKEA quality.

I have been buying crap furniture from IKEA (which means engineered to fit into a box in Swedish) since I started living on my own after High School and I know a secret that IKEA probably doesn’t want you to know. If you build your furniture following the instructions exactly it will last about 1 year as long as you don’t ever move it from the place you first put it. There is an exception to this rule and this is it: Use Wood Glue.

When you are building your furniture you will notice that the nuts that look like packman aren’t really well suited to be a permanent load bearing fastener, but they do make great clamps, which is essential when you are gluing wood. Once the glue is dry it will be stronger than the wood its self and you will be able to move your furniture without it catastrophically failing, which is a good thing.

7 Replies to “What IKEA Doesn’t Tell You”

  1. Oh oh, there is one reason why IKEA Carson is far and away better than IKEA Burbank: I can take the shopping cart directly to my car. How do you do it again in Burbank? Leave your furniture outside, walk to the parking garage, drive car to the loading zone, wait for loading zone spot to open, then look whether your merchandise is still there. And then you load it up to your car.

    Crazy.

  2. Using glue is a great tip. Also their cabinets, (which are designed to be screwed to the wall) are, by nature, stronger and will last longer than their wobbly free-standing furniture.

  3. WNC: Oh yeah I noticed that the loading zone setup was somewhat different at the Burbank IKEA, but I didn’t have to deal with the problem of leaving my crap waiting because Penelope was nice enough to go get the car.

    KM: Yeah I have a suspicion that the cabinets in my loft are of the IKEA brand because the color matches our BlackBrown furniture exactly, but I could be wrong.

  4. I’ve lived a record 2.5 years in my current apartment, but before that, I used to just craiglist all my IKEA stuff before moving, and sold it to people who lived really, really close to me. Like close enough that I could help move IKEA futons and stuff, on foot. The furniture survived, the buyers were happy with cheap functional furniture, and I was happy with the cash :) Plus, nothing was added to the garbage dumps —
    greenlagirl dot blogspot dot com

  5. yeah we have some stuff in our storage unit that we will either freecycle or craigslist soon. i wish i didn’t have to subscribe to a mailing list to use freecycle though… sounds like a web based replacement is in order.

  6. At least you have an IKEA! It may be crappy to move it, but try having it shipped to your house. Everyone in the midwest thinks IKEA is the furniture God, simply because we can’t get it. Driving six hours to Chicago just for a lamp with poor directions leaves something to be desired.

  7. Another thing: If you have to special order anything, stay on top of it. “Oh yeah, we got that in a while back, but we’ve sold it to someone else” – Kinda hard to deal with if you’re an interior decorator and have a client waiting! (This happened to my sister.)

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