My love-hate relationship with Ikea

The Ikea instruction manual, which uses no words, so I added my own.

I have been on a roller coaster of emotions over the last few weeks thanks to Ikea. It all started when we decided to add some extra storage to our laundry room, and I figured a few cabinets from Ikea would be an affordable yet stylish way of achieving just that.

If you’ve ever been to an Ikea, you know how it goes down. You walk into the showroom and weave your way through beautifully arranged living rooms and kitchens and then you look at the price tags and are all, “No way! That’s so affordable!” and decide there’s no way you CAN’T buy this stuff. There’s a little voice in the back of your head saying, “You know, you’re going to have to actually build this with your own two hands,” but you say, “Shut up, brain! I can totally handle this.” And then you buy the stuff and you’re on top of the world!

So that’s what happened with me. It’s when I pulled my car up to the loading zone that things started to go south. I had bought two 6.5-foot cabinets and one 4-foot cabinet with a countertop and a sink, and apparently when it’s all taken apart, it comes in SIX THOUSAND boxes, which I had to load into my car:

I must have lifted 1000 pounds during those 30 minutes of loading. It was insane. I started to panic seeing all the different parts involved, but I kept telling myself I could put it all together and it would all be okay.

I announced to my husband that evening that although I was pretty confident I could put it all together, I was starting to have just the teeniest, tiniest, most minuscule bit of doubt that it might be a little difficult for me. My husband, to his credit, just nodded and said nothing. This was the right move because, as my husband knows but I don’t like to admit, I am the least handy person in the entire world. Last week I tried to clean off the buildup on the little tip of the bathroom faucet by screwing it off but ended up completely breaking a pipe. I actually needed to buy an entirely new faucet, which my husband installed.

Anyway, the days passed and I got more and more stressed out about putting these cabinets together. I got myself so worked up that one day I casually asked my husband (despite my internal screaming and panicking) if he might consider helping me put it all together. He just nodded yes. Again, another expert move.

Last Saturday was go time. I psyched myself up and tried to avoid fits of crying. I woke my husband up and said, “So, what should we do first?” and he, in all his wisdom, simply said, “I’ll take care of it.”

Reader, I love this man. He took a major one for the team. All I needed to do to “help” was some lifting and maybe held a cabinet door in place one time. And now my Ikea cabinets are constructed and perfect!!

It all turned out okay in the end. I think I learned a couple of valuable lessons: (1) It’s better to know your limits and admit them before you get in too deep, and (2) marry well.

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