Assembling IKEA furniture—and staying married!

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Home Improvement

Moving can be stressful enough on a marriage—but add in the assembly of IKEA furniture, and the process can make you and your spouse want to start whacking each other with those wordless instruction manuals.

My husband and I moved from our tiny two bedroom apartment into a townhouse with almost three times the space, so you can imagine how much new furniture we needed... on a first-time home buyer's budget, of course.

In total, we needed about 14 pieces of furniture (which, in IKEA-land, equates to about 32 separate boxes). We bit the bullet and headed to IKEA, trying not to think about the daunting assembly process that awaited us once we brought those dozens of packages home.

Yes, the thought of putting together all of that can be daunting, even when you're working on the assembly as a team. But here are a few tips that helped our marriage survive the process!

1) Get yourself a handy-dandy screwdriver gun. The closest thing we had to "a toolbox" before owning our own home was the bright pink tool-kit I got when I moved to college. Thankfully, IKEA sells an electric screwdriver gun for a cool $19.99, which includes the drill itself, a charger, an assortment of attachments, and a convenient case to keep it all organized. This saved us so much time compared to using handheld screwdrivers, without costing as much as many electric drills on the market. This item is a must for staying sane throughout the IKEA assembly process.

2) Enlist the help of friends and family (and offer them food). Who doesn't like pizza? Bribe your friends and family with a pie or two, and they'll be more than happy to help out! Honestly, we would probably still be sleeping on our mattress on the floor if it weren't for our friends and family helping us put together our bedroom furniture, let alone the rest of the house. The more hands, the faster it all gets done!

3) Be patient. You didn't really think I would leave this one, out did you? They say patience is a virtue, and whoever "they" are, they're absolutely right. Patience is a necessity when you're working as a team to get everything put together for your new home. Sure, there were times when my husband and I lost our patience with one another throughout the process. But we collected ourselves, took a quick breather and grabbed some water, apologized to each other, and got back down to business.

There you have it! The three biggest tips I can give you to stay sane throughout the not-so-joyful experience of IKEA furniture assembly. My husband and I are still married, so I feel confident that if you follow these steps, your marriage can survive the process, too!