The Common Factor Of...

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By: Jenn Kovalski

What is the main commonality of IKEA, Amazon, Wayfair, Target and Pier 1? Besides the fact that they all have great deals, (that’s a gimme) the answer: “assembly required”. The majority of all furniture sold at these places requires the buyer to put it together. You see how great the item looks in the store and you purchase it with a vision of where you intend to place it. Reality hits you at check-out (let alone if it’s a delivered item!) when you receive a 48”x72” box filled with whatever you bought in its most simple, deconstructed form. It reminds me of watching a contortionist fold themselves up into a mailbox. How does this fit in there!?

If you’re lucky, your assembly instructions feature less than 20 languages. If you are really lucky, the doo-dads that need to be used to hold the item together won’t fill an entire fishing tackle box. If you are really, really lucky, when opening the space-vacuum sealed, individually sorted and wrapped doo-dads, they don’t go flying out in a million different directions like a volcanic eruption, because they do not give any extras.

John and I got an elliptical in May to get into summer-bod shape. Here we are in August, sans summer bods because our brand new elliptical is still not put together. Our elliptical has disheartened us, not because of the intense cardio we got from moving the box itself, but because when we opened the box, there were more parts than a grandfather clock. We kept finding more itty-bitty ones, stuffed into the smallest corners of the ginormous box.

The delay in assembly is two-fold. One, it’s a two person job given how heavy the parts are and John and I have very different styles of how to assemble these kind of things. I like to forego the majority of instructions and eyeball it (it is obvious that somethings go where they go!). John prefers not to risk structural integrity and follows instructions verbatim. Though unspoken, we know how much frustration the other’s preferred method creates.

The second and probably ulterior motive hold up is that once assembled, we will have to use it. I guess the pains of assembly required is equivalent of getting into shape.