Few things better test a relationship than a trip to IKEA. Between navigating the seemingly endless aisles and trying to assemble your flat-packed item so that it resembles the chic dresser in the catalog, there's a reason the Swedish giant jokingly refers to certain products as "husband killers." Don't even get us started on hacks.
To save your relationship (and sanity) without compromising these IKEA bedroom essentials, The Wall Street Journal's resident "fixer," Michael Hsu, has shared his top tips to streamline the process and minimize mistakes. Save yourself the drama. Here's what you need to know to assemble IKEA flat packs like a pro.
IKEA products might come with the tool needed to assemble each item, but Hsu says it'll be much faster and easier if you arm yourself with a power tool. He recommends the Worx SD Driver With Screw Holder ($37), a rechargeable electric screwdriver that allows you to switch between six different bits. The Milwaukee Torx 7-Piece Bit Set ($8) is also compatible with most IKEA hex screws, he says.
Appease your inner perfectionist and avoid uneven furniture by using a level. Hsu points out that your iPhone has one built in. "The 'Compass' app on every iPhone has a hidden level feature. Swipe left in the app to find it," he says. Otherwise, download Bubble Level, a free app for Android. "These will come in handy as you adjust the legs of your new, perfectly assembled furniture," he notes.
IKEA furniture often comes with an array of minuscule screws and fixtures, which can be easily lost mid-build. Our tip to ensure you never misplace a vital piece is to keep a serving tray on hand to organize small parts—this Hay Kaleido Tray ($15) is the perfect size.
What's your secret to building IKEA furniture like a pro?