Saturday, 21 April 2012

My own Private Flatpack Nightmare made Public

So Husband has departed for pastures Swiss and I’m left here in Dublin to pick up the relocation pieces. Nothing I can’t handle or at least that’s what I thought.......

The relocation company arrived this week and the build up to this day brought out in me what can only be described as stress induced alopecia, either that or I was tearing clumps of my hair out in my sleep. It’s not that I am completely useless and can’t do things by myself, it’s just that Husband and I have created this intricate partnership and it's hard to adjust to this new found level of independance. We usually bounce ideas off each other and make sure the other is doing the right thing. One thing we’ve never done separately is navigate the intricate flatpack labyrinth of IKEA. What was usually a therapeutic shopping Mecca filled with warm feelings of self satisfaction was about to become a giant sandstorm of despair and failure.

Timing was of the upmost importance to my success. With the movers coming to take everything we own to Zurich, I had been preparing myself for my inevitable minimal existence. I convinced myself I could live like Moby but I would need a bed to get through my final months before becoming an expat. With the movers coming on the Thursday my plan was simple:

IKEA on Wednesday
Purchase bed
Next day delivery
Movers take furniture Thursday morning
Bed arrives Thursday afternoon
Build bed

What could possibly go wrong?

I had pre-chosen the exact bed I wanted online before I had even arrived on that faithful day. The 'Brimes', 140x200 with 'Sultan Harestua' sprung mattress. I had my printed shopping list in hand showing me exactly where each component of my potential purchase would be located in the storeroom. Piece of piss.

When there and after scoffing my usual staple of meatballs and Diam cake, I bee-lined to the store room.

Sidebar I must admit I’ll miss the slight onset of giggles caused when a North-Side Dubliner working in the IKEA restaurant utters the immortal line

“D’ya wan lingonberry jam with dat?”

upon the request of the 15 meatballs main dish. Totally worth the 25 mile trek outside the city centre alone for the experience.

I bounced around the storeroom with my trolley and trusty map of ingredients to make the perfect Brimes bed. One huge lashing of Sultan Harestua mattress found on aisle 29, location 31 , a dollop of Brimes bed base made ready for me at the collection point, 2 tablespoons of the Skorva mid-beam on aisle 29, location 06 and a pinch of the Sultan Luróy slats found on aisle 31, location 9. Convinced I was the IKEA seasoned pro by this stage I strutted through the checkout credit card out with a smug look of self satisfaction on my face. My plan was coming together and nothing could foil me now. Why I was letting myself stress out so much over this?

Moving day came along with 2 chipper Northern Irish laddies hell bent on boxing everything we own into a freight bound for Zurich. The morning flew by with relative ease. I kept back only enough clothes to get me through the next 2 months in Dublin. The only slight panic arose when I incorrectly thought my passport had been boxed off into the crate only for it to turn up in the bottom of my wardrobe.

Once my new found friends had departed with everything I owned in the back of their large truck (luckily by that stage we had established a certain degree of trust with each other) I got stuck into erecting my flat-packed catcher of Z's. I'd never built any flat-pack this big before, let alone one that had 5 different flat-packed sections. I was rocking this bed, I was the bed master, everything going so amazingly, that was until I went to open the mid-beam flat-pack only be greeted with some slatted bed base for a single bed. What the what?

I grabbed the receipt for my purchases only to see I had actually bought the Sultan Lodingen instead of the Skorva mid-beam. I franticly retraced the steps in my mind-tunnel to find out where it all went wrong.

Cut to me standing at aisle 29, location 6. About to reach for the mid-beam only to get distracted by a female IKEA employee who closely resembled a moose wearing fake tan and giant hooped earrings (I shit you not). I made a mental note that the IKEA uniform clearly is not flattering on anyone other than gangly males and reached for the flatpack on 26, 12 directly above the mid-beam.

I believe I invented a new explietitive at this very moment or at the very least joined five together to create a new super-curse, The ‘Travelling Wilburys’ of cussing if you will. Without thinking I dialled my sister and luck would have it she was in Dublin still and free to take me back out the dreaded yellow and blue fortress of Swede. A quick in and out mission. I knew where the fucker was now and I was not going to screw this up again. It was probably the quickest trip in the history of IKEA. That's how the bastards suck you in, trapped in their one way system of design and affordability.

Back in the apartment I fashioned the penultimate part to my bed base, mid-beam me up Scotty. I began put the final pieces in place, bed nearly made and I would still have time to cook my dinner. I unrolled the bed slats and could almost hear the brass band playing a triumphant song of success in my head when it be came apparent that I was missing a Sultan Luróy. You were supposed to buy 2 of the God forsaken things. I collapsed into a sea of cardboard and frustration a yelled the worst curse I could think of.


With IKEA now closed for the evening and the sudden realisation I would have to sleep on a mattress for the night (ah this took me back to my crack den days), I turned to Husband on Skype to admit my failings. Luckily Husband knew better that to hit a man when he had reached the lowest pit of despair. I had pretty much decided to give up on the bed until the next week as I was due to make my way to Zurich for a visit the following day. Husband bolstered me up and convinced me to take one last stab at it. Race to IKEA first thing in the morning and get the final puzzle piece to literally put this mother to bed. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

So in the end after 3 days, 3 trips to IKEA, 2 servings of Swedish meatballs, 1 tearful breakdown, I finally had a place to rest my weary head at night.

Shame spiral narrowly averted.



  1. Nice post..the idea of putting the final pieces in place,bed nearly made and than would still have time to cook dinner is great..

    1. Thanks a mill dublinflatpack, really glad you enjoyed it, it was not a fun day I will say tho :-)

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