9 Tips for Taking Apart, Moving and Reassembling Ikea Furniture

Ikea Furniture Living Room

Measure Up Your Ikea Furniture To Make Sure It Fits Into Your New Place

It might sound silly but before you even start thinking about taking apart, moving and reassembling your Ikea furniture, it’s definitely worth visiting the house or apartment you’re moving to and ensuring that your current Ikea furniture will indeed fit. Take a tape measure to see whether your furniture will physically fit into its new position as well as up staircases but also use your mind’s eye and try to judge whether the furniture suits the new place and won’t take up too much of the space, particularly if you’re downsizing.

Ask Someone To Help You Carefully Disassemble Your Furniture

While the Ikea instructions often incorrectly claim that two people are required for assembly, when it comes to taking apart large pieces you should definitely do it together. Ikea furniture is only designed to be structurally strong when fully assembled and so if screws are unfastened while disassembling then some panels might be unsupported and liable to fall over – possibly snapping. For this reason it’s worth involving as many people as possible while taking apart to keep everything aligned.

If you’re on your own then one relatively foolproof way to take apart your Ikea furniture is by following the instructions backwards. You could also try simply starting at the top and working downwards with smaller pieces.

Ikea Furniture Instructions Two People

Keep All Your Screws Together In A Plastic Bag (and Don’t Lose The Bag)

There’s nothing worse than getting to the other end and discovering that you’ve lost some screws which is easily done during the hard work and stresses of moving house. The best solution is to bag up your screws and dowels into little plastic sachets and either tape them to one of the panels or keep them all in a folder. If worst comes to worst remember that Ikea helpfully provide spare components at their in-store help desks but this is a hassle you could really do without when moving.

Ikea Screws In Bag

Layer Up Padding Between Flat Pack Panels When Transporting

When loading up the flat pack chipboard panels during a move, the surfaces can easily become scratched and dented. It’s a good idea to layer up with newspapers or towels between panels to pad out the pieces and to prevent them from sliding around and scuffing in transit.

Don’t Worry About Finding Old Instruction Manuals; Download PDFs From The Ikea Site

Ikea Drawer Assembly InstructionsNo need to ransack your house looking through drawers for the instruction booklets to your Ikea furniture as luckily Ikea provide all the instruction manuals for free on their website as PDF files. The links to these files aren’t immediately obvious to find but if you go to the product page for the furniture piece concerned you’ll find the instructions under Product Information > Documents. For example here are the instructions for a 2×4 Expedit (Kallax) shelf.

Be Extra Careful Not To Over-Tighten Screws When Reassembling

Some say that it’s best not to remove some of the most crucial screws when disassembling your furniture as they become weaker when refitted. There is some truth in this but I’ve found that as long as you’re extra careful when reassembling it doesn’t cause a problem. Be sure not to over tighten any screws as they can easily shred the chipboard material inside the panels giving the screws nothing to ‘bite on’.

The alternative is to leave the screws in place but this can make it hard to efficiently load up the panels when moving. There’s also the risk of the jutting-out screws getting knocked perpendicularly which could tear the chipboard rendering the entire furniture piece useless.

If Possible Reverse Panels When Re-Making So Scuffs and Scratches Are At The Back

After many years of use your Ikea furniture might be showing some signs of wear and tear, particularly with regards to scratches and dents on the edges of the panels. When reassembling your furniture, it’s possible with some pieces to reverse the panels putting the faces that were previously facing the wall towards the front. I did this with my Expedit shelves when moving last year and although it was a bit time consuming, was definitely worth it.

If you find scuffs on both sides of the panel, you might want to take this opportunity to retouch the edges with some paint. You can do a few quick dabs to cover most scuffs but if you want to do a proper job then read how to paint Ikea furniture in our guide to make sure the paint sticks.

Mix and Match Panel Colours of the Same Pieces for Unique Furniture

Ikea Expedit Colour Mix Customisation

This is an optional extra but can be a breath of fresh air for your Ikea furniture. If you liked a piece of furniture so much that you decided to get another one later on in a different colour, then it can be fun to mix and match panels to get a unique technicolor version. I did this last year with black and white Micke desks and Malm chests of drawers and they ended up looking great. If you decide you don’t like it then they can be easily switched back. We touched on this idea before in our list of ways you can customise Ikea Kallax or Expedit shelving.

Some Pieces Are Worth Keeping In Tact While Moving Such as Malm Drawers

Before you make a dash for the screwdriver and start dismantling your furniture, it’s definitely worth carefully deciding whether it’s worth taking apart, particularly with smaller pieces. When I moved I decided to keep my Malm chest of drawers intact and merely removed the drawers while carrying it. The shell of the unit was light and sturdy enough to lift in one piece and what’s really handy is that you can slide the drawers out, fill them up with smaller items and the insert them back into the shell of the Malm once it’s loaded into the van.

If you have any other tips for moving your Ikea furniture, please leave them in the comments below so that others may benefit from your wisdom.

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