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How to Assemble Your Furniture

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After you move into a new home, you either have to unpack your furniture that was disassembled for the move, or buy new furniture that may require assembly. You could pay your movers to do this for you, but what if you can't afford it? How can you assemble furniture yourself?

Find the right tools and materials

Determine the type of screws are used in the piece, what tools you can use, and find all the parts of the furniture that need to be attached.
  • New furniture should include screws in bags.
  • If you disassembled your furniture for the move, you should have labelled your removable parts and kept all screws and fasteners together. If you didn't so this, you'll need to spend some more time and effort finding them.
  • Look at the screws and find an appropriate Phillip's or flat-head screwdriver that fits into them. You may also need an Allen wrench.
  • If you lost the screws, examine the holes in the furniture and buy appropriately-sized new screws.
  • Take note of the durability and hardness of the furniture. Hardwood is harder to penetrate and much more durable than particle-board. Some screws, nails, and hammers may be suited for only more durable pieces.
  • If anything is missing, contact the manufacturer if it is new, or the moving company if it was moved from your old home.
  • Legs of new couches are often hidden in a bag under the lining of the sofa. Make sure you examine new furniture thoroughly to find all the assembly materials you were given. Furniture with drawers could also contain materials and manuals inside of them.


Putting together furniture can vary greatly. Some pieces are very complex and some are extremely simple.
  • Use the instruction manual if you have it. Whether you are using nails, wood glue, or screws, it is hard to undo a mistake. The manual is there to prevent error, even if the directions seem tedious or vague.
  • Ask the manufacturer for a copy of the manual if it is missing. You could also search the internet via the piece's serial number or name for guides on assembly or online manuals.
  • Use visual aides to help you. Pictures online, on the box, or in the manual should help you understand what you are doing.
  • If a leg does not seem to fit, try all four legs in every position possible. If you can't find a way to get it to fit, you may have a defect and need to contact the manufacturer.
  • To avoid slanted furniture, be sure to tighten screws evenly. Tighten only by hand at first until all screws are in position and the furniture is correctly aligned. At this point you can begin to use a screwdriver to fully tighten the screws.
  • Lay out all the pieces in an open area where you can categorize them. It is easier to see mirrored left and right pieces this way. It should also help you visualize the end product and prevent you from putting anything together backwards or upside down.
  • Don't force anything. If it doesn't seem like something fits, then it probably isn't meant to be there. Only use extra force if you have repeatedly checked the manual and are sure that the stubborn part is meant to go where you're trying to put it.
  • Remember to tighten all screws before declaring the piece finished. Leaving screws just hand-tightened could lead to the whole piece of furniture falling apart, especially if it is a chair.
When you are done, compare the furniture to pictures of it on the box, in the manual, or how you remembered it before the move. Do a quick, and careful stress test to decide that you really completed the job. What do you do if it falls apart after all of your work? Try again--or consider hiring professionals.

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on October 14, 2014 - Moving Expert
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