1. Have an open space to work in.
Preferably an area where you don’t have to shimmy along walls to get around the object being constructed. There is nothing worse than having to stand at an odd angle to push an Allen-key into a hole you cannot see that only has a 120degree arch. Wait, there is one thing worse: Having to take the Allen-key out of the hole every 120degrees so that you can reposition to re-swing it again.
2. Start early.
Ladies: For the love of your own sanity, begin work at around 7.00am. That is the morning. Never at 7.00pm at night. That’s when your husband is hoping to wind down, do a bit of #Twitter, upload an article and NOT have to think about how crappy DIY furniture makes his show-home appear.
Men: For the love of your own sanity, don’t invite your wife to help. She’ll either take over and do the whole job … wait. Suddenly I see no problem here.
Single people and men who are buying gifts for wives: Starting early means the work may be completed before the neighbours start yelling or hitting the walls. Trust me, your curses of the incomplete-DIY-instructsion can be heard from two blocks away.
3. Layout all the pieces.
This is important. Because you need to know early if a bolt is missing. Or if the bolt-holes should be on the OTHER-side. Or why one side has a rough texture. Little things that may not be apparent until you are half way through and you yell at nobody in particular… “Ah, shit!”
4. Clear access around all sides of your home.
At some point you are going to want to stomp, heavily, around the house. Don’t do it inside, take a walk outside. Preferabbly around your own home. This will remind you of why you chose to buy new furniture, why you like your life, and that your castle is worth the effort to construct a DIY bird cage built solely from bamboo and wire.
Oddly, not everyone has this important asset, nor even realise how important it is to stay stress free whilst pushing allen-bolts and 12-inch bolts through holes slightly smaller in diameter.
Patience, endurance and the ability to endure your spouses constant insistence that they should NOT have asked you to be involved, yet ask you to come back and ‘hold this’ every five seconds. Breathe, breathe in, breathe out, it will all be worth it in the end….
I know I said five, but there is one more important step/asset to have when building DIY furniture:
6. A sense of humour.
Because if it doesn’t make you laugh, it will make you cry … until you laugh. Keep laughing when all about you is missing, short and broken parts. No, a shotgun will not help!
Written at 2.3oam this morning after watching the wife take five hours to construct the bottom bed of a bunk-bed, then de-construct it because one part was built in reverse, then rebuild with my assistance only to be left incomplete at 2am to finish when next we wake up.