11 Tips for Disassembling Your IKEA Furniture Before you Move

IKEA has become an iconic brand, associated with innovative design, convenience, cost savings, and fun. Let’s face it: Ikea is Legos for adults. While you may not still play with building blocks, you’ve no doubt had a fair bit of fun (and frustration) assembling your IKEA furniture. But whether it’s IKEA or another brand, when it comes to moving, disassembling furniture you’ve built yourself your experience can range from downright inconvenient to an utter nightmare.

Perhaps you’ve lost the instructions (admit it, you’ve probably lost them), you don’t remember how you put it together in the first place, or maybe the person who helped you assemble it is long gone – whatever the reason, disassembling your self-assembled furniture doesn’t have to be the ordeal you might imagine.

Here are 11 tips to make the job a little easier.

  1. Gather the right tools before you start. Most self-built furniture requires some essential hand tools. Have the following tools before you begin:
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sharpie
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screwdrivers (regular and Phillip’s)
  • Allen wrench set
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Ziploc bags to store the screws and small parts you remove
  • Blankets or protective material
  1. Download the IKEA assembly instructions for your item. These will be useful at the disassembly stage to make sure that you have all of the screws and dowels and small pieces accounted for as you take the item apart. The instructions will then be helpful when reassembling it at your new home.
  2. Plan on taking your time. If you try to disassemble your furniture quickly, you may easily damage fragile parts. Furniture that you put together yourself is usually made from lightweight plywood or other layered materials that are more fragile than one-piece construction or solid wood.
  1. Label all the pieces with painter’s tape and a sharpie before you begin disassembly so that when you go to put it back together again, you have all of the items clearly marked. 
  2. Take pictures of your item before you begin to dismantle. Use your smartphone to capture images from all sides. Take photos of how joints are assembled, how hinges have been installed, and how pieces are put together. If the item label with identifying information or the part number (A, B, C, D, for example) is visible, take a picture showing the identifying information so you can refer to the assembly instructions later. Save the images in a folder on your device for easy reference.

    6. Give yourself plenty of space. Move the furniture to the center of the room before beginning to take it apart, and make sure you have easy access to places like the bottom and back.

    7. Remove everything inside before you begin. Make sure your furniture doesn’t have anything in a hidden cabinet before you remove any screws, fasteners, or shelves.

    8. Remove the doors first. Place the hinges that keep the door in balance and hung in a Ziploc bag and label it.

    9. Stack the labeled pieces neatly, and use padding between each layer to avoid scratches, nicks, and marks.

    10. Keep track of hinges, screws, dowels, and other small parts by taping them to the back of one the pieces of your disassembled furniture with painters tape. Use caution.

    11. Keep the pieces together when loading your moving truck or car. Trying to re-assemble your furniture at your new home when you can’t find all the parts won’t just make the job difficult – your furniture will become useless. Stay organized from the beginning.

    Plan, take your time, keep things organized, and your Ikea furniture will be assembled in your new home in no time. Good luck! 

Planning a move and need help? Contact Liberty Moving & Storage for a free quote.


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