How to Successfully Put Together Flatpack Furniture Without Breaking Up


If there was ever a way to test the strength of a brand new relationship, it’s putting together a three-seater couch plus ottoman from Koala.

You may think it’s easy — assemble a few parts, whack on a comfy cushion as per the very easy instructions and then voila, you have a brand-new couch.

But sometimes, it’s not so simple when it’s with a (new) significant other.

While the recipe for a very easy construction is all there, there are personalities and feelings to consider, establishing a leader and a follower (there cannot be two leaders) and the gritted teeth conversations that surround the way you move an inch or place a screw.

As a person in a newly minted relationship, I decided to test out the theory that a very new partnership could stand the test of a flatpack build and still remain happily together after the fact.

Now I have something I love and adore… a brand new three-seater sofa and as for my significant other, let’s just say, I learned A LOT about our relationship.

So, what’s the easiest way to put something together with your partner with minimal arguing and efficiency?

Here are a few of my personal tips to surviving flatpack furniture assembly — without breaking up.


There needs to be one leader and one follower

When it comes to putting together furniture, communication, collaboration, and mutual respect is key, and while one of you may loathe it, there needs to be a clear leader.

In my experience, assigning this person from the get-go is the real winner here — because there’s nothing like getting your partner offside when you’re yelling at them to go “the other right” when moving a three-metre long base.

NB: The leader and follower can be changed halfway through, depending on your strength and weaknesses.

Assign each person a job to do beforehand

I’m 5’4 and my partner is 6’4, so assigning ourselves jobs before we even started really helped with the workflow. I ran up and down the six flights of stairs in my apartment building moving boxes and rubbish, while he pulled apart all the different pieces and tried to assemble them on his own.

Then, as I am a “read the instructions” type o’ gal, I led the “discussion” on what to do next. Easy peasy.

Actively listen to one another

There’s no point in ignoring your S.O. when you’re supposed to be working as a team, and likely, doing this type of thing will really test your patience, so actively listening and re-affirming that you “got it” is important.

Also, if you liked being listened to as I do, this is a really good way to test out other skills you didn’t know you even had.

Read the instructions

Read the instructions. That’s it. Just read them.

Then you can throw them out with the rest of the rubbish and fight over how to place the screw. Joking.

But still, read them.

Enjoy the new furniture together

There’s nothing more satisfying than putting together furniture and then using afterwards. It’s arguably even more satisfying using it after you successfully put it together with your partner.

In my humble opinion, even though you may have just upgraded from a two-seater to a three-seater couch, snuggling up like you didn’t get the upgrade is seriously rewarding — even if your S.O. was looking forward to more room.

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