As I covered in the last post – it took three deliveries for our entire Ikea kitchen order to be completed. I knew it was important to check the order list against the boxes we received to make sure we had everything. (…and then later open them to inspect for damage.) I didn’t want to start assembly process (which wouldn’t start immediately) and then find we had missing parts.
This overzealousness was simultaneously a good and bad thing. Good: because it was the responsible thing to do by checking the order. Bad: because I started organizing before I received the complete order. Let me explain… When you order the cabinets in the Ikea 3D planner, it gives you a wonderful rendering that is also accompanied by an automatically generated component list. This list is great because it itemizes every part: quantity, description, & the article number ordered. This works well for verifying stacks of identical items shortly after delivery.
Here’s part of the first page from our order: The items don’t seem to be listed in any particular order – this made checking the list a bit of an unnecessary pain.
(That’s 62 different types of items, with 211 individual packages by the way. This is before “extra” items like drawer dividers, liners, and lighting.)
In our instance, I was able to easily tell that I had some items missing with the help of the itemized list… You can see in the image above, that I was using little pink dots to count the number of items I had received in the first shipment. The trouble starts if you are trying to organize the parts into cabinet groupings while still missing parts. My confusion pretty much only applied to the doors/drawer fronts though. I knew what I had with, let’s say, drawer glides or cabinet boxes – those were obvious.
Some organizational challenges:
• The boxes don’t say “door or drawer front”, they do list the general name (like Abstrakt), part number, and sometimes one measurement. Most of the time, I needed to open a package to see if it had a place for hinges (door) or none (drawer) and measure to verify what it was. Sometimes a door and drawer might have similar dimensions.
• The drawer fronts sometimes arrived in multi packs. This is a crucial bit of information that would have been tremendously helpful to know before I started. At first, I only received one or two of these “multi packs” of drawer fronts (where all four drawers for one cabinet are in one box) so, I thought this was just an anomaly… and not how all packages for that one particular cabinet size should come. Simultaneously, not all cabinets will have these “multi packs”, the majority were individually packaged drawer fronts.
• Missing, extra, or damaged parts helped further the confusion, because when making the groupings, I had to remember that a door was accounted for, but wasn’t physically present – or set aside for exchange. (This wasn’t actually terrible, just something to note.)
• Most importantly, there is no guide that says: “Cabinet 1 should have drawer fronts #, # ,#, & #…… Cabinet 2 should have doors # & #…. et cetera”. You are left on your own to figure out what goes with what. Very surprising, to me, for Ikea.
When looking at a finished kitchen, its hard to believe that things could be so jumbled – it looks so obvious where every door/drawer front should go. I was surprised, actually at how confusing it was, and thus more frustrated when doors didn’t seem to match when I thought I had most things correctly arranged.
I did have a few times where I thought I had a certain drawer front grouped correctly, then found out (usually after receiving a multi pack of drawers later) that it wasn’t. Fortunately, we could use our large living room as a staging area and I could spread out groupings of cabinet parts. Personally, though I love lists, I found it much easier to organize things visually. I decided to draw a diagram of our cabinets and assign the article numbers to the drawing once I knew I had a correct door or drawer front number.
I cerated diagrams for both the door/drawer fronts (first page) and for the drawers (second page). The third page was to help me catalog and identify each of the smaller components & large side panels.
Over all, after three deliveries from Ikea to receive our order, we still needed to go back multiple times to refine our order. Sometimes, it was to exchange damaged items… sometimes, it was to pick up out-of-stock items that weren’t in our initial three deliveries… sometimes, it was to return or order new items that we weren’t sure about or missed ordering. I didn’t count exactly, but Spencer’s rough guess is that we might have had to go back to Ikea 25 times. I know we went back at least four times to get handles (as they never had enough in stock.) We went back perhaps four times to return some big side panels (eventually we figured out to open the boxes in the parking deck to inspect for damage….they were the most commonly damaged item.) Fortunately, we had a Honda Element to carry large items and we live only ten miles (or 30 minutes without traffic) from our local Ikea.
Again, any difficulty I encountered was a result of not having everything or having extras – and the fact that there was no real “master guide” from Ikea. I will say, once I had all the parts, It was much easier to organize things and it became more obvious what was what.