IKEA furniture question
August 30, 2011 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyone in New York City who dis-assembles IKEA furniture?

I have a Svelvik bed in northern Manhattan. I would like to have it taken apart so it can be moved, but I don't have a clue how to go about it, and if any tools came with it, they are long gone.

I know you can hire people to put IKEA furniture together, but is there anyonoe who will come and take it apart?
posted by klpage to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the thing with IKEA furniture: it's not designed to be disassembled and reassembled. It's flatpacked, and then designed to be put together, once, and stay that way. While I'm sure you can hire someone on craigslist who will do this, there is a very good chance you will end up with some damage or it won't go together as firmly on the other side.

That said, if you really want to try, you probably don't need anything other than a screwdriver and an allen wrench (you can easily buy an allen wrench set like this at any hardware store), then take out all the screws and whatnot and take it apart. Just be prepared that it probably won't work that well.
posted by brainmouse at 1:58 PM on August 30, 2011 [5 favorites]

Most IKEA furniture can be disassembled using an allen/hex key and nail extractor (available from IKEA or hardware stores).
posted by smithsmith at 1:59 PM on August 30, 2011

Have you already asked the people who do assembly if they will dis-assemble? If for some reason they won't, Craigslist is your best bet. If you were in LA I would probably do this as I have the basic tools and I'm used to IKEA stuff. I agree with brainmouse though that your reassembly results may vary.
posted by crabintheocean at 2:00 PM on August 30, 2011

Here's the assembly instructions - maybe you can just work it in reverse.
posted by parilous at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2011

You may want to check the Ikea web site for assembly instructions. If I am not mistaken, this page has a link for downloading assembly instructions fo the Skelvik bed. It should tell you all you need to know to take it apart!
posted by aroberge at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2011

should have previewed ... parilous beat me to the punch ...
posted by aroberge at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2011

I've disassembled 'flat pack' furniture before and it can be tricky. I missed a securing piece here and there but reassembled the best that I could and made up for my mistakes with regular drywall screws and an electric drill. Once is not bad, twice and 3x...well, it gets kinda ratty then.
posted by CodeMonkey at 2:05 PM on August 30, 2011

I disassembled my boyfriend's Ikea bed a few years ago when he moved apartments. I didn't have any special tools (just an allen wrench and a lot of patience), and it took some time (having to look at how everything fit together and proceed bit by bit, trial-and-error style), but it was definitely doable. The connections weren't as tight, though, when I put it back together (without any instructions, of course). Like brainmouse said, these things aren't really meant to be taken apart and reassembled.
posted by phunniemee at 2:06 PM on August 30, 2011

Here's a service we've used:

Drill Professional Furniture Assembly (they'll do disassembly, installation, whatever)

Very good, very fast, and pretty inexpensive.
posted by nosila at 2:31 PM on August 30, 2011

Their metal pieces disassemble really well, in my experience.

Our movers actually did this for us, so if you're hiring movers you can ask them. They probably have some basic tools for this kind of thing.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:32 PM on August 30, 2011

You can usually find sets of Allan/Hex keys in the dollar store. I recently bought a set in the 99p shop in the UK but I have seen them in US dollar stores.
posted by essexjan at 2:34 PM on August 30, 2011

As brainmouse says, IKEA flatpack really not designed to come apart again, most of the time. Much better to take apart in substatial pieces, then fix back to gether with upgraded fasteners, in my experience. Some additional hardware and glue may be required.
posted by bonehead at 2:38 PM on August 30, 2011

The 3 times I have moved with movers in NYC (the last of which being Aug 7), they have taken my ikea bed (and dresser and table....) apart for me. I do ask on the phone when I am scheduling them, and I make sure to have an allen wrench around, but most of them are like "yeah, we know all the ikea furniture instructions by heart."
posted by rmless at 2:40 PM on August 30, 2011

Hey, I have this exact bed and I recently disassembled it for my own move! I learned the hard way that it is indeed a two-person ordeal (I was too stubborn and hurried to ask anyone) BUT I still have the little tool and live in NYC, so if you want some help, I'm currently unemployed and have a lot of spare time. Let me know!
posted by Juicy Avenger at 2:57 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Famous last words, of course, but this looks pretty straightforward to disassemble, once you've found allen keys in the right size. (If you by chance live near Ikea, you can probably go pick some up from their parts department. Otherwise, go to the hardware store. Presumably Ikea allen keys are metric, but I'm not sure.) Take the slats out (obviously), take the center piece out (it doesn't look like it's attached), then undo the sides (this looks like the trickiest bit, since you have to reach through a hole to get to the screws), and leave the head and foot of the bed intact.

The trick to disassembling Ikea stuff to move (well, beds and tables, god knows about the rest of it) is to leave it in as big of pieces as possible. The hard part of putting it together was getting the little pieces into big pieces, so try not to backtrack to the hard part.
posted by hoyland at 3:30 PM on August 30, 2011

As brainmouse says, IKEA flatpack really not designed to come apart again

Er, what? I've disassembled and reassembled Ikea stuff multiple times and it was never damaged or in a worst state after reassembly (this is assuming everything is held together with screws, bolts, etc, and no glue or nails).

Also if you check out the Ikea website you can download the instructions which will help if you're not sure how it went together in the first place. Click on Product Information, then in the bottom left it says:
This product requires assembly
Download assembly instructions.

posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:39 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is exactly the kind of thing Task Rabbit was invented for. But it'd be even better to hire Juicy Avenger.
posted by huckit at 3:50 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are you getting movers?

Our moving company (Flat Rate Movers, between two Brooklyn apartments, if you're curious) disassembled all of our beds, including an Ikea loft bed, and then reassembled them at our new apartment. Absolutely worth the extra cost.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:56 PM on August 30, 2011

My past 2 movers (Rabbit Movers and Top Hat Movers - I had a higher opinion of Rabbit) had guys that disassembled and reassembled my IKEA stuff.
posted by spec80 at 6:51 PM on August 30, 2011

My IKEA bed and table have been disassemled twice by my movers, and both are as sturdy as ever. The real cheap flimsy stuff (especially shelves) probably disassembles less well.
posted by yarly at 7:38 PM on August 30, 2011

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