The three scariest words to the newly abroad: Flat. Pack. Furniture.

This week’s challenge? The late night construction of a flat-pack bed. Probably the most complex bed in the shop. Made of 57 pieces of wood. With runners. And 205 screws.

And one Allen key.



Jysk was described to me as “the poor man’s IKEA”, and it’s pretty apt. Jysk is a “Danish retailer of household goods”, according to their Facebook page. Affordable but possibly of questionable quality (the sheets we bought are terrible, but the doona – sorry, ‘comforter’ – is fantastic), they have a moderate range and they deliver for a reasonable fee (~$65, although we haven’t used their delivery service yet).

Given that the wait to actually get here has whittled away (what a quaint way to put it) our savings, and that I just missed the cut of for March pay day, we’re on tight rations for the month of April until we see a first paycheck. A bed was our number one priority – not that I didn’t greatly appreciate the inflatable mattress that had been lent to us, but with jetlag leaving us both tossing and turning all night, I was pretty keen for something more solid.

The Ruti

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Cute, right?

In any case, the lure of just-in-case delivery and potentially cheap furniture lead us to Jysk. I’ll say up front that I made no consideration at the time to the fact that we would have to put the whole damn thing together. So we picked the Ruti. Comes with all that storage! I said. And it’s so pretty!

So we bought it, and brought it home (again we owe a debt of gratitude to E&S), and struggled to get the three heavy boxes down the stairs.

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The instructions indicated three hours. Three hours!? That’s insane! But Ok, let’s assume it’s really going to take that long. We’ll be pleasantly surprised when it’s faster than that. At least, this was my mental dialogue – I don’t know what Brendan thought, but I’d hate to lump him in with my stupid assumptions.

We started at 4pm. Get it done before dinner (sorry, “supper”), and get our first good night’s rest since we left Mum and Dad’s place a fortnight ago (our last night on a real bed).




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By 7.30 we were up to step 10/21. Despite Morgan’s help. But we had made these six lovely drawers with rollers attached and it finally felt like we were getting somewhere.


Quick dinner break (spag bol, because mince is all we can afford), and we were back to it by 8.30. We were in the swing of it now, and the bed was starting to take shape – until we hit a catch. Step 12 – using screws “D” and Allen key “K”, secure all the pieces. The “D” screws were about 4 cm long, tight, and there were 47 of them in total. They could only be turned with the Allen key, of which there was one. Suddenly our two-person team had a new limiting factor.

Nevertheless we persevered. Music helped, even though it was only playing through my poor little laptop speakers – we alternated who got to choose the album (really just whoever wasn’t manning the Allen key) and we were (mostly) considerate of one another (thank goodness – if I’d had to listen to The Smiths I would have quit). Until finally, there were no more pieces, and we had a bed.

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It was 12.45am. Accounting for our dinner break, the escapade had taken more than 7.5 hours. But it was pretty bloody satisfying!

The Galaxy

Ok, this bit was fun. Instead of a regular, how-do-we-get-it-home, how-do-we-get-it-down-the-stairs mattress, we bought a vacuum-sealed, pocket-coil, cartoned-for-easy-transport mattress. The side of the box says, “unrolls and expands quickly to original shape”.

How quickly? It’s late, I’m exhausted, am I going to be waiting half an hour for the damn thing to inflate?

“Let’s move it into the bedroom first in case it’s really fast”.


Best idea of the night! Because boy, was it fast. We carefully cut away the first layer of plastic wrap, then made a tiny incision into the second layer. The moment air could get into the vacuum,  we were pushed aside by the power of mattress inflation. Truly, it was all we could do to get out of the way!

But finally, blessedly, we had a bed! A real, proper bed. It was about this time we decided we were never moving out. Or at the very least that when we did, we would donate the Ruti to the house, because no way were we dismantling it and carrying it back up the stairs. And unless we came into possession of an industrial strength vacuum, we were never getting that mattress rolled up and back into the box.

We gave Morgan the box, naturally.

Love you all. jx.


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