Building a Workspace

I graduated from college in May of 2005, which sadly, is getting to be a long time ago. I can’t even believe that SIX years have flown by since my days of all night paper-a-thons and exam cram sessions came to an end.

Despite being a Creative Writing major in college, I didn’t keep up with my writing after graduation. My major wasn’t exactly geared in a way that would’ve prepared me for the kind of writing I wanted to do. I am primarily a creative nonfiction writer, and unfortunately, we only had the standard poetry, fiction and playwriting focusses at SFSU.

Since I wasn’t writing (aside from small assignments related to my job), I saw no reason to invest in a desk when I moved into my apartment 2 years ago. Mostly my laptop was just for watching DVDs, checking Facebook, e-mailing people and reading the news. All things I could do with my computer in my lap while lounging on the futon. Then last September when I started the blog, I realized that not having a workspace made blogging exceptionally difficult. I mean, do you really do your best writing when laying on your bed, propped up by pillows, laptop against your knees with the television in the background?

I’m guessing not.

I also realized that by not having a desk, I was spending a LOT of time online. More than I ever had before. When I was awake, I’d be surfing the net, with the TV on in the background. I wouldn’t actually be paying attention to either thing. Then I was online right until the second I went to sleep, sometimes even starting to doze with my MacBook pro on the bed beside me. It all just seemed really unhealthy and dysfunctional. I mean, no wonder I couldn’t fall asleep…Sally so and so is no longer “in a relationship”, my strawberries are wilting in Farmville and someone just tagged me in a God awful picture that was taken in 1996!

Who can sleep with all of that going on?!

So in my continuing efforts to make my life my organized, healthful and less stressful, I decided I needed to get a desk. I finally got to IKEA on Tuesday and decided on the Leksvik Desk. I toyed with the idea of the Linnarp, but in the end went with the Leksvik because it was deeper (I need the desk to double as a nightstand, so I wanted to have as much surface space as possible), it has more character than the Linnarp (pretty curved legs and a decorative drawer pull) and lastly because the Linnarp has that weird space in between the drawers. What would I put in there? Nothing but dust…and since I never dust (gross, but true), I certainly didn’t need another place for it to roost.

Overall, I think I made an excellent choice.

We’ll just ignore the unmade bed, right? Right.

I also bought a laptop stand for the MacBook Pro, as well as an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse. I picked them up at the Apple store on Wednesday, despite knowing I could’ve accessorized for much less online. Apparently, I thought I was a Rockefeller. I have just been informed by VISA that I am in fact, not.

Ouch.

As you can see, the desk is plenty big to serve my workspace/nightstand needs. My alarm clock and emergency nighttime allergy kit (read: box of Kleenex) fit perfectly on the end next to my bed.

I think the desk looks great in my room and I am so happy with my choice. There was one part of the desk experience I wasn’t keen on though. The assembly. Two of my other pieces of furniture are also from IKEA, but I clearly had forgotten “The Great Assembly Nightmare of 2009” when I decided to once again head there for desk options. You see, in 2009 I bought a Hemnes 6-drawer chest to use for DVD and CD storage as well as a TV stand. I also bought a Vallvik bookcase. It took me well over 9 HOURS to put both of these pieces together by myself. Granted, in both cases, you were supposed to have two people put it together, so a lot of my problems were related to that.

But seriously, 9 hours?

With that entire experience blacked out in my brain, I got home at 7:30pm on Tuesday and thought to myself, “Well, I put the dresser and bookcase together…I should have this desk together in a snap!” I set to work….and finished in 3.5 hours. The main problem with construction was that the pictures weren’t clear enough. I kept putting things together backwards, then having to take it all apart again. Step #16 was especially vexing for me. It took a long time to realize that the screws were actually counter sunk, so when the washer and screw dropped into the huge hole of blackness, it was actually correct.

I’m with Ashley, I think they could use a few words thrown in there!

Oh well. I got it done eventually, right?

I’m not the only one who loves it, either:

Yes, Cosie. I did this ALL for you.

Have you ever put together something from IKEA? Did you have better luck?

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15 Responses to Building a Workspace

  1. Eric says:

    Apparently most European appliances suffer from the same cryptic pictographs, too:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2290317/

    That said, the 2 sets of shelves I got for our computer room, which both came with picture-only instructions, I was able to put together in <1/2 hr each. PH34R MY M4D fUrN1TUR3-4553mBL1n6 5K1LLZ!!!1one

  2. I just bought a nightstand thingamajig from from Ikea a few months ago and put it together with a little help from my mom πŸ™‚ I am horrible at following directions, so I was very proud!

  3. maya says:

    Your desk is awesome. I am so very pleased that you finally invested in one! I waited about 1-2 years after moving into our current place to get myself a little desk, and having a specific place to keep my laptop when not in use made me very happy.

    .. though lately I seem to use it on my dinning table much more often than the desk itself. I blame my recent dependence on NHK for that. >_>

  4. Ugh, not for years. Ikea looks cool, but putting it together involves lots of cursing and humble pie.

    • girlinchucks says:

      Yep. That is pretty much what it took to get that desk. Worth it now…but at the time, I was definitely wishing I had conned my man-friend into helping me put it together!

  5. OH my. I had the same experience with an IKEA desk I bought back in college. It was a corner desk with all sorts of shelves and things. Took me all day to put together because I also kept doing things backwards and having to undo. You are not alone! Is there some Ikea-made-me-feel-like-an-idiot support group we can join?

    • girlinchucks says:

      Gosh, there should be. I felt somewhat vindicated when I googled the problem I was having at the time and found THREE other people posting about it. No one of course, had answered them. Luckily, I was able to figure it out on my own. Eventually.

  6. shortie says:

    ugh i had the exact same problem with this desk. step 16. i just gave up and returned it. it was so wobbly and my weak little hands could not screw the nails down enough. sigh sometimes having a guy in the house is really a necessity!

    • girlinchucks says:

      Aw, bummer you had to return it.

      After I figured out that the screws and washers in Step 16 were supposed to drop far down into the holes, it came together and has proved to be quite sturdy. I just wish the instructions had been better illustrated!

      Although I felt quite accomplished after completing the desk, I am with you. Having guys build furniture is definitely the way to go! πŸ˜‰

  7. Anna says:

    Hi,
    I’ve just came across your blog while trying to get some help on Leksvik assembly (It’s driving me nuuuts!!) but I actually found something to calm me down – Cosie πŸ™‚ ! What a gorgeous pussycat!

  8. Rika Ashton says:

    Looks good! I just bought the same desk yesterday, and I’m stuck on the dreaded step 16. But since I couldn’t figure it out after 2 hours of trying to build it, I gave up….but this has given me hope! Will try again. πŸ˜€

  9. Ari says:

    Thank you for this: “Step #16 was especially vexing for me. It took a long time to realize that the screws were actually counter sunk, so when the washer and screw dropped into the huge hole of blackness, it was actually correct.”

    I thought I was going crazy so I googled it and your blog came up. Thank you! πŸ™‚

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