One Mover’s Love/Hate Relationship with Scandinavia

In the last ten years or so in America there has been a furniture revolution with the steady stream of stylish, inexpensive imports from Scandinavia. This has been great for so many people in myriad ways.

For one, the majority of these furnishings are lightweight which is good because not everyone out there is a mover. Most of the items you tote home in a box and build yourself which is also very convenient. Places like Ikea have great prices on attractive home wares, so much so that people who could not normally afford nice, new furniture can now fill a home or apartment with quality goods.

Personally, I like this stuff. I think it looks great and as a twenty-something I know many people that have put together beautiful homes with inexpensive Scandinavian wares.

As a mover, I tend to get exposed to the darker side of this hip craze and I have one major complaint about this type of furniture: It was not made to be moved- especially wall units and wall-mounted cabinets. Cabinets do not partially disassemble. They must be taken completely apart. I had a move experience where the family had built (in the room) 6 floor to ceiling cabinets which were really nice and looked great. When we went to move them, first we couldn’t tip them over to get them out the door because they went all the way to the ceiling so we took the legs off. Then they were too tall for the truck we had which was smaller to navigate a treacherous driveway. We ended up spending more time than we should have messing with those cabinets alone which added cost to the move.

One of the more common problems I have encountered in moving Scandinavian furniture or any build-at-home furniture is that it was built in a room but must now be taken out a door and down some stairs. If it won’t fit it must be disassembled which can wear out screws, cams, dowels and hinges. Often times there is a basically cardboard back that is tacked on with little staples or tiny finishing nails.

Sometimes it is just complexity.  I recently struggled to break down a bed, despite the many beds that I have moved,  because it was an overly complex structural system that held it all together. Once assembled it is a beautiful platform bed with modular head rests, but taking it somewhat apart to move it and putting it back together is really rather involved.

If the person who put it together doesn’t follow exactly all of the steps or, say, use all of the parts, the piece may look and function perfectly, but may not go back together correctly after moving.

As a mover I do love furniture like this because it is lightweight, but sometimes it is more challenging to move than heavier, more solid items. Overall the benefits outweigh the difficulties. I am glad that Scandinavian furniture is popular in America because I think people feel happy when they can take pride in their homes. The fact that more people can afford to do that is a good thing in my opinion. It is good, though, to be aware of the potential problems some out-of-the-box furnishings can have in regards to moving.

Posted in Talk of the Trade
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