Saturday, November 5, 2011

11/5/11: Real, Strong Women Don't Need Men To Build Things :-)

View from my balcony 

In the days since my last post I have physically exhausted myself, pushed my body beyond it's strength, pulled muscles I didn't know existed, blistered and tore my hands, bruised almost every inch of my knees, almost broke my back, and maybe got about half the amount of sleep that I should have gotten. But one thing proved to be true from this whole "moving" experience; I proved to myself that when the situation demands it, I can do things I would have never thought both physically and mentally possible. 

Since my apartment is brand new (we are the first people to live in the unit) naturally it was unfurnished. We knew that this was the case, and I was actually very excited to pick out my own furniture and make up my own room; it would truly be mine in both taste and style, and that was very appealing to me. I, however, didn't really take into consideration the Ikea concept of hours and hours of hard, manual labor. Sure I was excited to get everything, but I wasn't so prepared to build it all. Anyways, two days after I picked everything out, it was delivered and then it was time to formally move in and get to work! Since each and every one of us had our own things to build I didn't have the luxury of waiting for a time when the boys could help me. I really wanted to get moving so I took charge and jumped right in. Now, people who know me would NOT call me very handy, and I have never really built anything, so I thought I would start small. I decided to assemble my desk chair first. NOTE: for those of you who have never shopped at Ikea, the way it works is you pick out what you want, get all the parts, but you are responsible for full assembly. Nothing comes ready made (not even the desk chairs). 

All of the furniture I would have to build 

The interesting thing about this whole process is that we only had one swiss army knife screw driver between the 4 of us, and no other tools, so really, until much later on in the building process when we borrowed some tools from a neighbor, we had to do some major improvising. After about an hour or so of screw driving, tightening bolts, putting on handles, and so on, my chair was finally complete. It was the first thing I ever built, and though my hands were rubbed raw from working, I was so happy and felt very accomplished. 

My lovely new desk chair

After the chair was built I really wanted to take a break, but if the chair took over an hour, I couldn't even imagine the time that I would need to spend on the bed, desk, and wardrobe. I figured I better keep going. It was now time for the wardrobe. I don't know why I didn't do the bed next, which would have been the logical next step incase I wanted to stop for the night and sleep, but leave it to me to NOT think of this before hand... Most of the pieces of the wardrobe weighed more than I do so building it was a real challenge. I had to do it all on the ground and then get one of the guys to help me lift it up. It probably took about 3 hours, I almost broke my back, and I had hands that were bright red and blistered, but I got it done! Well almost... I was in the zone and there was no turning back, but I had messed up on the door hinges so I decided to hold off on affixing the doors until after the bed was made. I needed a change of scenery because I was getting very frustrated and didn't want to break anything :-) 

It looks so simple but it was so complicated! 

At this point I had been building for about 5 hours and I still had an entire bed to make. I was originally so excited about getting a big bed for the first time in my life, but looking at all the things I was going to need to assemble, I suddenly wanted a twin-bed again! When it was all finished, however, I was very very very happy with my choice :-) Building this bed was not easy, and ikea doesn't have written instructions, only pictures, so it was quite a challenge, and there was a lot of messing up and doing over! Not only did I have to build the frame, but I also had to build the storage drawers that come with the bed, meaning I had to install the sliding tracks, build the drawers, put them in the frame, and so on. It was going to be a long night! 

Beginning stages :-)

After another hour or so I was famished. I had been working for hours and not eaten anything, so the guys and I decided to go down and get some food. Luckily we live near some amazing restaurants, including one of the best sushi places I have ever been to! Michael likes sushi even more than I do so we will be frequenting that spot quite often! I ate so well that night, and regained my strength for all the work that still needed to be done. 

Morgan and Michael enjoying their Sushi platter! 

After a delicious dinner it was back to building! I continued until almost 3am, but managed to finally finish (with a little help at the end from Ben who had just come back from Ikea himself). I still had the drawers to build but I felt that it could wait until the morning. I was so tired, sore, practically broken, and I desperately needed sleep. I have never slept so well in my life (and on a big bed that I built with my own two hands!) 

I'm getting there! Making good progress 
Finishing touches! 


I woke up the next morning barely able to move which was not good because I still had drawers and a desk to build! My hands could hardly close, my back was completely done for, and muscles were hurting that I didn't even know existed. Schlepping and building was a great workout except I didn't have much time to recover before starting the cycle again. I finished the drawers quickly enough, and then it was time to start with the desk. 

4 drawers down! 

The desk was probably the easiest thing to build, and since I was now an expert at this whole manual labor thing, I breezed through it pretty quickly. By this point, however, I had maybe 30% mobility in my body due to extreme amounts of pain, my hands were suffering from blisters, and the skin was rubbed raw, but regardless of this fact, I kept at my work until it was finished! The results were amazing and I'm so happy I worked so hard for this. Not only did I buy everything in the room, but I single handedly built it all, and that is an amazing feeling. I will appreciate everything I have here in a whole new way. 

My desk slowly coming together  
The final product! 

Though the room is still plain (I have a lot of decorating to do), it is slowly and surely coming together and feeling more and more like home everyday. We have a lot of work to do with the place but it is really phenomenal here. It is so open and bright and the atmosphere is just perfect! The location can't be beat, the roommates are amazing, and I couldn't be happier. It was meant to be :-) 

I took a few pictures of the place for you all to enjoy!

One of the two views from my room

Beautiful bathroom! 1 of 2.5 

Love the big sink! It's very multipurpose 

Part of our balcony. It extends farther to the right 

View from our balcony 

Another balcony view 

Our Hallway 

Another amazing view

Our brand new kitchen 

Our laundry room which is now being used for storage until we get our machine

Other than that I am just finishing up decorations and final touches and hopefully by the end of next week everything will be done! We finally have internet, however we are still not getting hot water, which makes showing a very miserable experience... Hopefully that will be fixed tomorrow :-). 

Until then <3,
Jordana Simone 

1 comment:

  1. Jordana,

    I've been reading your blog and am impressed. Sandy and I can relate to your IKEA building project. Did your Hebrew teacher, Eti, work for e-teacher? I took a Hebrew "on line" class and my teacher was Eti from Tel Aviv. She was wonderful.
    I'm happy for you. Celia Norian