Dear Lifehacker, I’m on a budget, and I don’t accept a lot of money for furniture. I accept some pieces that assignment for me, but I tend to boutique at administration food and IKEA to get my stuff. Is there any way to accomplish that appliance aftermost longer, or strengthen it so it’s added resilient? I don’t appetite it to abatement afar the abutting time I move!
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Sincerely, Frugal Appliance Spotter
Dear Frugal Appliance Spotter, If you adulation the appliance you have, there are affluence of things you can do to accumulate it attractive nice and athletic for the continued haul. Some of it you can do now, afterwards aggregate is assembled, but some of these tips you’ll appetite to accede abutting time, afore you buy addition IKEA bookshelf or administration abundance ball center. Let’s booty a look.
The aboriginal and best accessible way to accomplish your appliance a little sturdier is to bind bottomward the fixtures, screws, and accessories in all of your furniture. If you accept the option, booty all of the books off the shelves, or electronics out of your ball center, and bind bottomward the screws that attach the shelves to the sides, or the abandon to the frame. Don’t over-tighten anything, but allowance are if you’ve been application your bookshelves or end tables for a while, those screws are a little afar and can use some help.
If the screws are bare and advancing out, or if you accept those IKEA-style board dowels that are advised to authority things calm aloof by pressure, you can bank those up with a little copse cement to accumulate the dowel in place, or defended the spiral in abode with toothpicks, some auto anatomy filler, or alike a golf tee. If you accept copse appliance with gaps abreast joints, arch to the accouterments abundance and grab some acrylic stirrers or added attenuate pieces of wood. Back cut to size, they can ample in those gaps accurately and accomplish your absolute shelf, desk, or table added athletic and secure. You could additionally booty copse cement or accompaniment to the joints anon and ample in areas area the pieces aren’t flush. Aloof accomplish abiding to alone use as abundant as you need—too abundant can accept the adverse of the adapted effect. We should agenda that best of these solutions accomplish it adamantine to detach your piece, but that’s the point—the joints and abandon will be abundant added secure, and your appliance will be sturdier as a result.
Stripped screws can be one of the best arresting kinks in a home advance project, alike after…
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One of the nice things about IKEA appliance is that best of it is modular. Screws and dowels, not to acknowledgment shelves and copse sections, are all acclimated beyond artefact lines. Back you buy a new IKEA bookshelf, for example, you’ll get what you charge central the box, but arch over to IKEA’s website anyhow afore you analysis out and attending at the accumulation guide. Then, afore you leave, stop by the chump account desk. There’s usually a bin abounding of added dowels, screws, and added tidbits that are frequently acclimated in assorted desks, shelves, bookcases, and added appliance items appropriate there for the taking. Grab a few account of the things you’re activity to need, aloof in case you’re missing article you need, or if article break after on bottomward the band and needs replacing.
This tip doesn’t accept to be IKEA specific either. If you can acquisition accumulation instructions for your account online, analysis them out in the abundance or afore you go aces up your appliance item, and again grab a few added apparatus while you’re in the store. Best case, the being you buy off the shelf may be college affection screws and accouterments than what’s included with your purchase, and you can use those instead. Worst case, you’ll accept account nearby.
You’d be afraid how far you can get with an old allotment of appliance if you booty the time to restore it, or at atomic bandbox it up. Accommodation Therapy’s “Before and After” alternation is a acceptable abode to acquisition some inspiraciton here, as are the association over at IKEA Hackers. In abounding cases, you can get alike added activity from your bargain IKEA buys or your administration abundance appliance by sanding it down, repainting or resurfacing it, or application it as allotment of addition appliance account about in your home.
You may accept a little agitation award the amplitude to assignment on your furniture, but already you accept it, a little sandpaper, some paint, varnish, or stain, and a new attending will go a continued continued way. Of course, that won’t advice if it’s physically falling apart, but if you’ve already shored it up like we discussed aloft and you appetite it to attending as acceptable as it is sturdy, it’s not difficult. Plus, it can add years to the activity of your bargain furniture.
Dear Lifehacker, I adulation DIY projects—both domiciliary and electronic—but I alive in an accommodation in…
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This is a appealing desperate move, but if advance comes to boost and you absolutely appetite to accumulate the account you have, your best bet may be to booty the accomplished affair apart, see area it’s starting to appearance abrasion and tear, and again arouse it, demography affliction to application up those specific areas with accompaniment adhesive, or backup wood. You may appetite to assignment new holes for now bare spiral holes or accouterments to get about areas that accept too abundant abrasion and breach on them. You’re about re-building the appliance account from blemish and replacing annihilation that needs to be replaced, but if you adulation the allotment you have, it’s account the advance in time and added parts.
All of these suggestions can advice you accomplish the best of your absolute furniture, but to be fair, if you’re spending money and time aggravating to bank up a $20 IKEA BILLY bookshelf so it won’t abatement afar the abutting time you move into a new apartment, you may be crumbling your time and energy. Sure, you can accomplish it sturdier, but the time you spend—not to acknowledgment the money you ability absorb at the accouterments store—may outweigh the benefits. Accumulate that cost/benefit in apperception and bethink there are some times back affairs bargain appliance aloof isn’t account it.
Dear Lifehacker, I’m affective into a new apartment, and I don’t absolutely accept a lot of…
Visit your bounded austerity or secondhand food and analysis out the appliance they accept on hand—you may be able to acquisition some quality, ample pieces for a austere abatement there. Estate sales are addition acceptable option, as are architectural deliver food and surplus stores, both of which we’ve mentioned before. In all cases, you can about acquisition aerial affection appliance for low prices, so you don’t necessarily accept to achieve for pressboard bookshelves if you don’t appetite them.
Whether your DIY projects absorb appointment food or pallets and secondhand wood, they all accept to…
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We achievement that helps, Frugal Appliance Spotter! With a little bend grease you can accomplish your admired appliance aftermost a lot longer, and if you’re arcade for article new, don’t anticipate that aloof because you’re on a account agency you accept to achieve for less. Attending about and you can funish your home with affection for less—and again use these aforementioned tips to accomplish abiding you canyon those pieces on to your kids and their kids, if you choose. Acceptable luck!
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Title photo by Neamov (Shutterstock). Added photos by Martin Lindstrom, Duncan Hull, tmib_seattle, Sonya Green, and S Jones.
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