Not so easy? Melanie and Tarik attempt to assemble IKEA furniture

Should you put furniture together yourself or hire someone?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The newest IKEA store opened its doors Wednesday morning on Jacksonville’s Southside.

Cars filled up the parking lot very early in the morning. The first people in line got to take advantage of some freebies.

Hundreds of people were also there for the food, from chicken fingers to IKEA's famous Swedish meatballs.

But in the end, it’s all about the furniture and other goodies inside.

RELATED: Jacksonville IKEA store opens to great fanfare

News4Jax purchased some IKEA furniture and put Melanie Lawson and me to the test to see how long it takes to assemble an IVAR shelving unit with cabinets. 

"A piece of cake," and "I’ve got this," were all the things Melanie and I said to ourselves as we prepared to put together the IKEA bookshelf with cabinets -- with a little help from my daughter.

We had everything we needed to complete this task with no problems.

First thing first, we receive a suggestion from a Facebook Live viewer to use a muffin pan to organize our screws. So we organized all the screws and made sure they coincided with all the instructions. 

First, we tackled two cabinets. That took us almost an hour just to get everything together, with a plan of attaching the cabinets to the side brackets, which would hold everything in place.

But that’s when everything got a bit dicey. The instructions became more and more confusing. IKEA doesn’t provide you with written instructions, only words and illustrations.

Frustration set in and it got to the point when Melanie had to bail and prepare for bed because she works on The Morning Show.

As she left me and some of our News4Jax photographers to fend for ourselves, we found the instructions to be increasingly frustrating and we didn't appear to have all the hardware necessary.

That led me to grab anything I could in attempt to make the piece of IKEA furniture stand.

Realizing we were over our heads for the evening, we humbly called it quits after two hours and 15 minutes.

My suggestion is if you get a piece of furniture like this one from IKEA, you should set aside an entire day to put it together or pay somebody to do it for you. 

IKEA does offer to put the furniture together for you for a minimum of $89 plus a $59 dollar delivery fee. However, the assembly fee is typically 20 percent of the amount you paid for the furniture. For instance, if you purchase a furniture set for $3,000, it will costs you $600 to have it built for you in your home.

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