Debbie And Tony's Photographs And Memories The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England
The Life and Times of Debbe & Tony from Southampton, England

Wardrobe Malfunction

wardrobe_malfunctionHave you ever had problems with a wardrobe malfunction?

Before you get to assuming anything from the subject of this post – it’s not anything like the Janet Jackson fiasco at the Superbowl several years ago, this is a wardrobe malfunction of the furniture kind.

When we moved house several months ago, it was necessary to dis-assemble our wardrobe, which had already been assembled and dis-assembled several times before.   As anyone who has worked with home assembly furniture before, especially items made of chipboard or fibreboard, they are really only meant to be assembled once and then left for eternity.  Neither the fittings nor the materials are meant to be put together and taken apart multiple times.

Well here we are several months ago, trying to assemble the wardrobe, and several of the bars that go across the bottom at the front and back that help keep the wardrobe upright had the wooden dowel pins broken or missing, so they had to be left out.   This left only the hardboard backing on the wardrobe in reality to keep it rigid and upright, which is not my preference, but the best that we could do at the time.

The wardrobe has worked well enough for about six weeks, but then several weeks ago I noticed that where we had been using force to move clothes to the the right in order to make space to hang something else, the strain had caused part of the backing of the wardrobe to pop off, and it was starting to get a little more wobbly than I liked.  I feared especially going up to bed one night and finding the wardrobe about to collapse, and having to do something about it urgently, when all I really wanted to do was sleep.

And so on Saturday, while trying to get my clothes together for our trip to Florida over Christmas, I noticed this increased fragility, and we decided to bite the bullet and try to fix the wardrobe.

The first task was of course to empty the wardrobe of clothes, and since we only have one wardrobe right now, it’s extremely full!  That left the bed absolutely covered in heaps of clothing, and little room to move.  I ought to note that fixing the wardrobe hadn’t been on Debbie’s agenda for that day, so by this time she was already pretty frustrated and frazzled.

Since we couldn’t move the wardrobe very easily, for fear of twisting it and ripping the connections apart, I thought it would be easiest if we tilted it forward and laid it on it’s front.   That way, we could position the back on properly, and I could use the staple gun (an invaluable addition to my toolbox) and make sure that it was secured on properly this time.

Naturally the wardrobe wasn’t going to lay flat on the floor with the doors still on, so I had to take those off, and I just hate those fiddly adjustable hinges that take forever to try and adjust so the doors are level too.   So off come the doors, lay the wardrobe on it’s front, and there are 2 shelves inside that want to poke out the back.   Ggrrrrrhhhh!   Stand it back upright, try and take the shelves out, but there is also a wire basket that is almost impossible to take out, and this is preventing me fron tilting one fo the shelves enough to get it past the brackets so I can take it out.  The brackets are also screwed into the side of the wardrobe, and I don’t feel like unscrewing these, besides which the atmosphere in the bedroom is getting rather tense by this time.   Matters aren’t helped by the fact that with my eyesight going, I get extremely frustrated at not being able to focus on things properly without my glasses on either.

I decide to give up on trying to take the 2nd shelf out, lay the wardrobe down on it’s front again, and the shelf insists on pushing out of the back, so that the backing board will not lay level for me to staple it on.   After several goes at this, I decide to give in and do things Debbie’s way, standing the wardrobe upright, and wiggling it so that we can get behind it and position the backing board in place.

With that done, I then proceeded to use the staple gun on it, giving it a staple at least every inch all the way around, but without being able to lay it down, the board isn’t perfectly straight, however so far it’s holding in place, and we are being careful to not put any unnecessary strain on it.   After Christmas when we have a bit more money, we plan to get a second wardrobe, since we desperately need the space, and if we put this alongside the first, it ought to help hold it upright, which should make it last longer without giving any more problems.

Needless to say, it was early afternoon by the time we finished this task, wiggled the wardrobe back into position, and then put everything back into it.  The atmosphere didn’t really clear all day either, not helped by the other task that I hoped to do, fitting a new security light out the back, since I couldn’t reach up enough to take the old one down that isn’t working.  Sunday was a much better day, which say me clearing up leaves in the back garden, and fitting the bird and squirrel feeders up.

Well that was our frustrating DIY weekend.  I am sure you have your own great stories about construction or maintenance projects that went wrong.  If so, we would love to hear about them.

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