The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Jody vs. the Target Shelving Unit

I am not a handy person. We should get that out of the way early. It would be a lie to present myself as the kind of person that Home Depot would ask to write a “How To” guide. More likely, I would write the kind of guide that they were selling at Lowe’s that will apparently cause you to do something that could burn your house down.

But one of my hypothyroidism side effects is the whole clutter thing, and my addiction to buying storage materials that don’t always solve the problems they were intended to solve. My most recent purchase was not storage bins, interestingly. It was actually a small metal shelving unit thingy that I bought to put in the hall closet so that I can store some of my “I have no place to put this” pots and pans.

This shelf looked to be a good size to just tuck into the closet, and the box said “No tools required!”. I have some tools, but any time I don’t have to use them, I’m happy.
Today, while the oil company guy was doing my annual burner cleaning [no cavities!] I decided to put the shelves together. After all, the box had been sitting in the kitchen for a few days now. All the parts appeared to be included. More than enough, in fact. There were 3 extra snap-one-y things, and there were 8 little caps that served no known purpose (they weren’t listed on the parts list, nor did they logically have any place in the assembled shelving.) Speaking of the parts list, the drawings for parts C and D were indistinguishable. So that was helpful. Imagine two 2 inch lines. That’s basically what they showed me. Lastly, there were 4 parts missing, I believe because between the instructions being printed and the materials being packed up, they decided to go with a different model for C and D and there was no longer a need for a separate part to connect them. They had built-in connectors.

Okay, so I figured out all the parts and pieces. I started to read the directions, which clearly said “2 people required for stable assembly”. You know, there are a lot of different ways to interpret stable assembly. I’m pretty stable. Would doing this alone make me unstable?

The directions also highly recommended I use a rubber mallet to complete the last steps of assembly. Okay, show of hands: who here thinks a rubber mallet is actually a tool and therefore the “no tools needed” claim on the outside of the box is pure crap? Ya, that’s what I thought.
It was getting to be time for me to go to work, because the oil burner guy was done. My shelving was pretty much the most unstable thing I’ve ever built at this point. I didn’t have time to get a rubber mallet before leaving, so I’m just hoping the dog doesn’t try to climb on the thing while I’m gone.

If you want to try to simulate the stability of my shelving, get 4 sharpened pencils and a piece of paper. Jam one pencil into each corner of the paper. Stand this up on your table. Voila. You have a paper shelving unit from Target, with no tools required!

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  1. Anji

     /  January 13, 2010

    I built the same sort of thing a few years back. It's leaning against the wall in the garage as I write – it thinks it's holding the garage up.
    Just don't put anything breakable or likely to roll on the shelves.
    Why would anyone want to own a rubber mallet?