Friday, April 10, 2020

Couch in a box

I have been shopping for a new couch for three years. 
I went into one real store and left feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience
and underwhelmed by the pushy salespeople.

My online shopping forays were equally terrible –
too many choices and contradictory customer reviews, and 
how in the heck are you supposed to decide if a couch is comfortable 
if you can't sit on it?

Then there were the delivery issues. All of the online retailers I tried
insisted on a physical address for delivery, which I simply do not have.

Finally, in mid-February, I found a couch that I liked 
and it could be shipped via UPS in a box.
Actually, three really heavy boxes.
But before I unload the whole adventure on you, let's back up a bit.

My UPS packages are usually delivered to a dropbox on the side of the highway. 
I figured it would rain on delivery day and didn't want my new couch to get wet,
and how would a couch fit into the dropbox anyway?
So I re-directed the delivery to a UPS customer center in Albuquerque.
Alex and I drove there on Tuesday to pick it up.

I stood by myself in this lobby for 10 minutes waiting for someone to appear at the counter.
Luckily, Alex could keep an eye on me from the truck because she has been known to 
jump up and down on the doorlock when she misses me, 
which sets off the alarm system, which causes much chaos and embarrassment.

Anyway, GrumpyUPSman finally shows up, complains about the size and weight of my boxes, 
shoves them across the floor and leaves me to my own devices 
to haul them and lift them into the truck. Oh well. 
It would be good practice for unloading them once I got home.

One last look at the old couch before I bring in the new one.

Alex: WTF? Where am I supposed to take my nap?

As I began unpacking the boxes, it occurred to me that 
it would be awhile before I could sit on my new couch. 

Assembly would be required.
Funny how I hadn't noticed much mention of that on the vendor's website,
but how hard could it be?

When I found the boxes of parts and instructions, 
I was incredibly impressed that the vendor included an electric screwdriver.

Then I was incredibly distressed to find the sheer volume of screws that had to be screwed in.

The instructions seemed clear enough until I got to step 1 and spent the next two hours
Face-timing with a very helpful customer service agent as we tried to reconcile a discrepancy
between the written directions and the accompanying illustration. 
Turns out the illustration was incorrect and no one had noticed it before.

Then I ran out of energy to finish the assembly and called it a night.
Alex was okay with that, having found her napping spot in the dining room.

Before I took a nap of my own, I re-visited the vendor's website to see how 
I missed the part about "lots of assembly and physical strength and patience required."

I was already five hours into the project and couldn't stand up straight.
Tomorrow would be another day.

Lo and behold, after a few more hours on Wednesday, I finally have a new couch.
It's very sturdy and comfortable, I love the color, 
and – most importantly – I can stop shopping for a new couch.

Now I have to start shopping for a new coffee table because the old one is too big and looks weird.
I'll be looking for something pre-assembled.


  1. Love the color...looks great with the rug. Can't believe the UPS guy didnt even help put it in the truck!
    If only the Lego people would make furniture, then we could just snap it all together. I also dream of room addition Lego kits...and houses. : )
    Cant wait to see the coffee table. Lisa G in TN

  2. Well you said it was heavy so you know it’s made well. I had no idea you had all those parts to put together. Usually you just screw the legs on. It looks amazing and beautiful. It adds so much to your living room. Another great job, Carson!

  3. Success! Hard won, but done. Looks great and Alex is pleased. Glad the ordeal is over.

  4. Love it, and am wondering if you could share the company. With two Corgis and a huge golden retriever girl I need to know what I’m getting is heavy and strong. :) We need not only a new sofa but also a new loveseat. I’m with you when it comes to furniture shopping; I just want something delivered to our gate. They should pay you for sorting out that inaccurate illustration for them!

    1. Billie, I ordered from Despite all my frustrations, I'm a believer in their product and workmanship, plus they say everyything on their side is manufactured in the U.S.

    2. Oh my gosh - I spent an hour on their site last night. They have vegan leather!!! They have the fabrics and colors I love! They do not use flame retardant!! I ordered a batch of samples and I am so excited. I really can’t thank you enough for sharing this. Have been looking at many places online for this exact style of furniture but somehow never found this company.

  5. I'm always weary about the "easy to assemble" instructions when buying something. I always chalk up how easy it is with how many fights it causes between me and my husband! Glad after all of that it was comfortable and so funny you are the only one that figured out the instructions weren't correct.

  6. Looks like a great sofa. Congratulations.

  7. Looks great! And while I sympathize with your struggle putting it together, I admit I fell out laughing while reading about it.

  8. This is hilarious. I personally would have begun weeping when I saw all the assembly parts (I nearly did just looking at your photo).

    I loathe assembling things. Come on, science! By now these things should come with little robots that assemble it for us.

    Glad you were victorious in the end. It looks marvelous!

  9. I cannot BELIEVE they included an electric screwdriver! Usually all you get are those little allen wrenches. I have a bazillion of them from all the Sauder furniture I've put together over the years. How you get so lucky when buying on line I'll never know. I wouldn't dream of buying something like a couch on-line. Just seems too risky... what if it has been uncomfortable?!? :>)

  10. You positively amaze me with your initiative and energy levels. Good for you!

  11. It's always SOMETHING. If it's not one thing it's another. New couch shopping, hauling, assembly, bad info, and just when you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done and a gorgeous new couch----the coffee table looks a little shabby. sigh...

  12. Thank you for the connection and sanity of writing about everyday things in your life. It's comforting right now.

  13. You continue to amaze us all with your handy(wo)man abilities! I notice you chose a fabric rather than leather. Wondering if you'll find that it's a magnet for dog hair? I've steered clear of anything but leather for just that reason. Keep on keeping on and stay safe and well!

    1. It's totally a doghair magnet but Alex and Smooch before her much prefer upholstery. Go figure. I've purchased a new handheld vacuum and a new throw for Alex's side of the couch. We'll see how that goes.

  14. Thanks for this. I need a new couch too and have never heard of this company. You need to forward this blog to the company :)

  15. 1. The ABQ UPS man was a D$*k!
    2. Alex is SO CUTE!
    3. I'm VERY impressed that the vendor included an ELECTRIC screwdriver!
    4. OMG, are those baby Spikes?????
    5. LOVE your new couch!!!!!!