What IKEA doesn't want you to know about the 5×5 Expedit

At IKEA, $200 will buy you 25 cubbies of modern storage in a six by six foot monolith of melamine and ground up Chinese newspaper*. Similar items from fancy furniture providers can cost over a thousand more, so what apartment dweller with too many books, albums (said cubbies are perfectly sized for your divine vinyl collection or your cat) or doodads wouldn't put down two Benjamins and some quality allen wrench time for such cheap and copious storage? Ones who have had too much Apartment Therapy and not yet realized what I'm about to reveal.

This slab of sleek Swedish störage will be in your apartment förever.

This slab of sleek Swedish störage will be in your apartment förever.

You bring it home in four heavy but not unmanageable boxes, then you put it together (Hint: you really need a white rubber mallet to do this; without one you will become frustrated and chip the finish, I guarantee it. Why white? Because you bought the white one, what kind of modern design fetishist are you otherwise?) and then what do you have? a 6x6 foot thing that somehow weighs more than the four packages, and will no longer fit through the door, down the hall, in the elevator, down the stairs or in your car.

You will also need a white rubber mallet (Bøyg, not included) to assemble it.

Or so I hear.

You will not be able to disassemble it, at least not such that it could ever be put back together. You will not be able to sell it on craigslist for any price. You cannot recycle it but if you are handy, you can turn it into a hamster habitat. Your only real option is to abandon it when you move out, or if you are very very lucky, sell it to the next tenant of your apartment. You can also write it into the deed of your condo or leave it to a young relative in your will.

You'll need friends to help you assemble it. You'll need very good friends to help you get rid of it.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

* Actually, IKEA Expedits are made of "Particleboard, Paper, Fiberboard, ABS plastic, Acrylic paint, Foil" and all the wooden dowels you need, minus one.

15 Responses

  1. […] missed this one when the news broke. IKEA decided to make some changes to the iconic, omnipresent (and often immovable) Expedit line of shelving. Specifically, they narrowed the outer walls (perhaps to save wood), […]
  2. Ian
    Nope. Bought one 3 years ago. Broke it down for moving, and built it back up in the new place with zero problems (I've built about 15 Expedit shelves so far, 2x2, 2x4, 4x4....we move a lot). It served as storage for my young daughters' toys, books, etc. in their playroom. Sold the 5x5 due to a 1000+ mile move where I would've had to store it for 6+ months in a Pod. Now it looks like they don't make the Expedit (or Kallax for that matter) 5x5 at all. Wanted one for my new home office. What a pain. I will NOT suffer another Billy bookcase.
  3. laurilambchop
    well, that is a bit off base. Yes, you CAN sell them on Craigslist (especially now that they've been discontinued) for over half what you paid. We have disassembled and assembled the 5x5 we have twice without issue. It is THE BEST toy storage and room divider. Much love to the much missed Expedit 5x5.
  4. Hyperbolic BS. I have owned broken down and moved expedit or as it is now named Kallax for a decade and a half... I have moved many units after breaking them down several times.. what I love about the 5x5 is the room divider capability. I am disappointed it is no longer sold.. ENB..//
  5. Pixie
    I just bought the expedit 5x5 off of Craigslist recently and the seller took it apart before pickup. I then assembled it at home and have had no problems so far. Knock on expedit!
  6. what a negative article.. i actually sold mine. for TWICE the price to someone locally because the nearest IKEA is 4 hours away. It was super easy to break down and it held good for me for over 3 years.... so, um yeah. not true
  7. Richie
    Same here. Bought a 4x4 at Salvation Army, disassembled it in the store, loaded it by myself into the back of my Rav4. I then carried it piece by piece of a flight of stairs then assembled again in situ. Today I decided would be the day I move it from the living room to the bedroom's office niche, and I took off the top and three rows of cubes and dragged it on towels to the other room. It looks like it is holding up well.
    • Fiona Hutchins
      How do you dismantle it . I need to move mine upstairs and all the screws move a bit then stop. I am useless with DIY
  8. Gregg
    I'm figuring IKEA planted this shit. Look at the contrarians it produced! Or...this guy is a moron. I just bought my 5x5 today. I am looking forward to getting it together and stacking the records.
  9. Richard Hill
    Actually - This article is a piece of cr*p * I've taken apart and re-assembled three of these with no damage * two of the three were bought on Craigslist to avoid the flimsey and ugly Kallax * The Black and Red (rare .. Red is RARE - if you find one let me know) look far better than the 'Washout" white * Ok - the white rubber Mallet is helpful when the dowel just wont go in - but tamp in lightly. ... IOW - ignore this clown. *
    • Dear Richard, if you had the guts to spell out "crap" when you meant it, I might have told you where to get a red rubber mallet. Love, this clown
  10. Seems IKEA saw the light, and has re-introduced the 5×5 model under the new KALLAX-moniker. So all you vinyl jocks out there can rejoice the 5×5 albeit with slimmer outlines is available once again.... see it on ikea's website: KALLAX 5x5: <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50301543" rel="nofollow">(USA)</a> or <a href="http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/50301543" rel="nofollow">(UK)</a> or <a>(NL)</a>
  11. caliban
    Nonsense. Total nonsense. I've putchased several 5x5 white Expedit shelves from Craigslist, just fine. You being not able to effectively disassemble furniture doesn't mean everyone else is.
    • And naturally, if you can do it, it means everyone can.
  12. Rick
    Have assembled many IIkeas items and had no problems. Did fabricate a custom tool to fit into screw gun - to accelerate tightening up of fasteners. Have never found use of chainsaw.
  13. Mr E Clumz
    I am not a practical man. It has been said I am the clumsiest non-fiction character in history. But I think that's slightly unfair, cuz I could give both Mr Bean and Frank Spencer a run for their money. I have twice successfully disassembled and rebuilt a 5 x 5 unit. Dante could not imagine with the square of his levels of Hell the degree of torment and personal injury I endured, not to mention the apocalyptic imagery of the swearing involved. But I did it. I now own 3 Expedits. 2 of them have only been assembled once and thanks to the layout of the places I've lived it has been possible to move them as is. The 3rd is one that has been reassembled once and moved as a whole unit 3 times. It's looking pretty tatty but it's still doing the critical job of keeping my variegated detritus the appearance of organisation.

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