futon
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I Set Up My New Apartment in Less Than a Day With These 7 Easy-to-Assemble Furniture Pieces

They’re just as easy to take apart as they are to reassemble.
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Moving is never an easy task. When I decided to switch apartments last month, I knew I had to start preparing early. There were the cardboard boxes to buy, the winter coats to take out of storage and re-pack, the kitchen appliances to wrap up, and the moving company to hire. Even after I moved in, there was the new apartment to clean, the unpacking of nearly everything I had put neatly away into suitcases and boxes, and—the most frustrating part of all—the bulky furniture to disassemble and then reassemble. But instead of taking a whole week to set up my new apartment, I managed to get everything done in less than a day. Here's my secret.

When I moved into my previous place, it was my first "grown-up" apartment after college. I decided to properly decorate and furnish it instead of relying on mismatched organizers and cheap furniture from my dorm room days, but living alone meant that I would have to do all the heavy lifting on my own (literally and figuratively). So, armed with an Amazon Prime membership that gave me free two-day shipping on basically everything, I chose to find all my furniture on Amazon. In my previous experience, the retailer always delivered furniture in compact, easy-to-maneuver boxes, and since it offers free returns, I knew exchanging any pieces that didn't work out would be less of a hassle. More importantly, I carefully scoured reviews and selected all my furniture items based on how easy they would be to put together and take apart during future moves.

My strategy paid off. When I moved this July, it took me about 15 minutes each to disassemble every piece of my furniture, which included my 80-inch sofa, queen-sized bed frame, computer desk, ladder shelf, shoe rack, decorative bench, and two standing lamps. It took roughly the same amount of time to put everything back together, and by 8 p.m. that night, I had my new apartment all cleaned and set up.

Below, browse the seven easy-to-assemble (and -disassemble) furniture pieces that made the daunting task of switching apartments in the middle of summer almost a breeze—in fact, my movers even commented on how easy my move was. Shop them starting at just $21 on Amazon. 

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Novogratz Regal Futon

A sofa is typically the main accent piece that defines a room, so I took my time when picking out my choice. My considerations were size, price, ease of assembly, and style, and Novogratz's Regal Futon ticked all of these boxes. The futon was delivered in a compact box that was surprisingly lightweight for an 80-inch sofa, and since it came with clear directions and all the required tools, putting it together took me less than 20 minutes. By the time I moved, I easily reversed the instructions to take apart its armrest and feet, then folded up the back to become a 40- by 40-inch square set. My navy pick is currently out of stock, but the Regal Futon is still available in mustard yellow or matcha green, and at a discounted price to boot. 

$329.00
($478.00)
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Amazon
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Zinus Gene 16-Inch SmartBase Deluxe Mattress Foundation

Since my studio apartment had limited storage space for my four large, 30-inch suitcases, I knew I had to get a bed frame that could fit my luggage underneath. That's why I went with Zinus' Gene 16-inch SmartBase mattress frame, which offers so much storage space that I even have room leftover. Assembling it is literally as easy as unfolding it (and like the brand's other SmartBase foundations, it requires no tools), but don't let its simple installation fool you: It's an incredibly sturdy base that's strong enough to support my heavy-duty queen Nectar mattress without any squeaking. 

$141.00
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Amazon
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Zinus Jennifer 55-Inch White Frame Desk

After more than a year of working from home due to the pandemic, I decided that my recent move was a good time to finally set up an organized work station. My first order of business was finding a desk wide enough to fit my screen, computer, printer, and books, and Zinus' 55-inch Jennifer desk has so far been a dream. The brand's instructions were so clear and concise that I put it together in no time, and there has been no squeaking or tilting that often comes with poorly constructed desks. No wonder this affordable option has more than 6,800 five-star ratings

$104.00
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Brightech Sky LED Torchiere Super Bright Floor Lamp

Nothing bogs me down like a gloomy day, and since many New York City apartments have limited natural light, I always make sure to pick up extra floor lamps to brighten my living space. Brightech's Torchiere lamps have been able to light up my entire studio apartment from end to end, and assembling them simply requires twisting the poles together—a five-minute process, tops. I took both of my lamps apart by simply untwisting them, and they were so compact, they even fit in tote bags that I could carry to my new apartment.

$62.00
($65.00)
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Amazon
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Homykic Ladder Shelf Bamboo

My new place doesn't have a lot of kitchen cabinet space, so I desperately needed an extra shelf to hold spices, plates, bowls, and mugs. I didn't want something bulky to take over my entire kitchen, so I settled on this compact ladder shelf that offers just the right amount of extra storage. Putting it together only called for a hex wrench (which came with it), and though it's a lightweight shelf, I've been very impressed with how sturdy it's been so far. 

$60.00
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Amazon
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Oceanstar 2-Tier Bamboo Stackable Shoe Rack

One of my biggest pet peeves is coming home to a sprawling mess of shoes, socks, and boots, so buying a shoe rack is always my first priority when setting up a new apartment. I bought two of these Oceanstar two-tier bamboo racks to fit my dozens of sneakers, Chelsea boots, and summer sandals, and they've saved me so much space because they're stackable.

$21.00
($28.00)
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Amazon
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Meridian Furniture Olivia Collection Velvet Upholstered Bench

When it came to adding a fun pop of color to my apartment, I knew I wanted something modern and minimalist, but still functional. I settled on Meridian Furniture's pink upholstered velvet bench, and three years later, it never ceases to get me compliments whenever people are around. Since it came with tools, attaching the legs onto the back of the seat was a cinch, and taking it apart simply required using a screwdriver to take out the screws. It's so easy to put together and disassemble, so you can bet I'll continue bringing it with me on future moves, too.

$233.00
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