For those who need some context, I’ve just moved into a new house with all my old stuff, half of which needed to be re-assembled upon arrival. So here is what I’ve learned, and if you are wise, take heed my friend: 

  1. Plan way in advance
  2. But be ready to improvise, life is not subject to your plans
  3. Don’t believe the truck driver when he says he knows how to get to your place
  4. Be sure to have an interpreter on hand
  5. It helps to know people who know people
  6. When offered help, don’t act polite, accept immediately
  7. Except when its random people on the street, they just want lots of money
  8. Work in teams: Un-loaders, carriers, un-packers and arrangers
  9. Make sure there’s a lady around to make everyone tea (it helps if you’ve stocked up on clean water)
  10. Take one step (or box) at a time
  11. Practice hand signals before the time (for when you cant find the interpreter)
  12. Practice building lots of puzzles before hand
    • Make sure puzzle pieces are mixed with other puzzle  pieces
    • Figure it out without looking at the picture on the box
    • This will train your brain to handle the assembly of complicated furniture
  13. Always keep a pocketknife in hand, it will become your best friend.
  14. Your second best friend is toilet paper
  15. Also don’t forget your friends: Mr Screwdriver, Mr Hammer, Mrs Broom and Mrs Snacks
  16. When in doubt, turn item upside down and try again
  17. If the glove fits, it doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs there
  18. Sometimes, you have to make the glove fit
  19. If at first you fail, hammer harder
  20. If failure persists, wait an hour and try again: by some mysterious magic, you will have an 80% more likely chance of success
  21. It is possible to survive on a diet of cookies and tea (but not recommended for children and pregnant women)
  22. Reward all your voluntary helpers with chocolates and thank you cards.

Now you too are ready for the extravagant adventure of setting up home in India. Follow this advice and success will only be a week or two, a couple of cuts and bruises, and a handful of headaches away!