One thing I like about IKEA is their accuracy. Things fit together beautifully and you always get the right amount of parts—screws, nuts, washers—the stuff that would be so easy to mis-count when packaging the kits. For instance among the most recent pieces I’ve built are two file cabinets. The packs of small parts include a heap of small wood screws, sixty-eight of them. Both kits had exactly sixty-eight screws!
However, in one of the kits there was an extra flat washer. They show four. I got five. So now the dilemma presents itself—do I just toss the leftover washer into my can of screws and nuts, hoping to find a use for it later? Or should I mail it back to Sweden or wherever the kit came from? Or should I put it in a special place where I’m sure to find it in the unlikely event that, while assembling another IKEA kit, I find it short one washer? Yeah, that’s probably the best solution since all their parts are metric and I almost always build with non-metric American stuff.
But there’s a problem—which washer don’t I use? Which is the odd one, the one that shouldn’t be in the package? They all look the same. Oh dear me.