5 Dirty Little Secrets – IKEA edition

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Lover or hater? I’ve never met anyone who said ‘take it or leave it’ when it comes to IKEA. Either you L.O.V.E. it (plan ahead, research online, use the 3d planning tool, save up) or you H.A.T.E. it (wait for other people to go, put your order in, beg hubby to go instead of you or buy other people’s IKEA goods on eBay instead of going to the planet that is the IKEA store).

{Hand up, girl guide style} I L.O.V.E. IKEA. Always have. I’m a fan of automation, streamlining, I love the DESTINATION more than the JOURNEY. And IKEA gets you there fast. All those rooms set up in-situ – all the hard work done, just pick a ready-made home decorating solution and (a whole lot of blood sweat and tears later) you’ve got it assembled in your own home. Even with one shelf which shows the raw wood because it was put in the wrong way, I’m still loving it.

In fact – it has become quite a little ritual in our house to purposely put one shelf or such around the wrong way because the man-of-the-house always seemed to do it by accident we just don’t feel the piece is quite finished unless it’s left unfinished.

I think the only way to LOVE IKEA is to ensure you have all of your meatballs-in-a-row before you go. Here are my 5 dirty little IKEA secrets that are sure to get me through with a smile right to the very last allen key:

  • Layer your clothing. Maybe it’s my age (44) but I find once I’ve mastered one ‘situation’ (kitchen/bathroom/living/dining) I’m pulling at my clothes and getting hot around the collar. I may or may not do every single IKEA visit sans bra. Nothing more comfortable than no-bra, right?
  • Add an hour either side of the time you thought you would need. Make whatever excuse you need to in order to get the kids looked after (doctors appointment, important business meeting, accountant to sign papers… ). Steal that extra hour either side of the time you originally allocated and you’ll be sure keep the smile from turning upside down.
  • Ask a staffer for assistance. Say you have a bad back or you just gave birth 2 weeks ago or something believable and I AM TELLING YOU, that little yellow shirt will buzz around, pulling flat packs out of Aisle 20 Position 18, wheeling your trolley to the register quicker than you can say EXPEDIT. (if you seem quite capable/able when you ask for assistance, all you will get is the finger at the end of a yellow shirted sleeve pointing you in the direction you should go and do everything yourself)
  • Pack a change of shoes. WITHOUT FAIL, if you have a pair of sandals or thongs handy to swap out the leather flats/funky runners you arrived in I promise you it will feel like a cool shower just as you’re about to give up.
  • After you’ve paid (don’t forget to validate your parking), ALWAYS visit the snack bar and treat yourself to a hotdog, icecream, warm cinnamon scroll, party pie and that divine amber liquid from the gods: post-mix cola. After the warzone you’ve been through thus far, you deserve it. Especially given the fact you’ve yet to convert your flatpack into a useful household item. This is the half time intermission. Go for gold. Sugar up. Salt up.

BONUS TIP for those who need to go to IKEA to get one single item and know exactly where said item is situated in the store… drive your car DIRECTLY to the loading bay where you would normally load up your flat pack boxes. Reverse in like everyone else. Look busy, flustered, even open the boot/hatchback but keep the car locked. RUN – do not walk – RUN inside, go past the cashiers/registers and traverse IKEA in REVERSE. Get where you are going, grab your item, pay, get out to your car, close the boot, make a quick getaway. I have HEARD people do this.

What are your tips for maintaining a love of IKEA?

  • Vanessa

    I adore IKEA and agree that a successful trip should be rewarded with a cheap Swedish hotdog!

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