How To IKEA

I recently went to IKEA with my mum to pick out the perfect piece of furniture the parents could give me as a birthday present. It was a truly magical experience. Having said that, it may have been so magical because my mama and I were adhering to the rules and listening to the advice we’d been given by friends before we set foot in that inexplicably all-consuming environment. My family joke is that IKEA is a country – because my little sis once thought it was, and we don’t blame her. It’s another world, really!

So, as a recent visitor, here is my advice on all things IKEA…

ikea

Snackage:

I seem to include this in most of my How To type posts, but yeah, snack like a gorgeous little bird all day. IKEA gets you excited and drains your energy simultaneously – plus you need maximum protein for all the joyful jumping around when you see that perfect bedding set or sink for the bathroom!

Jot down:

I am terrible for seeing things and then just NOT bothering to write down the codes or bizarre names – I never think to pick up one of those little cards and a teeny trademark IKEA pencil until I’m about halfway round the showroom and I’ve already forgotten everything I had wanted to pick up in the warehouse below…so yeah, even if you just have a flight of fancy and like the idea of that one particular thing – the thing you didn’t know you desperately needed until you saw it beautifully arranged with the right lighting in a crisp clear display – write it down.

Take stock:

I don’t mean of the sexy goodies around you in this case – I mean take a moment and check yourself. Are you okay? Are you overwhelmed? Do you need to lie down? Darn, the one thing IKEA seems to be missing is a designated nap room…

The perfect time to do this is in the queue for lunch in the canteen. Take your elderflower presse from the fridge, eye up the various exquisite cakes on offer, plot your attack when you finally get to the front and present your tray to the excited chefs with the big ladles…and chill. Put the note cards away, tuck the pencil behind your ear, and breathe slowly. Pat yourself on the back, too – you’re doing great! Don’t stop now! Feed up and get ready for round two…

Measure up:

This is actually something that ideally needs doing before you set foot in the majestic showroom – measure your room, every surface and every wall, work out what specific size furniture you’ll need for that corner and this alcove, try and picture how many shelves you require and what distance apart they should be. Then you will truly feel the sweet victory when you come across the perfect sized items on the day.

Phoebe Buffay?

Am I the only one who hears IKEA said in Phoebe’s fake Swedish accent when she’s massaging Rachel? When I went to IKEA recently I kept hearing her say ‘my name is Ikea’ and giggling as I walked around…no? Just me? Okay, then.

Coffee time:

This is a tricky one. Coffee gives me life. I needed it to undertake this epic voyage into the unknown recently. However, it may make others extra jittery and anxious when they’ve had one before walking in. So be wary. Ask yourself: is the coffee a good idea?

(For me? The answer is always YES YES YES!!)

And now for the most important rule…

Be excited (but realistic):

Make sure you go to this megastore on a good day, like when you are 100% in the moment and happy to be there, BUT don’t let the excitement cloud your judgement and make you buy the more eccentric one-off items that you know won’t fit anywhere in your home…

Have fun, you brave IKEA ramblers! 

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