5 Tips for IKEA Shopping

Ikea Storefront on Some assembly required IKEA Shopping

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5 Tips for IKEA Shopping

I laughed as I pondered over what to call this post.  Almost everything we buy from big box stores these days required assembly.  Whether it’s Walmart or Target, Costco or IKEA, that’s the catch.  The online stores grab you as well, with their gorgeous pictures of what your living room/bedroom/dining room could really look like, sometimes at a much discounted rate.  They’ve got us with the price.  Some Assembly required, 5 Tips for IKEA Shopping is what I called it.

My Affair with IKEA

I have always loved IKEA.  The first time I saw some was years (and years) ago while visiting my Dad.  His family had a cottage on a lake in Ontario and a lot of the cute furnishings came from IKEA.  It was love at first sight.  The clean lines and European style had me hooked.  Many have cautioned me over the years that it’s a fine product to buy if you never have to move it.  I would have to partially agree to that.  Most furniture that requires you to assemble it doesn’t take well to moving, jostling repositioning.  Remember, they’re put together with pegs and screws and a flimsy panel at the back.  I’m well aware, yet I still love it.  Again, the clean lines and simplicity of the style.  

But I still love IKEA for the same reasons and have put together a lot of Billy Bookcases over the years, beds and dressers.  I’d still love one of those gorgeous kitchens they have.  Someday, although that may be out of my league for assembly.  

Bedroom Redo

Recently, I decided to redo my sister’s bedroom.  She had old dressers, bought new 40 years ago that was dark brown and most of the drawers fell out when opened.  That’s okay.  Sometimes we spend money on other things (raising kids, homes, food) and we sometimes put our needs to the back.  

I had a vision and part of that were clean, white dressers.  I searched online and at other stores but IKEA beat them all in price and style.  Again, clean lines and European style. I had my eye on the Hemnes dressers.  After measuring, I realized the larger, standup dresser wouldn’t work in the space so instead went with the Koppang 5 drawer.  

I borrowed a truck and off I went to the nearest IKEA to buy what I needed. (2.5 hours away) Unfortunately they were completely out of the Hemnes dresser.  6 hour round trip (gassing up etc) was long way to go.  I hummed and hawed and went with another set, the Brimnes, just as lovely, and drove back.  If any of you have ever bought IKEA the box(es) are heavy.  So I had about 5 boxes to lug into the house and up the stairs (first having to cover all the stairs with old towels, it was winter after all) I’m strong, but not young.  I called my nephew to come and help and then started on my own.  I finished before he got there.  

My other sister was coming to help with assembly and finishing up the room in a few days.  I hummed and hawed again.  As much as I liked what I bought, it’s not what I would have bought for myself.  So, I told my sister I would meet her back at IKEA the following day.  Which meant I had to lug all those boxes back down to my SUV and drive the 2.5 hours, load it onto a cart and return it.  I called IKEA first to see if they had it in stock yet and did my weight training for the day week and loaded everything back in.  

Rolling Along

I love the carts in the warehouse section of IKEA.  They roll so cleanly.  I am still a kid at heart and most times when I buy groceries, I get a running start and jump on the cart as I make my way back to the car.  Well, at IKEA, I got some funny looks as I rolled down the (almost empty) isles looking for my Hemnes and Koppang dressers.  I even spun around in one isle.  Loaded up the boxes onto the cart, and then again into the back of my vehicle. 


There are a few things to consider when assembling IKEA (or any prefab boxed furniture)

1.  If you can, ask a friend to help

Don’t ask your spouse or significant other.  Kait, at Communikait  has a cute post titled “Why Assembling Ikea Furniture is the new Couples Therapy”.   The Swedish Giants themselves jokingly refer to certain products as “husband killers”

2.  Watch the Tutorials

Most items have a video online that you can watch prior to starting.  Take a few extra minutes to save yourself some trouble

3.  Read the Instructions before starting

If you read the instructions through, you get a better understanding of the steps involved.  You can also get the proper tools that will work.  Might I suggest a power drill with assorted bits and a good “dish or tray” for the pieces of hardware

4.  Protect the Pieces

Either use a carpet or the cardboard box opened up, to lay your pieces on it.  Most IKEA pieces are white laminate that can be scratched or dinged while assembling.  Even a small pebble on the floor (or a stray screw) will ruin the finish.  Prepare for the best results possible

5.  Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same goes for IKEA furniture.  If you’re trying to rush the process it will be a frustrating venture.  Trust me.  Load up your playlist with some fun tunes and take your time

End Result

Again, I love IKEA furniture.  Even though I had to load, unload, reload, unload, load and unload (whew) I love the finished look (and so does my sister)  As my other sister and I put the dressers together, we did have a glitch along the way but when finished it looks so clean and stylish, ready for years of use.  The drawers slide so nicely and it wipes clean so easily.  I’m in love and I’ll do it again.  Maybe I should hire myself out?

Enjoy… and next time you go, take the big carts in the warehouse section for a test drive….it really is fun:)


Do you want to remember this?  Post Some Assembly Required, IKEA Shopping to your favorite Pinterest board!

IKEA Shopping


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I love to do anything creative and enjoy learning new things. Once I know how, I also love to teach it to others. Homemade by Cheryl, teaching homemade one project at a time! Have fun learning!

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