Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to have a successful IKEA trip!

Remember that feeling you would have the night before leaving on a big vacation? Or that excitement the night before going to a big amusement park?

Well, that's the feeling I have each time I am approaching a trip to IKEA.
For those who have not ventured into the world of IKEA, it is a home furnishings company from Sweeden. They provide lots of space saving ideas and options for lower costs. Basically, you do it all yourself - you browse, pick out, put the item on a cart in the warehouse, check out, load your car - all by yourself. Then, when you get home, you get to put it all together yourself.

Last Saturday, my best bud/next door neighbor decided to make the trip to the Atlanta IKEA. Weeks before, I start looking through the catalog and online at different things that I hope to buy. Their website comes complete with measurements. Jeremiah and I usually measure out what it is we hope to get, deciding if it will fit well in the space we have. Such was the case this trip - I hoped to buy storage shelves for my basement.

We decided on the GORM shelves...after measuring the basement, we decided 6 should do the job.
Get lots of sleep the night before (although this is always hard for me since I usually so excited!!!) The morning of the anticipated trip, I usually make sure that I have on comfortable shoes.

This particular trip, I made Chai tea for Ashlee and I to sip as we traveled.

I had my list prepared - including measurements and prices of all that I hoped to find. And I had a budget! This is like no other shopping experience. My friend Tracy once told me that she only takes cash so that she will not be tempted to shop off her list.

We also took Ashlee's mini-van, with the back seat taken out. You can see the size of the boxes listed on their website as well. Make sure you have a good way to haul your buys.

A few fun perks about IKEA - They have extremely cheap food! So we always plan to eat there! Who can beat $1 cinnamon rolls and 50 cent hot dogs....$1 ice cream goes on and on!

They have a new program called "IKEA FAMILY." Upon signing up for this, you will receive a free cone of frozen yogurt during your first visit. And each visit, you can get a free coffee or hot tea! This card also gives you special prices on certain featured items. Find out more about that here!

Also, if you pay with a debit card, you will receive a coupon for 1% of your purchases to use on future visits. I know, 1% isn't much, but I'll take a coupon any day! It seems I always use these to justify those impulse buys.

Ashlee and I had a blast on our trip! I love that the top floor of IKEA is full of display rooms. We made it a point to look in most of them. There are a few items I drool over each time...This TV unit, for instance. The gray/brown finish is my ideal!  See it pictured here in black.

And this awesome kitchen sink...with the wooden counter tops. They also have the Farmer's sink in a "double" sink.

Awesome patio table...with an awesome price. 2 chairs, a bench and a table! I'd never seen this before, but I will be keeping it in mind from now on.

This trip, I purchased some fabrics to cover my ottomans - I actually began sewing that very evening. I found the easy tutorial on Pinterest.
I added a small ruffle to the bottom! 1. Because I am still proud of my ruffle sewing technique (read about that here.) and 2. Because it covers up an uneven hem!

Remember how I mentioned that you have to load all your purchases yourself? Well, I had not thought about the fact that my traveling companion was very pregnant. Therefore, I did the lifting of all my shelves.

That's right, I stacked my 6 shelves proudly on my cart. Ashlee followed behind me in like with our buggie full of other purchases. I had chosen comfortable shoes, however, I had not considered that my shoes needed to have good traction. With all the weight of my wooden shelves, corners and turns proved to be quite difficult.
After check out, we decided to cash in our coupon for the free frozen yogurt. Pushing a heavy cart with slippery shoes is even more difficult with an ice cream cone in hand. Eventually, we made it down the elevator to the parking garage with the shelves in tact! And I did it all by myself with my ice cream cone! 

We are in the process of organizing the basement - here's our progress so far! More to come! Much more to organize!

If you would like to order a free catalog from IKEA, you can do so here.

What's your favorite IKEA impulse buy?


  1. Love you're covey creativity! I've got to come see the house SOON! Love you

  2. I love those shoes! And I just ordered my catalog. Yay!

  3. Amy - anytime :)

    Lydia - Forever 21 for $7!

  4. 1) I love the patio table. 2) I love your purse!

  5. yay! planning an IKEA trip very very soon. I am soo excited! Love your nifty little blog :)