I am an IKEA junkie. It is not a guilty pleasure for me since I proudly shout it to the rooftops whenever I can. I am absolutely in love with this store and would be crushed if they ever disappeared. My new home was chosen in part because of the close proximity to the nearest IKEA. I have actually eaten breakfast there when they opened, shopped for several hours, then ate lunch there as well on my way out. No joke.
You don't have to love IKEA as much as I do (I don't know if that's possible), but I do want to help those who seem intimidated or dare I say scared of shopping there. IKEA can be a savior to young college kids, couples hunting for their first apartment, and of course for those in my current life stage, young families. And just to get it out of the way - yes, I realize it's not the highest quality furniture in the land. I am OK with that. Moving on.
The fact that I took 30 minutes to walk around my home to survey my possessions was time well spent to me. I know that I own a lot of IKEA products, but this was an eye opener to see just how much. I'm not upset with "my IKEA #," but I am truly surprised at how much this store managed to leak into every nook and cranny of our home. I'm also not upset at how much money I've given them over the years because if it wasn't to them, it would've been someone else, and would've been much more guaranteed.
Let's count the reasons why I love thee, oh IKEA:
Let's face it - IKEA is super affordable. When my IKEA toilet brush gets too funky, I don't stress, I just buy a new one since the price is so good. Same great price with their trash cans, pillows, kid plates/bowls/utensils, laundry baskets, and many others. Does everything last a lifetime? No. But sometimes that's a good thing since we tend to get bored of certain styles before too long. One more reason - you can't beat the lunch price with kids and the promise of a $1 ice cream cone is often enough to keep them in line. I'm just saying.
I absolutely love that you can walk into IKEA and walk out with a couch or bed or whatever you need that day with no 6-8 week waiting period. I am enthralled that I get to build it myself and take a sense of pride in my craftsmanship and cave person skills. I build fire!!! Do I get discouraged sometimes at all of the directions? Sure. But it's worth it, especially when my 4 year old son built one of our couches with daddy. Priceless moment.
The slipcovers on my IKEA couches can be removed and washed. If my kids destroy my couches in a few years, I won't be crushed that I spent so much on them since I didn't. I don't plan on buying expensive furniture until they are out of the spilling food phase (does that ever happen?) so IKEA is simply perfect for me. If I need a new LACK end table, which I use as snack and Lego tables, I know that I can buy a new one for $10 after it wears out. However mine are going on 5 years now though and that's saying something for a $10 table. The SKUBB boxes I use to organize kid clothes in dressers, CDs, and toys are super easy to unzip and fold up in-between uses, because of course I use them differently in every home we've lived in.
By this I don't mean the items weather well during a move. I'm not sure anything would during our 10 moves in the last 15 years. What I mean is that during one of my reorganizing fits where I move furniture from room to room, I can easily do this with IKEA pieces because everything matches. I basically know now my favorite colors (their black-brown and white pieces) so it coordinates nicely. Plus they all play well with each other because everything has that same sharp modular look and style. Plus it's a relief to know I can buy any number of baskets or bins there and they will always fit in my EXPEDIT and KALLAX bookcases of which I currently own 4.
My VIP Status
By now I am an old pro at shopping at IKEA. I know to go right when they open to beat the crowds, especially on the weekends. If I know exactly what I need, I tend to enter the store through the exits so I can just grab and go without having to navigate the showrooms. When I do want to take my time, I know that I can stroll through or use the helpful shortcuts. And I will not leave until I peruse the As Is section as I've found a lot of great deals there.
If you are wondering where the majority of my IKEA items are in my home, the kitchen came in at #1 with a total of 32 IKEA products. That is even with me counting a set of kid plates or bowls as only one item. Oh yes. My playroom and office tied for #2 with 29 items each and those were no surprise as well. My playroom is basically an IKEA showroom with toys added in and I couldn't be happier. It all matches, it's colorful, and easily cleanable. That's all a mom could ask for.
I hope you’ve warmed up to the idea of IKEA by now and I’m wondering if you are at all curious about your own home. What's your IKEA #?