If you have ever been to IKEA even once you’d know how hard it is to figure out the store’s layout. I tell ya it is a maze that is designed to keep the customer inside the store. Even for the regulars who are familiar with the sections it is hard to get in and out fast. Most of the men I know detest IKEA shopping for the same reason. Especially mine who seems to have a extra dislike for the store as I want to stop and take pics for the blog every other minute. The kids however were (note the past tense) more than happy to embark on an IKEA trip thanks to the kids play area, i.e until they maxed out the age limits. Now I mention IKEA and hear a resounding NO from around me. To make matters worse the nearest IKEA to us is an hour away and really out of the way. So almost all of our IKEA trips are done in a rush while we are in the area visiting someone.
What’s a girl got to do in such dire circumstances? Devise an efficient IKEA shopping strategy of course! Here are some tips to make your IKEA shopping fast;
- Make a list of the things you want ahead of time. Use their website to plan your list and to familiarize yourselves with the hard to pronounce product names. You could either use the ‘save to list’ option on their website and print it out or just add it as notes on the phone.
- Measure your space and make a note of it. Take a measuring tape with you or use the one they provide at the entrance (I just like to take my own). Yes, this is a must even if you are buying only small items be it the LACK shelves which we love by the way and have used in the family room and in my son’s bedroom or the RIBBA frames.
- Go on a weekday if possible. I know this is practically impossible for those of us with a day job. In that case go on a weekend but plan on getting there when the store opens. On my last visit I was there by 10.15 am on a Sunday and there was already a few people.
- If you can do without the help of an extra pair of hands go solo as it is nearly impossible to focus on your list with company and such cleverly displayed merchandise around. You are bound to walk over to a well organized living room set up and marvel at all the storage the IKEA unit has got. That will then lead to conversations of how you can implement similar ideas back home. Been there….
- Some people believe it is faster to work their way backward from the exit but I like to take the usual route via the entrance and do a quick hop through the upper floor.
- Keep an eye out for the overhead Exit signs. They are the short cuts! Depending on what section you are in the short cut might be an inner ring (like in the kitchen areas) or an outer loop (think kids rooms).
- Focus, focus, focus….There might be pretty looking stuff like this botanical Dorthy pillow to distract you but your list is your priority.
- In the Marketplace area, do a quick scan. Keep an eye out for things that you usually use or might need. This is where I remember every day items that were not part of my list like these flat woven rugs that are hard to come by sometimes.
- Focus on finding the items on your list even if a gorgeous giant world map is calling your name from over the art aisle. Stick to your list lady!
- On your way to the checkout size up your cart and weed out the oh so pretty yet unnecessary things that you have amassed. It is ok to add to your original list but I would make sure that these are items that you really need and are going to use.
PS: The flowers or plant or ramekins were not on my radar until I saw them at the store. 🙁
But hey, I was out in half an hour!
Do you shop at IKEA? Do you take the shortcut?
Jennifer @ Brave New Home says
Great tips! I totally agree with the one about going online and finding what you want ahead of time. It’s great to browse but it can all get so overwhelming so fast that you overlook the items you originally came in the store for. And yeah, those exit signs are great for skipping over areas you don’t need anything from.