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Why would you EVER go to Ikea?

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#1 diary~dad

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:02 AM

Ikea: Swedish for “Hell”?
By Joseph Kelly

Picking up Maisie from her Irish dancing class I ran into my sister Paulette with her six year-old son Max.  As Paulette had just dropped her daughter Charlie at dance class, and she and Max now had a few hours to kill, I asked what she intended to do with the rest of her Saturday.   “I thought we’d head to Ikea” was Paulette’s oh-too-casual reply.  I took a deep breath.  “You’re going to Ikea?”  I stammered.  “With a child?”

In an instant a nightmare world unfolded itself in my mind.  A cruel, evil blue-and-yellow maze had me trapped and no matter which way I turned I couldn’t find the exit.  My loving daughters, serene and kind, had inexplicably transformed into evil screaming banshees, tearing apart model kitchens, jumping on soft furnishings and demanding Swedish meatballs.  Susie, so often called upon as the sensible one in the family, had turned into a mindless zombie, picking up items we have never needed and will never use, croaking out in a ghostly monotone: “144 tea candles for $9.95.  We should get those”. I was suddenly snapped out of this torturous world by the sound of Paulette’s voice.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with Ikea?” Paulette wanted to know.

“Well have you at least got a list of the EXACT items you are going to buy?” I demanded, “A plan of attack? Have you studied the floor-plan on-line?”  There are many ways to survive Ikea, but you must be prepared.  DEAR GOD, YOU MUST BE PREPARED . . .

Sensing my unease, Paulette moved to comfort me.  “I have a budget.  I don’t think we can go too far astray if we stick to the budget” she reasoned.  Oh you poor, poor novice.  Sweet, innocent, wide-eyed Paulette.  Would we ever see Paulette or Max again?

Later that night Paulette called me.  She had invented some pretext for the call and we danced around a few periphery issues, but it was clear in her voice that something had changed.  What was it?  Whatever it was, it was something slight but unmistakable, only noticeable to a loving brother – inside Paulette’s soul something, somewhere, had hardened.  Finally I mustered the courage to confront the Elephant in the room.  “How was Ikea?” I asked in a measured and even tone.  Instantly, the line went dead.  After what seemed like an age, I heard a shallow intake of breath.  I steeled myself for her response.  “The budget didn’t work” was the only answer she could give.  The pain in her answer was palpable.

Suddenly it all came out in a gush.  Gut wrenching stories about light fittings she didn’t even know she needed demanding to be purchased at the laughingly low price of $34.95.  Tales of fights with Max over impossibly cute storage options brilliantly disguised as building blocks.  The shocking confession that both Paulette and Max, driven crazed and hungry from their wild shopping spree, had greedily enjoyed their meal from the Ikea cafeteria.  “At least it’s better than McDonalds” Paulette had sobbed.  “I felt as though I was only one purchase away from the perfect item, the one item that would transform my life and change the way I lived forever.  I felt such . . . such . . . Power . . .”

As I patiently listened to Paulette’s story of being seduced by the siren’s song of Swedish furnishings, I could only repeat the same phrase over and over again: “You MUST have a plan.  You MUST have a plan . . .”

Have you visited Ikea and lived to tell the tale?  Do you know of anyone who has taken a child into the store and walked out unscathed? Please share you tales of hope . . .

#2 Pearson

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:15 AM

we have done 2 trips to ikea recently for stuff for the new babies room.  Yes, we did the list of what we needed, and studied the map instore (to find out you are here, and the closest shortcut) in and out in 1/2 hour, first time with a couple of things more (that were on the list, but kept getting forgotten with my baby brain), and one that would have been purchased in second trip anyway (high chair, $10 off as the feet colour did not match the seat colour), and second time with nothing extra.  My child has NEVER torn anything apart, or gone wild in ikea. and we always reward ourselves with $1 hotdogs at the end.  

It is better, less stressful, if you know what you want, then you dont have to walk behind people who are on a go slow and look at everything trip, as you can find the shortcuts...

#3 mumsbambini

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

I love Ikea  ph34r.gif

I usually go during my DD's dance class too...... might have seen you there.  We braved it on the weekend with 3 kids, it was mad but quite funny.

If you know what you wan't, then it is great...........

#4 Puggle

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:23 AM

Pfffft OP, you and your sister are both novices.

Put the kids in the staffed ball room/play area and you won't have to share your meatballs with anyone.

#5 namie

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:26 AM

I love Ikea but I never go on the weekend!

I've usually always searched for the items online so I know what I want, but I still wander the entire store and don't usually spend much more than what I budgeted for the item.

#6 ComradeBob

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:27 AM

Why would you EVER go to Ikea?

Because if you have lived somewhere where there is NO Ikea, and you've had to pay through the nose for furniture that your grandma would think is old-fashioned and horrible, you will understand the allure of clean, simple, hardwearing affordable furniture that you can jazz up, or down, and which will fit up the stairs of your teeny-tiny house.

#7 diary~dad

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:28 AM

Thanks Puggle - I knew I was missing something . . .

#8 Duck-o-lah

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:29 AM


I've been invited on a road trip to Ikea (4 hours there and back) with DS. I politely declined, managing to stifle my 'are you for real?!' thoughts and sniggers.

#9 Persnickety_

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:31 AM

Because it is the most wondrous place on Earth?

#10 Ms Cranky Pants

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

Wash your mouth out! Ikea is Mecca for those if us without one in their local area!

#11 Sanchez2018

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:36 AM

all this thread achieved was to remind me I could virtual shop at ikea until our next trip - it's like the chocolate factory for grown-ups...

#12 Blueblue

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

I only take a certain amount of money and leave all cards at home.
Off to check out Ikea site Now...

Edited by fivestar, 02 August 2010 - 10:38 AM.

#13 Puggle

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:47 AM

QUOTE (diary~dad @ 02/08/2010, 10:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Puggle - I knew I was missing something . . .

You can also get your sibling to do your IKEA shopping for you. My brother is there right now, as I type. In all seriousness, he is.

He is however, sending me photos to tempt me into further purchases.

No, I do not require an inflatable ladybird cushion ...

Edited by Puggle, 02 August 2010 - 10:47 AM.

#14 diary~dad

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:53 AM

Even better Puggle!!!

#15 nessed

Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:54 AM

I don't take the kids to IKEA anymore. My 3 year ran through the place and then tripped onto a table edge and split his mouth open - blood everywhere.  He was having so much fun until that happened. Why do they send us around in circles to look at things - 3 year olds are going to forget to turn the corner!

That kid's playroom is a mad house!

But i love IKEA all the same.

#16 Guest_Buggylicious_*

Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:18 AM

My Ikea must be small, I never get lost and manage to get out before DS is upset (usually with a 15 minute stop at the slide). I never go over budget, I don't think there are that many great things there.

#17 Amanda_R

Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:26 AM

Yes we have been to Ikea.  Yes we have left 'unscathed'.  See there is this wonderful word....No. wink.gif

Oh, and 'Come have a look at this instead' lol. Tounge1.gif

I second namie's suggestion, NEVER on a weekend.  Tuesdays are better, much quieter.

#18 babycuddler

Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:47 AM

yeah another vote for weeknights from me! Richmond is open until 9pm every weeknight & the restaurant is open late too. There's hardly anyone there so if that's manageable with kids etc then I recommend it!

#19 ironbutterfly

Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:01 PM

I second the living away from a 'local' IKEA feeling.
Although when we do make the trip to 'the city' it's always the last port of call and we never seem to quite make it happy.gif
Online ordering!!! Never even have to step foot in there! And if there's something in the catalogue you know they have in store just use the phone!!

#20 Aggyme

Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:24 PM

I have never been to Ikea, but have dreamt of doing so many many times laughing2.gif

When i do go, i guarantee it will be a child free adventure!

#21 Amysha

Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:24 PM

Any seasoned Ikea shopper knows you drop the kiddies at Smaland, conveniently located at the entrance. Disadvantage is you only got 1 hour before they send your private buzzer beeping like mad every few seconds because your hour is up. One hour isn't long to navigate the maze but you can have a nice browse and by the time you reach the end of the maze there is a little pickup window to Smaland so you dont have to go back to the start. At least they thought of that beceause once the dreaded buzzer starts there is no way of shutting it up or stopping the glare from other shoppers til you find Smaland

Oh and two words that should never be spoken in the one sentence and that is IKEA and SATURDAY ffear.gif now that was silly.

#22 4littlemonkeys

Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:32 PM

I love IKEA!! Our closest IKEA is a 90 mins drive away, and I regularly leave home at 7 on Saturday morning - arrive in time to eat breakfast in the cafe at 8.30.. then start shopping when the doors open at 9. I am always out by around 10, and home by 12 at the latest.  Easy!!  So Saturday isn't always a crap day to IKEA shop - you just have to get in nice and early!  

We are moving at the end of the year to somewhere without an IKEA nearby.. I have already done up a huge list of things to buy before the move.  

#23 loropetalum

Posted 02 August 2010 - 02:33 PM

Don't go on weekends! That's hell on a pogo stick. I get there on a weekday just as they open, so much quieter. And self serve checkout is fantastic. I wish they took AMEX though.

My child is still small so he's stuck in the pram biggrin.gif

#24 Bloomer

Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:23 PM

Timing it is all about timing.. yes avoid afternoons on weekends, get there early and have +3 kids to go in the play centre.. My kids love Ikea and generally are pretty good.

I am  not so sure about having it not far away not looking forward to the traffic that will bring..

#25 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:32 PM

Why go to Ikea? The Antelop high chair. But buy it in Perth, it's $15 cheaper than Sydney for some reason. We crammed it into a suitcase to get it home.  ph34r.gif

Edited by heffalumpsnwoozles, 02 August 2010 - 05:32 PM.

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