Going to IKEA is a pain in the butt, but it is a necessary evil, especially for any manager of an office or coworking space. If have a wallet as deep as the Mariana Trench, go ahead and get everything from somewhere fancy like Modulor or Minimum. And if you have endless amounts of time, get thee to the Trödel shops. However, the rest of us need to prepare for a quest.
Here are some tips on how to tackle your IKEA trip like a pro <ahem, like James, Zoe and I!> and make the most of out of going there:
1. Be prepared.
Do your research. Make sure you are going to the IKEA closest to you. And measure the space you are buying for, because there is nothing worse than hoarding – especially IKEA furniture.
Use their shitty website and read the notes below each item, which describes its exact size. If you are some kind of retro oddball, use the paper catalogue. But go with a list already made!
Bonus points: add the article numbers (in this format xxx.xxx.xxx) to a printout of a mood board-style wishlist.
2. Measure up!
IKEA think they are helping by giving you those tiny pencils and paper tape measures, but they are complete shit compared to a proper aluminium or wood I’m-a-construction-worker-who-drinks-Sternis-at-9-am kind of meter. You know, the ones that cost two Euros in Bauhaus.
Using a proper meter will help you to measure accurately, check your angles, get a sense of the volume of your space, and save you tons of time.
Pro tip: bring a floor plan drawn to scale. Then you can be sure you’ve bought everything you need, and left space for important things like fire exits and humans.
3. Do it from behind <hehe>
You need to know exactly how much time you have, including the commute. If you have two or more hours, go ahead and run the maze like IKEA suggests/forces you to. But if you followed through on points 1 and 2, you should be able to cheat and start from the back.
Walk in through the out door and go directly to the warehouse. This is the best way to avoid the unnecessary showrooms, impulse-shopping, student-parent combos, new families (gross!) and their strollers. You are here in a professional capacity.
Pro tip: if you do find yourself in the maze, look up the short cuts (yes, they do have them).
4. Use self-checkout.
It is way faster!
5. TREAT. YO. SELF.
Have meatballs for dinner. And if you’ve left yourself tons of time, have meatballs before you shop, and hot dogs after.
As well as these culinary delights, treat yourself to a taxi, Möbeltaxi or delivery service. IKEA do same-day delivery through another company, with the cost based on how much you bought. If you don’t mind waiting something stupid like three weeks, buy online and pay them to assemble the stuff for you. That way, there are fewer things for you to mess up, not least your back.
6. Stay loyal.
Consider signing up for a loyalty program, like IKEA Business or IKEA Family. You will get proper invoices, gift cards, and a not-that-bad user interface which you can use to track your business relationship with IKEA (and download the old invoices if you lose them). It works, bitches!
Try these tips and track how fast you go from UGH to NOM! Meatballs!