Oh, Ikea…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. One, your crazy frugal pricing. Two, your seemingly endless options. Three, the organization potential in every aisle. Four, the impossible to pronounce names of your merchandise. Five, the acrobatic carts that can roll in any direction.
In all seriousness, I LOVE Ikea. If you are a home or organization blog reader, chances are you’ve heard of this store and how the simple systems can help you organize and decorate your home. You may have seen the many Pinterest boards and blog posts showing off creative Ikea hacks. And, if you are anything like me, you can really only drool over the items on virtual display, because there isn’t an Ikea near you…at all.
The first time I visited an Ikea, I was speechless…and so excited. What a cool store this is!! I want to come back all the time! But, sadly, it was almost 3,000 miles away and in another country. We were visiting relatives and friends, and we were back every few years, but since we were traveling, our ability to bring things home was limited. Each time we visited, I stuck to things that could be packed flat like plastic tableware and collapsible storage bins. But, I yearned for more.
Then, recently, when on vacation, I visited my first Ikea in the U.S. In the parking lot, I asked my daughter for a favor. I said, can you please be patient for mommy while we are in this store?…It is one of my favorite places. No lie. It is. We spent over an hour and a half wandering the aisles and picking up what could be stuffed into our already overflowing SUV for the six hour drive back home. (She did pretty well. She spent a chunk of time giving us tours of the various rooms on the upper floor as if she were a host on HGTV. Then, she found the fake computers and proceeded to do some “work” while we looked around. Pretty cute and kept her entertained).
For less than I thought it would cost, I was able to replace some items we bought several years ago from the other Ikea and add a few more items for our kitchen (mostly). Since we didn’t have a ton of space in the car and I have already put their storage bins and drawer dividers to use, I didn’t buy a whole lot more. Though I enviously looked at the spice racks that I have used for a multitude uses other than storing spices and the rail system with your choice of hanging doo-dads to organize pretty much anything–I knew I didn’t have a clear purpose for them and didn’t want to buy them just because I was there and other people had done cool things with them. Though, to be honest, two of the spice racks made it to the cash register with me before I surrendered to logic and told the cashier I didn’t need them.
Here are just a few of our purchases from that day:
We got a few other things including a bathroom rug, a metal colander, new round cork trivets, new dish scrubbers (so inexpensive here!), straws, and some other odds and ends. Nothing too big and mostly replacements or additions to Ikea items we already had. I told my husband that we’d be in trouble if we lived near an Ikea because I’d spend oodles of time and money there. He didn’t seem to see the problem with that–which is why I love him. He tolerates and usually supports my organization habit. He even found a desk system that he likes that we may have to get a hold of sometime soon. And, the good news is that I may not have to wait a few years until I step foot inside an Ikea this time. They are opening one only 3 hours away from us! (I know that still seems like a crazy distance to drive just to visit an Ikea, but I do have friends that live there to visit as well :) ). And, I can always order online if I feel like I want to pay the shipping. But, I really do love to visit the store in person. There is something about the piles of everything, the bright lights, and the endless possibilities that get me every time. Oh, Ikea, if only we could have a more permanent relationship. I guess I will just have to settle for renewing my love for you every so often–unless of course you’d like to come to my home town.
Is there a store that you love to visit, but only have access to at certain times or in certain locations? Does it make the place more special because you are not able to go as often?