I really am not a fan of any kind of shopping. Never have been. When I was a younger parent, I used to say that it was because I had to haul around little kids with me, usually with at least two toddlers, one on each hip. Let’s be honest. Who really likes to shop with small children??
Fast forward through all the hell years and I still don’t love it. Not clothes shopping and especially not grocery shopping. For the love of God.. I hate grocery shopping!
But there is one thing I do love shopping for – Ikea anything. I can sit for hours deciding what I want, figuring out my budget, Pinteresting my plan all in the hopes of designing my next “big idea” (yes, there are lots).
I was recently asked by my aunt to decorate for her wedding. Um… YAAASSSSSS! Having three.. yes, THREE, weddings myself, I consider myself almost an aficionado (at least the do-it-yourself-kind lol). First order of business – build an Ikea plan to help with the limited budget. There’s always a steal to be had if you do some research and planning.Without further ado, here are my tried and true top six tips to make the most of your Ikea trip.
Determine your budget– ahead of time. Ikea is just like Costco. Go in for one thing and POOF- broke as a Bushtown hooker. (Yes, I promise this is a thing. Stay tuned for another story on this fun little ditty.) It’s so easy to get off track and then you end up at home with a new crazy coloured duvet and a hundred coordinating throw pillows that you think will be the “perfect statement piece” sometime down the road
Go to Pinterest and do some research. Chances are, someone has already looked up what you need. There is literally something for every single project. In my case, there were some amazing wedding ideas using IKEA finds for my next big wedding planning project. (Watch for some upcoming posts on all of them!) In the mean time, you can check out some of my favorite Ikea hacks on my dedicated board Pinterest board.
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Download the IKEA app on your phone and start searching for your items. If you don’t know exactly what you want to shop for, you can type in a general search to start. Think outside the box on this one. If you are searching for table cloths, check out their fabric line, curtain panels or even fitted bedsheets (especially great for picnic tables!!). I found it best to filter the sort them all by price (cause – a deal is always good, no?). Once you find what you want, add it to your cart. This is awesome because it will keep you on track, remind you of all the great scores you have found, tally up your ever-increasing bill (START THE CAR!!), and tell you exactly where to find all these great things when you get there so you don’t waste all your time searching. Download the Ikea app here.
Grab a cart, a measuring paper and pencil when you get there. Don’t assume that you can fit all your goodies in that lovely yellow bag. Trust me on this one. It won’t happen. Even with all the good intentions and nagging of your spouse. And the measuring tape- honestly.. I have ZERO spacial planning skills. I always measure what I need and then remeasure at IKEA to make sure that my grand ideas actually fit. Nine times out of ten, they don’t and I have to adjust my plan.
Don’t forget to check out the discount section. There are a ton of reasons that people bring stuff back. I once got a really beautiful cabinet that I turned into a printer/file/paper/mail station for a smoking good deal because the staff put the back panel on the wrong way so the nice side was facing out. Which worked out great, because – who really looks at the inside of the cabinet anyway. For $50 off, I certainly won’t.
Sign up for IKEA Family– BEFORE you hit the checkout counter. You can do it ahead of time before you go to the store, but if you forget, you can easily sign up at the kiosks right at IKEA. Signing up for this nifty little program enters you into a monthly draw for a $100 gift card, monthly product offers and deals just for IKEA Family members, extra time in their Smaland (free babysitting YES!!) and an extended 90 day return policy. You can sign up by visiting the Ikea Family page.
I hope this makes your next Ikea shopping trip go super smooth. I have done this for all of my big trips there and it has definitely helped my sanity! Please drop a comment below if you have any of your own great tips to share when shopping at IKEA!