Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth.

One of my roommates moved out this week. Unfortunately it was the domestic roomate who had also apparently supplied a lot of things that are necessary to a household which you never think about until they're gone. Things like:

- a broom
- a kettle
- pots and pans
- tupperware

Luckily, the new roommate who is replacing her brought some great pots and pans, so, she can stay. The other good thing about this situation is that it necessitates a trip to the happiest place on earth...IKEA!

I've had a lot of discussion with people about Ikea, and it seems that most people feel pretty extreme about the Swedish furniture store, and either like me, think that honestly this had better be what any kind of worthwhile after-life is like, or absolutely hate the place, and suffer from panic attacks brought on by the overwhelmingness that is Ikea.

Here are some of the reasons Ikea is so awesome.

- They have a playplace for your kids. This is a situation for everyone involved. Parents can spend time childless picking out furniture, kids get to play in a ball-pit, Ikea makes more money off of parents having childless time to shop. My first exposure to Ikea was as a child who hung out in the play area. It was great.

- Food! $0.50 hotdogs, $1 frozen yogurts, cinnamon rolls, Swedish meatballs, it's all so good! Shopping is hard y'all. You need sustenance.

- They're still a privately owned company. Ok, I guess not everyone would find this awesome, but I find it fascinating that for an organization of it's size, Ikea still hasn't gone public.

- They have so many things you need, or don't realize you need until you're there, and then you HAVE to buy them because they're only like $5, and have a ridiculous name, and are cleverly packaged.

So, right, Ikea, it's awesome. Here's how to get the most out of your next Ikea excursion. While, I don't necessarily like telling people "You're doing it wrong!" The following guide is based on years of Ikea-shopping experience. I wonder if they'd hire me for something like this...

Anyways, how to get the most out of your Ikea shopping experience.

1. Going to Ikea is nothing like going to the grocery store, Target, or the Gap. Ikea is an event. Therefor, do not even bother if you are not going to treat it as such, and devote a good chunk of hours to your shopping excursion.

2. Upon arrival, get yourself a cart, and a hotdog. The $0.50 hotdog provides a nice combination of carbohydrates and protein which will be necessary for the next couple of hours.

3. Walk through the display areas. Take your time. Enjoy yourself. Look at how they have things arranged. Have a pen and paper handy, or take notes on your iphone, to remember the names of items you want, because they're all in Swedish, and you will not remember them.

4. Once you've walked through the displays, you get to the best part. The Marketplace!!! Here is where you find all of that awesome aforementioned stuff that you can't live without. The place can seem kind of confusing, but it's really just a giant circle, and there are arrows on the floor so actually, it's not confusing at all. Be sure to circle through a couple times, because otherwise you will miss important can't-live-without items. I personally prefer going through 3 times, just to be sure.

5. After you've finished up, bring your goodies to the check-out line and don't forget to check out the items they have right before the cash registers, because that is seriously where they keep the best stuff, and you will be very sorry if you pass it up.

6. After you've paid, treat yourself to a frozen yogurt cone for $1, and if you've timed your trip right, and they are close to closing for the day, you can buy cinnamon rolls for half the price, which is basically free, so you'd be a fool not to.

And that, is how you properly shop at Ikea.

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