If you look around my house you see IKEA everywhere. From the furniture in my living room to the organizational systems in my drawers to the kid’s bunk beds. IKEA is one of those stores where you really can get it all for your home. If you’ve ever been, you know that it’s not really a store you run in and out of. It takes time. But planning ahead and knowing all of these little tricks can get you in and out faster without some of the well-placed hold ups!
Don’t forget to check out these great deals from IKEA on Coupons.com before you go!
Tip #1: Know what you’re looking for
IKEA is one of those stores where you need to have an idea what you’re looking for ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the amazing deals for super cool stuff and walk out with a cart full of useful things but without what you need. I speak from experience.
To plan ahead, I grab my smartphone and make a list of what I’m looking for. I can use the IKEA app to find items I might need, as well. If I need large items, like my TV stand, I go to IKEA.com and look for those items online. Doing the prep work ahead of time makes the experience at IKEA much more fun!
Tip #2: Take advantage of the map
When you go into IKEA and head up the escalator, a map of the store stands directly in front of you. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the layout. If you’re trying not to get distracted by all of the shiny things you didn’t realize you needed, you’ll have to be pretty disciplined. They have small maps that you can take with you that also double as your purchase list. Since larger items are usually downstairs in boxes in the self serve area, you’ll need the aisle and bin numbers associated with these items to find them. For smaller items, check around the displays for the boxes to load into your cart.
Tip #3: Pick the right cart
IKEA has several options for carts, from the large yellow bag that can be used to carry smaller items to the large carts downstairs that are made for larger items like beds and desks. Choosing the cart that your child can sit in or the smaller bulk item cart makes shopping at IKEA a lot easier. There are elevators that can take you and your cart from floor to floor. Only the bottom floor where the self-serve furniture section is has the large dollies. If I need two carts — which I usually do — I use the smaller grocery cart and then have one of my kids push it while I get the larger furniture cart.
Tip #4: Use the shortcuts
IKEA has shortcuts that can get you through the store more quickly. They’re swinging doors that can help you bypass a section of the store. If you know what you’re there for and are using the map, you can skip areas you don’t need altogether. This is a huge time saver if you’re there for just one room in your home!
Tip #5: Use the loading areas
The loading area lets you park for 15 minutes at a time. If you know where your item is and need to park close because it’s large, you can park there, run in, grab your item, load it into your car, and get out quickly. Be sure to be courteous in this area, though, as people with really large loads are coming in and out and need to have their car near the exit.
Tip #6: Preorder your items online
Preordering your items online and not having to pay shipping costs is no issue with IKEA. You can order what you need and pick it up at the loading area at the store. You get what you need and get home quickly to start putting it together!
Tip #7: Clear the way for large loads
I didn’t know this until I had to load my daughter’s bunk beds into my truck, but the metal bars at the loading dock are removable! You can see the holes at the bottom. Just remove them, load your things, and them place them back in the holes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to load around them!
Tip #8: IKEA provides twine, tape, and more
There’s twine, sometimes tape, and even small boxes that will help you prepare your items to be driven home. There are usually people there to help you load as well. Use them and you’ll be loaded up and ready to go sooner rather than later.
IKEA is an awesome store. They have great items that are good quality at fair prices, a restaurant with affordable food, and putting their furniture together at home is not as hard as you think. I put two bunk beds together by myself that I paid $159 each for! Plan to spend time there if you’re browsing, but use the tips to get through the experience more smoothly and quickly!