Ikea happened to us.

The last Wednesday in August, we went to Ikea. “We” included me and my husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law Sara.

In preparation for the trip, my husband and I made an exhaustive list of everything we were looking for (measurements included). But no amount of preparation can really ready the soul for a day of shopping in this massive store.

We were there for (wait for it . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . .)

. . . 10 1/2 hours. From about 40 minutes after the store opened until right after the store closed. We ate there no less than 3 times–lunch (Swedish meatballs!), a revitalizing coffee/cupcake snack, and dinner (mozzarella panini!).

To explain why we were there so friggin’ long, you must know that a lot was going on–we were shopping for a bedroom set, a crib, shoe benches for our entry area, shelving, bins, a CD/DVD storage shelf, and about a million other things which required a lot of deliberation. My mom was also looking around for benches and chairs for her new house, and Sara was window-shopping for couches and livingroom furniture for her new house.

To add to that, there was a snafu in which two Ikea reps (on two different floors, involving two different computer searches) told us at the end of our time there while we were placing our order for delivery service (well, what we thought was the end of our time there) that the dresser we wanted was sold out. So we reconfigured our bedroom furniture plan and switched out the dresser to another slightly less desirable one, only to discover after checking out that there were piles and piles of the exact piece we wanted in the middle of the warehouse area floor. Which involved trips through Customer Service and Returns to get back to our original order.

All in all, it’s very hard to nail an adjective to the experience. Was it fun? No, not “fun” per se . . . but was it hellish? No, not hellish or even especially miserable . . . It was just kind of stunning. Not stunning as in beautiful, but stunning as in getting stunned.

It’s something akin to that blank sense of surprise when something hits you hard, and though you can’t feel the effects yet, you know they’re coming in about 2 seconds. You’re in a strange limbo that can only be described as The Void Before the Pain.

I love Ikea because I love all the things we got (and the prices at which we got them!). But do I love shopping at Ikea?

We’ll just say that I survived it.

And that I need at least 3 years before I’ll be ready for another such trip.

And that if and when that next trip ever happens, I need my mom.

17 thoughts on “Ikea happened to us.

  1. Veronica

    So maybe I’m not so jealous of your access to an Ikea store. I’m sure I’d be sucked in for an entire day as well. Shopping can be so exhausting when you need to find very specific things. I hate shopping for jeans for this reason–it really can take me all day to find a single pair that fit me right (I’m short and have wide hips and a comparatively small waist for the size of my butt-lol). Do we get to see all the stuff you bought tomorrow?

    1. Jenna Post author

      Not tomorrow . . . but hopefully next week? I just need to get around to taking pictures of the apartment in its finished state =).
      And by the way, your cookies were FANTASTIC and Adam LOVED them!!! Thank you so much, Baking Queen!

  2. Twinky

    It’s so nice to be needed!! Actually, I found the day to be delightful, not either tiring or overwhelming. Amazing…..

    And jenna, I am so glad you are pretty much all settled! I still have laundry bins to put together, and that wall rack system that goes with our closet. The shoe/luggage benches are just perfect, and the one for our closet was just right for having a morning with “Jack” (a LONG overdue encounter!)

    1. Jenna Post author

      Yeah, Adam and I have remarked on your seemingly endless supply of energy. You’re quite amazing, Mom!
      And I’m glad that the furniture you got is working out. =)

      1. Pam Hdx

        Yes, she is. And I say that shopping for 10 hours is infinitely easier than laying tile for 10 hrs…or digging in your garden for 10 hrs…both of which she’s probably done. She definitely encourages me to not be afraid to just go for it.

  3. Suzie

    Wow! I don’t know how your husband did that. Mine could never be in a store for that long 😉 It sounds like you are getting all settled in though and that’s a good thing. Can’t wait to see the pictures once everything is in it’s place 🙂

  4. Whitney

    That’s awesome! I actually LOVE Ikea, but my roommates HATE the thought of being anywhere within a one mile radius, as if some mini-Ikea tornado will come up and swoop them into the store! I do their shopping for them now 😉

    Can’t wait to see pictures of everything you all got!

  5. Emily

    The first time you go to IKEA, it’s that way, but next time, you’ll have a very good idea of which items you want to spend 4 hours looking for. It gets better with every trip! So glad y’all had a productive trip!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Yeah . . . this is our 2nd trip (granted the first was 3 years ago, so it’s been a while). So hopefully by our 3rd, we’ll have it down pat and get outta there efficiently!

  6. Sydney

    Your Ikea sounds way bigger than ours for some reason! (Well, I’ve only been once a few years ago so I could totally be forgetting its actual size…) So glad you survived and can’t wait to see it all put together. How long does it take them to deliver such an order?

    1. Jenna Post author

      Believe it or not, the delivery people were there the very next day (the delivery window was something like 10am-2pm and I think they arrived around 1pm). It was 2 super cheerful guys that carted every single box to the very back of our apartment where we wanted the stuff–they were awesome.

      1. Sydney

        Wow! Props to Ikea! I would love for them to open a store in Quito before we move there in a few months so I can buy all our new furniture there….and then have it delivered. 🙂

  7. Pam Hdx

    We’ve done Ikea many times, but NEVER for 10 hours….and never for 3 meals worth. Wowza. It’s a stretch to do about 1/2 of that, after the long trip there (3 hr?) and then right back home. We went on a nursery shopping trip with Lindsy and Jordan last spring before her #2 was born. Fun.:-) BTW, when we were in Hungary a few years ago, we learned that they call it E’-ke-a….which makes me wonder what it’s called in Sweden.


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