Last week, I went to Ikea for the first time in almost two years. Needless to say, the experience was full of cheerful browsing, delicious snacks, and silly-sounding names. What I noticed, however, as I tried to untangle myself from the endless halls, was that every visit to the Swedish furniture store inevitably seemed to include the same pit stops, no matter the day, no matter the time, and no matter my age. So, here are some Ikea essentials that I sincerely believe many shoppare (that’s Swedish for “shoppers”) will have similar experiences with.
I genuinely do not remember the last time I left an Ikea without a plant in hand. They know exactly what they’re doing, placing all the plants at the end of the showrooms, like a light at the end of the tunnel. When you enter the plant section, you know this will probably be your only chance to grab a little succulent, or a funky tropical plant with pointy leaves. After looking at so many carefully-crafted room demos, a plant seems like just the thing to brighten up your room. Complete with their perfectly-sized pots, it is a challenge to resist the biblical temptation of the Ikea plant section.
- Jars and bottles
Every time one enters Ikea, it seems like they have a new collection of bottles with those fun snap-off caps, or jars with ridiculously large cork lids. They are just begging you to use them as water jugs, or as fun storage for something, seducing you with their minimalistic look, their promise of usefulness. They also happen to be incredibly cheap. Two dollars and I could be the best hostess in the world with my curvy water jugs? 3.99 and I can fill a jar with some colourful rocks for decor? Sign me up! There is quite literally no downside, until you remember that you have about eight jars at home collecting dust from your previous Ikea visits to this very same shelf.
- Stuffed animals or throw pillows
I want to say this will depend on your age, but this really depends on your personality, your being. Nonetheless, stuffed animals and those fluffy five-dollar throw pillows essentially hold the same purpose: they give you something cozy to hold. Plus, Ikea has some absolutely innovative designs. They had a line of stuffed fruits and vegetables when I was twelve, and I bought two of each. I could not have asked for a better way to fall asleep than snuggled up next to my carrot, broccoli, and strawberry, all with faces.
- A useless appliance
Yes you have a kitchen sponge, but this one is colourful, and, get this, it’s on a stick. I mean come on, you’ll use it every day. Yes, you absolutely need the foldable knife rack, what if yours starts to take up too much space? Efficiency and minimal clutter are key. Now this little wooden phone holder is just adorable, and so practical! It’s a need, not a want. This and more on “lies we tell ourselves to justify our purchases,” after this short break.
- Something from the As-Is section
Reserved for only the most seasoned of shoppers, I saved this for last. The average Ikea browser would usually let this section of the store go by without a second glance. But once you discover the ultimate sale section, the absolute free-for-all that is the As-Is corner, you know your shop at Ikea is never complete without a visit to the damaged, old, wasteland with its items 60 percent off. You might find a 50 cent garbage bin, you might find a 20 dollar wool rug. You might also find a drawer for 20 percent off with three of its four wheels missing. The uncertainty of the As-Is section is what brings you back, every single time.