"IKEA is a retail tower defense game where you are the enemy trying to navigate the maze without losing all your money before the exit." - Jason Kottke
My husband and I went into an IKEA store---once. I thought I was going have a nervous breakdown before we escaped. Years later, when I had recovered, I asked my husband to drive me to the same IKEA store (it was a long way from where we lived) and he flat-out refused. We've never been back.I tried to order a child size step-stool from IKEA, but when I realized that it was going to cost more to ship it than the item itself, I changed my mind.
Having worked at IKEA in the past, I always make a point of not following the "long natural way" and finding and using all the shortcuts. When I go to my local IKEA, I'm always that guy going against the flow, because I know where to get what I want and get out. I also always hit As-Is first.
mzp - Exactly what I do as well. In the out, hit "as is" then take all the shortcuts! Gotta admit, though, it's still quite a walk!!
I've worked at IKEA and I love IKEA. there are ways to not go crazy: don't (EVER) go on weekends. Preferably tue-wed-thu. learn the short cuts and use them (e.g enter through check out, take short cut to the beginning of self serve area). Also, there are often check outs open on the far left or right, the center is the one with the long line. I never had any problems at IKEA. But I laugh at people who think "IKEA is so full and so much stress" after their visit Saturday morning. duh.
PS: but I really want to play this game TBH.
Best day to visit IKEA is Thursday, or perhaps Friday morning. Their stock is usually as replenished as it's gonna get by then from the previous weekend's shopping frenzy, and it's fairly quiet and stress-free (apart from the occasional screaming child).
@slpwendy Also, the best parking is at the exit. You can park closer to the doors, and so make your getaway that much faster!
Curious - What is the "as is" section??
I just enter from the exit. :)
willpower! make a list ahead of time and STICK TO IT.... and yeah, don't go on a weekend. i have been just to "look" and know the feeling like i need to get out before losing all my money!that game made me laugh- hilarious
Homemadecookies, the "as-is" section are discounted items that are either returned, slightly damages, floor models, out of packaging, discontinued, etc.
One of my friend's said I'm the only female he actually liked shopping with. As in, I don't try on everything in the store, I try things on quickly and I use the "if I don't have the have-to-have-it-or-I'll-die urge, I'm not getting it today" quick decision tool. I strictly follow that when in Ikea.
I agree with other comments above about not going during peak times, planning ahead, etc. After we went through our decorating-our-first-home phase, we took a 5-year IKEA break and are now back, but with kids. Love it as a morning outing with my 3-year-old. We got a large board in "as-is" to make a train board for him. I buy lots of random little things there, like the $3.99 packs of 10 wash cloths in the kids' area, but they're my paper towel replacement in the kitchen.I wear out my preschooler, get him a decent, cheap lunch, and head home with a kid who actually naps that day. Not bad.
My Ikea trick is to pause just before the end and assess. Usually I look through the as is section, return to my cart and get rid of at least one thing. Unless I've been really, really good and only bought off the list. It's easy to be tired and want to get home and just hurry to the nearest checkout line. But If I take two minutes and purge any unneeded impulse grabs, I go home much happier.
All the Ikea stuff is so true. However, what I like most about this post is the underlying tower defense game chosen for the image. I've played it...it's oodles of fun! :)
Living close to an IKEA is step number one to avoiding stress. If you live hours away and are forced to go on weekends - unfortunately you have to say goodbye to a stress-free trip. Not only do you have the drive, you don't have the option to easily return items or change your mind later. You probably can't go on weekdays, since you're probably working. If you're buying complex pieces, curtains or lamps, you have to assure you get every accessory, bulb and screw so you can successfully assemble things when you finally get home.For me, moving within 30 minutes of IKEA has magically erased nearly all the stress I once experienced. My what a difference it makes to go on a Wednesday evening - you can park close and not HAVE to hit every section of the store! And better yet, if you forget a mundane accessory item or change your mind when you get home, you can simply go back the next day and get it.
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