Tips for Navigating IKEA In Record Time

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IKEA, the mega-store for budget modern design, can be great for picking up a few pieces to round out your space without breaking the bank. On the flip side, it can also be easy to spend hours wandering around feeling overwhelmed, picking up impulse buys and completely forgetting what you came there for.

Here are a few suggestions for getting in, getting out, and getting what you want.

1. Start online.
Doing a little homework by perusing the site and deciding what you want will help you walk in prepared.

2. Skip the showroom.
Take a shortcut and go directly to the marketplace and warehouse. If you create a list before you go, you can look up your item number on the in-store Kiosks and locate your item quickly.

3. Check As-Is first.
Another benefit of starting at the end is that you can check the As-Is sections for items on your list before you get started and score some serious discounts.

4. Try it out and bring it back.
If you love an item but are unsure of how it will work in your space, shop like the pros by taking advantage of the generous return policy. Try it out, then bring it back if it isn't a fit.

5. Snap some photos for a "next time" list.
IKEA can be a great source of inspiration. If you find something that isn't currently on your list, making a note and snapping a photo will help you remember it for future trips, and help keep you from making to many impulse purchases on the spot.

6. Mock it up.
This is one of my favorite shopping tricks, though I probably drive some people crazy with it. If you are considering purchasing a few new pieces, mocking them up together can help you visualize how the end result will work. Layer a few pillows on a sofa or throw a tray on an ottoman to get a better idea of what the end result will be.

Have a great tip? Share it in the comments below.

(Image credits: Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Shutterstock.com)

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