The $1.50 Item You Must Pick Up at IKEA Before Moving

published Apr 25, 2019
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(Image credit: FotograFFF)

Between 2014 and 2016, I moved six times: Into a studio with my boyfriend, then to a summer sublet alone. Next, to a garden apartment, then a fourth-floor walk-up Brooklyn sublet, then back in a two-bedroom with the same boyfriend above, then back out again to my own apartment where, thankfully, I am trying out single living with no intentions of moving for at least the next couple of years. While this was all physically and emotionally exhausting, I did have one thing I could rely on each time to make this all so much easier (and if you’re using context clues, it was NOT my boyfriend!): The Ikea FRATKA.

Whether I was hauling books, clothing, linens, shoes or garbage up and down three flights of stairs, the genius 19-gallon polypropylene bag was always on my shoulder, saving me extra trips and hundreds of dollars in chiropractor bills. Big, blue and weirdly ergonomic, this cheap-ass bag works wonders in distributing weight, and always made me feel like I had the strength of someone who could make it through a barre class without sweating profusely. God bless you, FRATKA.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Now, I realize that I’m not the first person to discover the magic of the big blue bag for moving. In fact, just last year, IKEA released a whole beautiful ad campaign detailing all of the life-changing ways it has affected our lives, calling it the “hardest working bag in the world.” We’ve even wrote an ode to it on the site back in 2014.

But I will say, though it is ubiquitous, you’re definitely underestimating how helpful this bag is. How many times have you declined to purchase a FRAKTA bag at checkout because you “have too many at home?” Here’s the thing: You probably have one or two stuffed away in a closet already, which is fine and dandy for day-to-day life, but you’re going to feel like a DOMBÅS when you realize it’s much easier to tape up four or five flexible, gargantuan FRAKTAs and pile them in your car than deal with the limitations of cardboard boxes. Yes, the price almost tripled from a measly $0.50 in the past decade to a whopping $1.50, but guess what—that’s still pretty cheap. For the price, not stocking up when you don’t necessarily need them might be the silliest moving mistake you’re making. Plus, since they’re lightweight and flexible, you’ll have no problem storing them in a packed closet.

Need more proof to stock up? Let me remind you that they’re pretty good to haul literally anything, even when moving day is over. Two of my fellow editors, Tara Bellucci (News and Culture) and Taryn Williford (Lifestyle), pointed out that it’s especially amazing to store and lug around painting supplies. Since it’s made of polypropylene, it’s leakproof and extra durable, and it doesn’t matter if you spill a bit (or a lot) of paint on it. And it’s spaciousness means you can carry lots of heavy gallons of paint rather than dealing with those tiny, wiry handles that can be classified as “the worst.” Have six or seven floating around? You can even cut them up and use them as drop cloths since, hopefully, another big move is a couple years away—so there’s plenty of time to re-accumulate a stock of fresh ones.

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Re-edited from a post originally published 04.30.2018 – LS