Every IKEA teems with last-minute movers the first and third weekends of the month—it's just a fact. And if you are like me, you also probably accept as fact that if you're moving, you are going to have to do an IKEA run the moment after the movers leave. It's a complete shitshow (things are sold out, lines are super long, and parking is atrocious), but it's a necessary evil because you need a bed frame, and a garbage can, and a couple bags of meatballs for the fridge. And, as much as it would be nice to do this at a time when it's not swimming with movers, you can't deliver furniture to an apartment you're not even in yet. And of course, you don't want to get more knick-knacks to move—you hardly have enough boxes as it is!
But guess what: You can actually do this necessary IKEA run before the dreaded moving weekend without creating more work for yourself. You see, IKEA has a little-known service that renders this weekend ritual completely pointless. It's called "picking with delivery services." It costs $89 and it allows someone else to deal with the shopping and logistics for you—up to two weeks prior to your move.
Here's the gist: With picking with delivery, you just go up to an employee at an IKEA store and tell them what you want/need for your new space. They'll order everything for you and then book home delivery service up to two weeks (14 days) in advance (a representative for IKEA confirmed this). You get a receipt (knowing what is in-stock) and are sent to the registers with just that piece of paper—yes, you don't even have to turn all the barcodes towards the register while you're waiting in line! When your moving day comes close, they do the shopping for you. That means you can leave empty handed or you can actually pick up a bunch of the hefty cardboard moving boxes they just started selling (a pack of two for $5!) and another handful of the moving holy grail: the FRAKTA bag!
So yes, you do have to go to an IKEA—but you can do it on a Tuesday evening or other time when the store isn't swimming with other movers. It's a less stressful experience and all you have to do then is go home, spend the next two weeks packing, move, have your stuff delivered up to your new apartment, then spend all your saved energy putting the furniture together (which could be a fun task or a nightmare depending on who you are!). The service starts at $89—only $40 more than delivery from the store costs!
Sure, there is also the option of just doing everything online (IKEA has done a great job of making their shipping options more affordable), but a) there are some things not available for shipping and b) picking with delivery allows you to have the fun parts of the IKEA showroom experience (All that small space inspo! Sitting on the chairs! Plants! Meatballs!) without, well, all the things that suck.