A Family Trip to IKEA in Ten Easy Steps
My husband and I like to think of ourselves as IKEA experts. After all, we did survive installing an IKEA kitchen without killing each other. As far as I know, that is the only requirement for expert status. Yesterday we decided on a whim to take a day trip with the entire family. Hahahahahaha. You just revoked our expert status in your mind, didn’t you? But we were confident (perhaps overconfident) and we did survive. So there’s that. It’s all about survival. And in the name of survival, I present to you this list of how to get through your family trip to IKEA in ten easy steps.
- On a Sunday afternoon, suggest to your husband that you use his Christmas bonus to order very expensive furniture from a different store because your children are still sleeping on mattresses on the floor, and wouldn’t it be nice if they had actual beds? He will suggest just getting their beds from IKEA because then you can get both of your daughters new beds for less than the price of one bed at the other store. “Fine,” you will say. “Let’s go right now.” He will feel like he has to go along with this plan because it was technically his idea. Bonus points if this is a football Sunday and his favorite team is playing. He will love that.
- Load all of your children in a pickup truck, squishing three car seats in the back seat. Drive to a different state because there is no IKEA store anywhere near your house. Along the way, stop for gas, stop to put air in the tires, stop to take your kids to the bathroom. Threaten to stop some more if they don’t “knock it off right now!”
- Finally get to the store. Be thankful there is family parking. Divide and conquer. Have your husband go to Customer Service to return an extra cabinet from your kitchen remodel, while you go to the Smaland area and pray very, very hard that there are three open spots available on this busy weekend afternoon and they can take all of your kids for an hour. Your three year old tells you she has to go potty. Don’t take her because there are already five more families in line behind you and you don’t want to lose your spot. Tell her older sister to take her to the potty behind the green door as soon as they get inside. Wait in line and fill out the permission slip. Miraculously, three other children are leaving just as you arrive and the yellow and blue referees WILL take all of your kids! You are the only person who can sign them back out. Yeah, yeah, fine.
- Meet back up with your husband. Find out that he got store credit for the cabinet. Awesome. That will pay for half of one of the beds. Or a new bookshelf. Now you need a new bookshelf. Check the list you made before you left your house. You are on a mission: a mission for beds, bookshelves, and picture frames. Oh, and one of those plastic things to put under the desk chair in your office and protect the carpet if they have it. They DO have it! (Of course they have it, they have everything.)
- Walk around the store as quickly as possible. The countdown until you have to get the kids out of Smaland is on! Have your husband take pictures on his phone of the items you want and their little tags so that you can remember later what you actually wanted and which aisle it is in down in the basement warehouse.
- Want everything. Except that. What is that? It’s hideous.
- Make it through the store. Whew! Twenty minutes to spare. Warehouse time. Grab two flat carts, one for you and one for your husband and be transported into the futuristic world from Maze Runner. Only there are no bio-mechanical scorpions, just more flat-packed furniture than one could ever imagine. Refer to phone pictures from earlier and find what you need. Head to checkout and pay.
- Three minutes until Smaland time is over. Help your husband drive the flat carts out to the truck, then leave him by himself to load everything while you go inside to pick up the kids. Get a bad report from the associate working the ball pit. Your son lost his glasses and they had to evacuate the entire pit, but they found them again. Also, your youngest kept screaming the phrase “I don’t like balls in my face!” Well who does? you think as you half-heartedly apologize to the teenager you will never see again. And of course they were awful. They just drove forever from another state to get to the mecca of overstimulation. Why do you think I pawned them off on you? You smile and wave as you leave.
- Everything is loaded in the truck. Your husband needs to stop at another gas station and run inside for an Advil. He has a headache. Afterwards, you begin the long drive home. You ask if he checked the weather forecast before you left. He did, there was no chance of rain today so he didn’t bother bringing a tarp. The weather forecast was wrong. The clouds are looking ominous. You are on the highway with several hundred dollars worth of brand new furniture wrapped in cardboard in the back of an open pickup truck when the heavens open. There’s nothing you can do about it now. You just sigh and say you are glad you didn’t decide to buy a sofa today.
- You finally make it home and help unload all of the soaking wet boxes into the garage. You unpack the items inside. Thankfully, everything seems to be fine. Then you realize that you still have to put all of this crap together.
It’s funny because it’s true. Everything in this post actually happened to us yesterday. Guess what we’re doing today? Where’s my drill?
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IKEA Photo Credit: mandritoiu & boggy22 on Deposit Photos.
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