I always have to mentally prepare myself before going to Ikea, and I’m sure I’m not alone. As you’re navigating the crowds within the never-ending maze of Swedish home goods, in search of the perfect picks to spruce up your space, it’s easy to get stressed. To make it through your list without breaking into tears before you reach the kitchen showroom (it happens!), you might want to reschedule your Ikea shopping trip.
For the best Ikea experience, the consensus is that Monday mornings are the best time to shop. Since weekends can be super crowded, employees have said it’s by-far the quietest time to make your way through each department. Monday is also the best day to score deals. Another employee tells Apartment Therapy that due to all the customer returns (and items broken in-store) over the weekend, the discounted as-is section is often nicely stocked with closeouts, returns, and display items.
If you can’t make it to Ikea on a Monday mornings, we get it. (You might want to save the faux dentist appointment excuse for something more significant.) Janice Simonsen, Ikea’s U.S. design spokesperson, has four Ikea shopping tips you should know before you go.
The Ikea shopping tips you need to know, according to an employee
1. Go any weekday morning (or night)
Many people work on Mondays, which makes it really hard to get over to the store to beat the masses. Simonsen says most weekday mornings will provide you with a calmer environment in which to do your shopping. And if you can make it after work, get there just before closing time.
2. Always, always, always pick up a store map
It might feel a little nerdy carrying around a store map, but since it’s easy to get lost. A map saves you from aimlessly wandering through the whole store to find what you’re looking for. “Ikea is separated into four areas: the showroom (where you’ll see Ikea vignettes and assembled furniture), the marketplace (where you’ll find Ikea decor accessories such as vases, pillows, curtains, fabric, dishes, and rugs), the self-serve warehouse, and the checkout,” Simonsen says. “Pick up a store map to help guide you to where you want to go.”
3. Come with a plan
One of the biggest reasons people get frazzled during their Ikea shopping trips is because they don’t have a particular mission in mind. Without a plan of attack, it’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed at Ikea. “Come to the store with a plan for what you want to accomplish,” Simonsen says. Better yet, she says to focus on a specific project or a room instead of trying to do everything at once.
4. Take notes
“When shopping, use an Ikea notecard and pencil to write down the location numbers of items you might want to purchase,” Simonsen says. “The price tag on Ikea products lists colors, materials, and sizes, as well as the shelf number where you can collect the item from the warehouse or a message to contact staff if you need to collect it at furniture pick-up.”
During your Ikea shopping trip, there are two items in particular you should grab: the iconic Billy bookcase that has too many uses to count and air-cleaning curtains.
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