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Ikea Shopping Hacks, Purchase Reviews & FAQs Answered

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If there is one thing I love, it’s a good Ikea trip. It’s like a seasonal requirement for me, strolling the fluorescent lit aisles of Ikea is MY JAM and lucky for you, I’ve become quite the pro. Today I’m finally rounding up all my Ikea Shopping Hacks, Purchase Reviews and FAQs Answered!

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Let’s start with my Ikea shopping hacks and tips. I’ll also use this section to answer any FAQs before diving into our purchases! If you are a fellow Chattanoogan, I know what you’re thinking ‘is there an Ikea in Chattanooga??‘. No BUT there is one on our side of Atlanta, and it’s worth the trip. Especially if you use my Ikea shopping hacks and make the most of your trip. Here is my Ikea process in an easy breakdown for you to follow:

  1. Know What You Need! If you’re like me, you’ll definitely snag some extras while you’re there but you basically NEED to know your big stuff before you go. It is very overwhelming inside. It’s typically crowded and busy, it takes a while and is a process. Having your big stuff mapped out is major. Usually, when I go there is a big piece of furniture that I’ve had my eye on. Sometimes it’s multiple pieces.
  2. Research. Don’t just write down ‘White Dresser’ and call it a day. Ikea probably has 5,000 white dressers. Even if you can’t narrow it down to your exact choice, make a list of 2 or 3. Look them up on Pinterest. Look up ‘Ikea Hemnes Dresser Hacks’ or whatever the name of your product is + the word hacks. This is a great way to see how it looks, easy changes you can make to it and reviews. Once you have a few key pieces in mind, head to the Ikea App.
  3. Make a List. The Ikea app is MAJOR. It lets you input your store and make your list within the app to ensure everything is instock. This also locates where everything is in the store (more on that below). Add your for sure items, maybes, and even little things if you can find them! This will also give you an idea of your total.
  4. Double Check. Double check all your measurements. Make sure the piece is correct for your home and make sure the boxes will fit in your car. Our last Ikea trip we failed to ensure the boxes fit in our car and had to rent a uhaul trailer to get back to Chattanooga. Learn from my mistake, ha!

Now that you know what you need and have a general plan, it’s time to shop. If possible, go early, right when they open. Try to go during the week and be prepared to spend a couple hours. I think even our quickest Ikea trip lasted two hours and we knew exactly what we were getting and where it was. I choose to go with a friend, as RJ is not a fan of Ikea and I can enjoy my trip more.

Now that you know most of my Ikea shopping hacks, let’s dive into some FAQs.

Q: I’ve never been to Ikea, what’s the process like?

A: So it’s a GIANT warehouse, a blue warehouse to be specific. It’s fun. It feels like an adult Disney, IMO. There are three main sections. You start by browsing the showrooms. You walk through and see all these mock bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, etc. They set these rooms up with different products, big and small. Since I usually know what products I have my eye on, I focus more on the little things in these rooms. It is nice to see products in a natural setting before buying, I’ve definitely changed my mind in these showrooms before! Once you spot something you like, you see the tag that has the product location on it. It’s important to remember what this says (Aisle X, Bin X). You can write this down, but I usually just snap a photo with my phone.

After making your way through the showrooms, you then shop smaller items in a department store type setting. Here you will find tons of little things like pots and pans, baskets, pillows, rugs, etc. After completing this area, you are in the final section – the warehouse. This is where you will pull your products. Remember those photos you snapped photos of? These are the aisles and bins. If you have your list saved on your app, it also tells you exactly where to pull the products from.

Some products are in multiple boxes and even on different aisles/bins. So make sure you get everything! There are a few people around to help, but like I said it’s typically very busy so knowing where to find everything is a huge time saver! After pulling all your boxes, you head to check out. It’s long, you basically have to do the whole proccess and can’t skip around – but it is fun, too!

Q: I don’t want to drive to Atlanta/I don’t live close to Ikea, have you shipped items?

A: Yes. But I do not recommend it based off my experience. When we first moved into our house, I ordered our couch from them and it was the most daunting process. Not only was it SO much slower than expected, I dealt with multiple shipping companies that kept misplacing items or not hearing back from Ikea, etc. I really do not recommend. Maybe it was a one time bad experience, but it was enough to turn me off forever. If you can’t make the drive to Ikea, I would honestly suggest buying from Wayfair or Target or somewhere with similar price points and reliable shipping.

Q: It’s so cheap. How is the quality?

A: I’m going to dive into each of our purchases below, but overall we are VERY pleased with all of our purchases. Our first purchase was a dresser, almost 5 years ago. It’s survived a move and everyday use. It still looks great! Especially considering we paid under $300. Overall I rate Ikea quality for price 10/10.

Q: Is it hard to assemble?

A: Like the answer above, I’ll dive into this for each product we’ve purchased but it’s not impossible and it’s not the easiest. The instructions are a little odd. Mostly photos and no words. Our dresser was definitely the most time consuming, but also the first thing we did. Since then, things seem to be easier. Did we get used to it? Are the other products easier? Who knows. But like I mentioned above, for the price it’s definitely worth it!

I think between my Shopping Hacks and FAQs, I’ve answered almost all the questions. So let’s dive into our purchases!

Ikea Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser $249

63×37 3/4 ”

Assembly: Difficult

We purchased this dresser ~2015 and it’s survived a move very well. It took a while to put together, nothing was assembled at all. We had to attach rollers to drawers, etc. Once it was put together, we are very happy with it. I like the appearance, it holds quite a bit and we can customize it down the road if we’d like – switch knobs, paint, etc. Would we repurchase? Yes! I only deducted a star as

Ektorp Sofa in Lofallet Beige $499

Width: 99 1/4 ” Height: 34 5/8 ” Min. depth: 34 5/8 ” Max. depth: 64 1/8 ” Seat height: 17 3/4 “

Assembly: Very Easy

This was the culprit of my shipping issues and turned me off from Ikea online shopping forever. BUT I love our couch, so it was worth it. We purchased this couch in 2017 when we moved into our new house and have been thrilled with it ever since. It was super easy to assemble. It came in about 4 boxes but I put it together alone, while RJ was at work. Although I do recommend having some help. After having it about a year, I removed the back cushions and replaced them with five 26″ down feather pillows. Not only did this change the look from more farmhouse to more modern, it is so comfortable! I love that we can really switch it up without spending a ton. Another HUGE plus of the sofa is the fact that everything is removable and can be thrown in the wash. Literally the entire couch, cushions, etc. all machine washable and can be put in the dryer! The lofallet beige does a good job hiding stains from the dogs, but we wash it every couple of weeks as well. If you need a couch on a budget, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Ektorp Arm Chair in Loffalet Beige, $249

Width: 41 ” Depth: 34 5/8 ” Height: 34 5/8 ” Seat depth: 21 1/4 ” Seat height: 17 3/4 “

Assembly: Very Easy

Shortly after getting our couch, we ended up grabbing the matching chair with the ottoman as well! My review is almost identical to the couch review. Durable, comfortable, washable. We also replaced the back cushion with a 26″ feather pillow. More recently, I am loving the look of mixed and matched furniture and wish it didn’t match our couch so well but as far as the chair, we love it! It’s Doodle’s favorite spot.

Brimnes Cabinet with Doors in Black, $95

One Cabinet: 30 3/4×37 3/8 ” (we have three in our house)

Assembly: Moderate

It actually took me two Ikea trips to decide on this cabinet, well technically three cabinets. When looking for something for our dining room I needed something long, yet narrow with storage. I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg and wanted it to be more on the modern side. I am so happy with my decision to get these Brimnes cabinets. In the end, I decided on 3 in black. They are not technically attached, but pretty seamless when all side by side. We did make one modification – instead of the handles that came in the box, I swapped them for leather pulls. I used the leather from this kit with black knobs from Hobby Lobby. I am SO pleased with the results. If we are still in our current house when Foster is a toddler, I will most likely turn our dining room into a playroom and plan on keeping these cabinets in here. They’re so multifunctional! As far as assembly, I only say moderate because RJ put them together and it did take a little longer. If I was doing it alone, I probably would have had some trouble.

Billy Bookcase with Glass Doors in Black, $169

One bookcase: 31 1/2×11 3/4×79 1/2 ” (we have two, side by side)

Assembly: Moderate

I think I was most nervous about this Ikea purchase. I was unsure how they would look and knew we would be stuck with them if I didn’t love them. Luckily, I am obsessed! At the time of writing this post, I see the black is no longer available. However, the Hemnes Bookcase is almost identical. The measurements above are for one bookcase and we have two next to each other in our living room. RJ assembled these and did not have a hard time, but also would not say they’re the easiest. He also accidentally threw away some pieces and had to go in a dumpster to find them but they were worth it! I am obsessed with how they came together and can’t wait to finish filling them with antique books. We did swap the included knobs for gold knobs from Target.

A few smaller purchases we’ve made and LOVE:

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I think that’s pretty much all my brain has to offer in terms of Ikea Shopping Hacks, FAQs and Product Reviews! If I missed anything, let me know and I’ll be sure to add it. I hope this was helpful, tag me in your Ikea finds so I can add to my list. Check out more photos of my Ikea finds below!

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