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Confessions of an IKEA Addict

March 4, 2010

My name is Ruth…and I’m an IKEAholic.

Just five short years ago, I was IKEA-free – living a normal life with my run-of-the-mill furniture and home goods. Oh, I knew a few people who had tried IKEA, but I wasn’t into that scene. Even if I had been, it would have been too much trouble to procure those Swedish delights. I would have had to transport them across state lines, after all.

Then I moved to Baltimore – that well-known addicts’ paradise.

Suddenly, I was right in the middle of an IKEA junkie’s dream – 5 minutes from IKEA Baltimore.

Can’t find that flat pack furniture item you’re jonesin’ for here? Well, then jet on down I-95 to IKEA College Park and they’ll hook you up faster than you can say ‘Hej då.’

My undoing was swift and harsh.

I started out small – a storage box here, a picture frame there. I should have known things were getting out of hand when I bought my first IKEA lamp. They take their own special IKEA light bulbs, you know. That’s a pretty big commitment. That’s how they suck you in.

Psst, hey you, yeah you, here’s a stylish lamp. You need a lamp. Too many dark corners in that new house of yours, you know. Hey, I got something else for you. Give this bulb a try. Compact fluorescent. Lasts longer than those regular bulbs, uses less energy too. And, hey, you can even recycle them right here.

Touché, IKEA! Lower my electricity bills so I’ll have more money to spend on your tantalizing Scandinavian treats. It worked too. Before I knew it, I was working at an IKEA desk with an IKEA cup holding my paintbrushes and little IKEA containers housing my artsy-fartsy doo-dads and thingamajigs.

Hey, Ruth, you know, your linen closet is a bit of a mess. We have something for that. And while you’re here, come lie down on this bed for a minute. Comfy, huh? Are you hungry? Try these Swedish meatballs. Just $2.49 today and they come with mashed potatoes…mmm, delicious mashed potatoes.

Those Swedes knew my weaknesses and they had me in their clutches. Before I knew it, my closets were filled with IKEA storage solutions. I was sleeping on an IKEA bed under an IKEA duvet. My clothes were in an IKEA dresser. I was sitting in IKEA chairs and lounging on an IKEA couch. My son’s toys were in IKEA storage bins…and he was eating Swedish meatballs (my sweet, innocent boy had been sucked in to the madness of my IKEA addiction).

Oh, I was living the life and I had them all – TROFAST, MALM, HOPEN, FAVORIT, POANG, FLOKENES, GALANT, LILLBERG, HEMNES, EKTORP and EXPEDIT and ERSURUD, oh my!

But I wasn’t just a user, I was a pusher. My husband, my parents, my in-laws, my friends – I was turning all of them on to reasonably priced, attractively designed furniture and household accessories (and Swedish meatballs…those damned tasty Swedish meatballs!).

And then I hit rock bottom. I was fiending for a new bookcase. So, I packed up the fam and headed to that hulking blue and yellow den of iniquity. The bookcase was a no-go, and we were getting dangerously close to the check-out lanes with our big, blue bags completely empty. I was starting to sweat. The As-Is section was my only hope. After all, it was Wacky Wednesday – 50% off all those sweet scratch and dents!

It wasn’t looking good though, the As-Is section was almost completely wiped out. I was panicked…and then I spotted her. A massive entertainment center with nary a scratch nor a dent on her. ‘You’ll have to disassemble it yourself.’ said the IKEA dealer, ‘You have half an hour before the store closes.’

The gauntlet had been thrown and we accepted the challenge.

We were frenzied, out of control – my husband was frantically cranking the IKEA-issued allen wrenches as we stacked up the pieces of our major score. Our son was running amok in the customer service area, slamming a shopping cart into trash cans and racks of returned merchandise. The 10-minutes-to-close announcement played…and then the 5. I ran to the car, peeling wheels on my way to the loading area.  We feverishly piled the parts into the back of our car one after another. The store was closing, but we had more inside! My husband sprinted back into the store before the doors were locked to grab the remaining pieces of our presswood prize.  We smashed and crammed until it was all in and took off for home – the car filled with the smell of desperation…and particle board.

Hey, wait, there’s nothing wrong with that story. That story’s AWESOME! You don’t need help, you deserve an award or a starring role in IKEA Heights. You’re not an IKEA addict – you are the IKEA Master!

I AM the IKEA Master. Screw this! I’m going to go score myself a new lamp.


7 Responses to “ Confessions of an IKEA Addict ”

  1. Sara on March 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Do you think between meals, over to IKEA, you could fashion a couple of weddin’ rings? They do that sort of thing over there, right?
    Ps. Welcome aboard!

  2. terra scott on March 4, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I have never been inside an IKEA. I have heard many people talk about how they love this place. I am kinda scared to ever go to one if it is that addictive. LOL

    I really enjoyed reading this. Very funny.

  3. Nat on March 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Well done–the description of your car reads like the opening of a contemporary Raymond Chandler novel.

  4. Marie on March 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I recently went to IKEA College Park to stock up on muesli. Their version is my favorite. It has papaya! The little swedish food store that carries the muesli is near the exit doors. You have to walk alllll the way through the entire store to get to it. I knew if I did that, there was no way I would walk out of there with only muesli. I actually stood by the exit doors and waited for someone to come out so I could sneak in.

  5. Ivars on March 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I love their napkins. 2-ply and oh so colorful!

  6. FrothyGirlzCJ on March 7, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    IKEA has a two-move limit. After that, the furniture literally just crumbles. But, oh! How I miss it so!

  7. Nicole on March 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Seriously, Ikea is the best! I am a junkie myself. Felt like I was right there with you. :o )