There’s nothing like a clever IKEA hack or a good deal. Which is why we’re all about shopping at the Scandinavian chain. However, it can be a little overwhelming if you head to the store unsure of what you’re looking for. So we checked in with IKEA US design spokesperson Janice Simonsen to get all the tips on shopping IKEA the *right* way. Even if you already consider yourself a pro, we promise you’ll walk away with some helpful secrets for saving time and money that you didn’t know before.
1. Know what you want. When it comes to navigating (up to) all seven floors of an IKEA, it’s important to come in with an idea of what you’re looking for. Now is not the time for browsing. Simonsen recommends deciding on a specific project or room to shop for to keep the trip more organized — and ultimately less overwhelming.
2. Get the lay of the land. If the thought of stepping foot in the massive retailer has kept you away, think again. The store has a very structured setup that makes it easier to shop than you imagine. “IKEA is separated into four areas: showroom (where you’ll see IKEA vignettes and assembled furniture), marketplace (where you’ll find IKEA decor accessories such as vases, pillows, curtains, fabric, dishes, and rugs), self-serve warehouse, and checkout,” Simonsen says. Pick up a map first thing when you walk through the door for a foolproof guide to the store.
3. Write it down. The methodology for scooping up your new loveseat or sofa is different here than at your typical furnishings store. Simonson helps lay it out for us: “The price tag on IKEA products lists colors, materials, 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,” she says. Her number one tip based on this? Scoop up a notepad and pencil when you walk in to jot it all down.
4. Size it out. Don’t play the “Will it fit?” game. Instead, grab one of the tape measures provided in the retailer, Simonsen recommends. It’ll save you from having to tote along your own.
5. Shop on a weekday. The most important tidbit to take away is WHEN to shop. While a weekend trip may be more convenient for you, it likely is for everyone else too. So Simonsen recommends hitting the store on a weekday morning for an all-around more pleasant shopping experience. (Cafe trip included.)
6. Check the price tag. The quickest way to get info about your new desk or dresser? Check the price tag. Since it includes information about color, size, and where to pick up the item, everything you need to know is right there at your fingertips. If only we’d known this sooner. *Sigh.*
7. Snag a deal. Yes, it’s possible to get a deal on the already discounted furniture prices. Simonsen suggests paying a visit to the “AS-IS” section to find lower prices on display pieces, closeout items, or those that have accidentally encountered a little wear and tear in the store.