14 Tips for IKEA Shopping with Your Partner

IKEA trips can be stressful for couples. The maze-like store and endless choices can lead to disagreements. But with some planning and teamwork, you can make it a smooth and fun experience. Here are 14 tips to help you and your partner navigate an IKEA trip without any fights and even enjoy it.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

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Before you even step foot in the IKEA parking lot, remind each other that this trip will test your patience more than assembling a 1000-piece puzzle. Understand that finding the perfect coffee table is harder than it looks in the catalog. Embrace the challenge, but know that it’s okay if your living room doesn’t end up looking like a page from the IKEA magazine.

2. Establish a Game Plan

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Plan your IKEA adventure like a strategic military operation. Have a clear list of what you need, a map of the store, and maybe even walkie-talkies to stay in constant communication. Remember, the path through IKEA is designed like a labyrinth. One wrong turn and you might end up in the outdoor furniture section, questioning your life choices.

3. Budget Like You’re in Congress

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Agree on a budget beforehand, and stick to it like it’s a New Year’s resolution. IKEA can be a wonderland of impulse buys – who doesn’t need a set of 36 tealight candles or a plush shark? But resist the temptation. Your wallet (and relationship) will thank you later.

4. The Art of Compromise

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Remember, this trip is a team effort. If your partner falls in love with a bright pink armchair that you find hideous, take a deep breath. Perhaps suggest a less… vibrant option. Finding a middle ground on style is key, unless you’re both into post-modern eclectic chaos.

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5. Embrace the Meatballs

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Never, and I mean never, go into IKEA hungry. Those Swedish meatballs aren’t just tasty; they’re relationship savers. A full stomach makes the difference between a calm discussion about curtain colors and a heated debate in the textiles section.

6. Time Your Trip Wisely

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Avoid weekends and evenings if possible. Visiting IKEA when it’s as crowded as a rock concert is a recipe for disaster. Aim for a quiet weekday morning when you can have the aisle of bed frames all to yourselves.

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7. Take Breaks

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IKEA is not just a store; it’s an endurance sport. Schedule breaks to rest, hydrate, and check if you’re still on speaking terms. A quick coffee stop can rejuvenate your spirits and your decision-making abilities.

8. Use Technology

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Download the IKEA app. It’s like having a digital sherpa guiding you through the wilderness of Scandinavian design. The app can help you find products, check stock, and maybe even save your relationship with its handy shopping list feature.

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9. Be Prepared for Assembly

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Remember, after the trip comes the assembly. This is where true character is tested. Have tools ready, read the instructions, and maybe keep a couple of band-aids handy. A sense of humor is also essential when you find yourself with an extra screw and no idea where it goes.

10. Know Your Limits

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If you find yourself in the lighting section debating the merits of LED versus halogen for over an hour, it’s time to step back. Recognize when decision fatigue sets in and when it’s time to call it a day. There’s always next weekend.

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11. Celebrate Small Victories

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Managed to agree on a rug? High five each other! Successfully navigated through the marketplace without getting lost? Celebrate with some frozen yogurt. These small wins keep morale high.

12. Respect Each Other’s Tastes

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You might not understand your partner’s obsession with minimalist design, and they might not get your penchant for retro decor. That’s okay. IKEA trips are about finding common ground, not converting your partner to your design aesthetic.

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13. Avoid the As-Is Section on Your First Trip

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The as-is section, where the land of broken dreams and missing parts reside, is not for the faint-hearted or first-timers. Stick to the main showroom and marketplace. The as-is section is for seasoned IKEA veterans only.

14. Remember, It’s About the Journey

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At the end of the day, it’s not just about the BILLY bookcase or the MALM dresser. It’s about the experience, the memories, and the story you’ll tell at dinner parties. Surviving IKEA together can be a bonding experience, or at least a good story for your next double date.

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