I think one of the most dangerous things that can happen to someone is thinking you can have it all. It’s thinking that you’re house will have the most updated furnishings. It’s thinking every piece in your wardrobe will be stylish. It’s thinking that you can redo your whole house with one trip to IKEA.
That’s what I thought I might be able to do. It’s not good to go into IKEA unprepared. I thought about it a little ahead of time. I wanted to stick to bigger items: tables, bookshelves, chairs, etc. My budget was going to be $300.
Side note: I’ve never shopped for home furnishings before. At least not new home furnishings, or extensive home furnishings. It still feels weird to be accumulating stuff since I have such a revulsion to doing just that. But as everyone says, “This is when things start to pile up.” Ugh.
I also am a little indecisive when it comes to big purchases. Sometimes i worry that if I buy too quickly, I’m getting ripped off. However, I’ve also been know to put the idea of purchasing an item off and it just doesn’t happen. Ugh. I also have no idea of what goes with anything or how a room comes together.
Fortunately, Katie was with me to provide insight on color, space, and furnishings. (I became overwhelmed with it all last time I visited the place. Also, her Honda fit is a much roomier car when it comes to storage.)
As soon as I walked into the living room stuff, I became unfocused. Which chair? Do I need a couch? How about a desk? There were too many options. I repeated the Swedish names in a Muppets Chef-like accent to try and get some laughs. And then I told myself: focus on the living room. I’d worry about the bedroom later. All I had in the biggest room in the house was a couch. That was the room with the most opportunity for growth.
I thought about what things I really wanted. I decided on bookshelf, coffee table, chair, and rug. All things that would get good use and would come in handy. That narrowed it down for me. We marched our way through the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom stuff. That made the whole experience a lot easier.
And then we hit the accessories section of the first floor. As you want down the stairs, you’re welcomed with a sign saying, “Grab a cart, you’re going to need it.” Ugh. When I worked for a few months at Target, they always told us to offer customers a basket if they didn’t have one. It’s scientifically proven that you’ll shop more if you have the room. I hated that. I didn’t grab a cart.
I nearly got off track a few times. (I still need a pizza pan!) But I reminded myself that I was there for those four things, and I was doing pretty good budget-wise. I had to put a few items down. I got out of there without an extra purchase. I walked out of IKEA with purchasing only four things. After my $25 off coupon, the total came to $292.84. Score.
I have a theory that too much choice is a bad thing. As Americans, we love to be champions of choice (well, in most aspects, but I’m not going into the other stuff). Yes, I’d rather live in America than in a communist country that rations items.
However, I’d rather be faced with a choice between three things, instead of 300. I don’t think our brain can process all of that. Luckily, I was able to process a Thursday night trip to IKEA.