Download the App
IKEA PLACE, now available for both iPhones and Androids, lets you visualize before you buy. Thanks to virtual reality technology, interior design has never been easier. Simply scan your floor with your phone, choose an item of furniture through the app, and see if you like it in your place.
Have a Game Plan
Walking through an IKEA store is like traversing a maze, as you weave through all the showrooms. In theory this means you won’t miss a thing, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when you're shoulder to shoulder with other shoppers. Whether you’re looking to leisurely shop or not, it’s best to make a plan beforehand. Browse the IKEA website to search all possible options and narrow down your top choices. Next, set your budget. Decide whether an in-store pickup (for a $5 fee) is a better option than having items shipped to your home. And of course, plan an optimal time for your IKEA visit—preferably a weekday morning or a Saturday after dinner when the store isn’t as busy.
Make a Good Entrance—and Exit
If you’ve zeroed in on your ideal items, you can skip the showrooms and go straight to the exit, where boxed furniture is ready for purchase. Only need kitchen supplies? Scan the IKEA map, locate the right department, and make a beeline for preferred destination.
Monitor Blood Sugar
While IKEA's restaurant has made international headlines for some health blunders, the company is cleaning up its act, halving food waste, and offering special deals for kids and families. Shopping while hungry has been shown to increase impulse buys, so keep well-fueled and hydrated.
Related: 10 Best-Bet Kitchen Buys from IKEA
flickr.com via Mark Cameron
Know the Deals
If you are a frequent IKEA shopper, sign up for the free IKEA FAMILY loyalty program. Membership grants you 90-day price protection, monthly product discounts, restaurant offers, and other great benefits. You can also shop the as-is section, where display merchandise is sold at reduced prices. Finally, check out IKEA deals on Amazon Prime and have items shipped for free.
Stick to Your List
Prevent buyer's remorse later by sticking to your shopping list now. You can easily compile a list on the IKEA website—the website will even tell you where the items are stocked in the warehouse. When you get home, your wallet will thank you.
Know Your Space
Prevent return trips by measuring the space where you plan to put your new couch or bookshelf. Take photos of the surrounding room and furnishings too, so you can double-check color and design compatibility. With your photos in hand at the store, you may find an item you like better in-person than online.
Use Your Phone
Snap photos of the item tag and article number on the display floor, so you can easily find the correct box in the warehouse aisles. Also use your phone to monitor time: If you dropped your kids off in SMÅLAND, remember you only have 90 minutes of free childcare.
Especially on sale days like Black Friday, shoppers can turn nasty. The safest way to enter IKEA is with the right mindset. If you or your kids are feeling stressed, take a deep breath. You can always come back another day when the store is less crowded.
Plan Your Transport
Don't forget to consider the size of your car and the pieces you're buying at IKEA. Considering a piece that you know won’t fit into your vehicle? Hire a U-Haul cargo van for about $20 and avoid higher delivery costs. If that's not an option, keep in mind that IKEA has recently lowered its shipping rates, which could put your purchase directly on your doorstep and save you the stress of a shopping trip.
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