IKEA Survival Tips

Ikea Richmond

Ikea Richmond


If you’re anything like me, then the mere thought of visiting that massive maze IKEA, leaves you reaching for the whiskey bottle. I’d rather watch Tony Abbott attempting a Baywatch sprint along the beach in his budgie smugglers than go anywhere near the place. (Actually, that might be overstating it a tad…)


Past experience has taught me that you never escape IKEA in less than two hours, by which stage you’re tearing your hair out with frustration after getting stuck in the maze that is its furniture display area, fighting through harried crowds of similarly frustrated customers, then arriving home with a load of junk you never intended buying and swearing you’ll never go back. It’s even worse than trying to shop at an Aldi supermarket.

Fletch with fellow Neighbours actors Saskia Hampele

Fletch with fellow Neighbours actors Saskia Hampele

With Fletch being in the UK, I decided to freshen up his office to surprise him on his return. (It’s okay – he’s on a plane now so won’t read this before getting home.) After much research, the best option for a new rug – taking price, size and colour into account – was… sadly… IKEA.

A bit unfair when you think about it. He flies overseas, swanning around presenting prizes at the British Soap Awards while I get stuck with a visit to IKEA.

But the desire to renovate was stronger than my IKEA-phobia, so I decided not to let the place defeat me. I’d make a cunning plan and come out tops.


And GUESS WHAT? The plan actually WORKED!! I managed to get in and out of that vast wasteland of consumerism in FIFTEEN MINUTES. I was very up myself about this record-breaking feat, so tweeted the fact and was met with a big reaction – meaning LOTS of you guys related to the trauma of an IKEA visit. So I thought it best to Blog my tips to help you all when you next take the plunge.


1. Do your research before heading to the store. Jump on the Internet and work out which items you need and write down the details. Then phone the store to check they are in stock.

2. Do not take small children with you.

3. Wear runners – not heels – you need to make some quick crowd-busting moves.

4. Try to plan your trip mid-week when fewer customers will be vying for attention from sales staff.

Try NOT to go through the showroom

Try NOT to go through the showroom

5. Accost the front-of-store help-person on arrival to verify the location of the goods you’re looking for. If you’re in luck, you can TAKE A SHORT CUT and head straight to the MARKET HALL section, by-passing the entire furniture display area. This will save you at least half an hour. I was in luck yesterday as all I needed was a rug.

6. If you can’t see your item immediately, accost another sales person to help you otherwise you’ll waste precious time wandering around.

7. DO NOT STOP to look at any other items that grab your attention. They are NOT on your list. STICK TO YOUR LIST.

8. When you have all your items, head to the self-checkout service section, which is much, MUCH quicker than queuing for a checkout assistant to process your purchases.

Sprinting with a load...

Sprinting with a load…

9. Sprint to the car so that hopefully you will make it out of the car-park in under an hour, which means parking is FREE.

10. Congratulate yourself on being such a smart, efficient shopper and head home for that whiskey.

See – you can actually visit IKEA without having a nervous breakdown!!

The old stained rug

The old stained rug


And what a difference the rug made to Fletch’s office. Just over a year ago, we’d rearranged rooms and somehow, he’d ended up with an old faded, stained pink rug that used to be in Veronica’s room when she was little. Well past it’s use-by date…


Fletch's new rug - on sale for just $149

Fletch’s new rug – on sale for just $149


What an improvement! A clean, cream rug to lighten up a dull space. And it was on sale too.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, that is a spare bed in his office. Just in case he’s in the doghouse or snoring too loudly. A girl’s got to be prepared…