Things That Make Me Nervous

10 Reasons IKEA Makes Me Nervous

My first experience with IKEA was magical. I went with this super cute guy I had known for roughly 34 days. The store was basically empty and “There Goes The Fear” by The Doves started playing as the two of us ran from room to room playing house. After messing around in multiple kitchens, no one stopped us as we tumbled onto one of the display beds together in a passionate embrace. It was magical and whimsical and… oh wait, I’m thinking of Tom and Summer from 500 Days of Summer, every experience I’ve ever had with IKEA has been awful.

I hate IKEA and here are ten reasons why it makes me nervous.

1. IKEA Makes Me Want To Hit Everyone 

IKEA entryways have magical powers that turn everyone who walks through them into the worst versions of themselves. You might be a courteous polite person, but the second you walk into IKEA you transform into a complete monster shoving people, invading personal space, and yelling horrific things at your significant other. IKEA makes me want to hit everyone.

2. Invisible Employees

I know IKEA employees exist, I’ve seen them before. They’ve badgered me while I’m passing through Custom Shelving and Kitchen Design. However, the instant that I need help with something, they vanish. At their orientation it’s like, “Here’s your blue polo and here’s your invisibility cloak.” These magical customer service representatives clearly don’t work on commission.

3. Stores Shouldn’t Require Maps

IKEA is basically Super Mario Bros. I usually make it through The Storeroom levels and all the way to the towel level of The Marketplace before… womp womp womppppp (video game death noise) one wrong turn and I’m back at START. Somebody find me a secret pipe and get me the hell out of here!

4. I Don’t Speak Swedish

VITTSJÖ. TOFTERYD. FÖRHÖJA. These are real product names. While it’s nice to feel cultural while buying mass-produced furniture, it’s really frustrating when you’re asking for help locating a coffee table and you cannot pronounce the name of the item. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I actually leave with the items I intended to purchase.

5. The Warehouse

The Warehouse is where relationships are ruined. You each think the other wrote down the aisle and bin number of the kitchen table, turns out neither of you did. You separate, divide and conquer, while fuming about how irresponsible the other is. How could they not write down the number? You specifically asked if they wrote down the number! This is just ridiculous. Absurd. Forty minutes and twenty angry texts later, you find the table and leave in bitter silence.

6. They’re Out of the One Thing I Actually Came For

I went to IKEA to buy a shelving unit last year. I spent two hours painstakingly deciding on a unit. I went down to The Warehouse to collect the 5×5 birch Expedit I had agonized over only to find that they were out. They had the 4×4 birch and the 5×5 white, but no 5×5 birch. I lost it and started crying in Aisle 5. I couldn’t help it, IKEA brings out the worst in people.

7. I Don’t Need Any of This Crap!

On my last trip to IKEA I had a list of specific items I needed: storage cubes, dresser drawers and a mirror. When I got to the register and started loading items onto the belt I had: decorative jars, candles, a basket and a frame. How did all of these things get into my cart? It was like waking from a dream. I ended up apologizing to the cashier, abandoning my cart and walking out.

8. The Food

The meatballs contain horse meat? The chocolate and butterscotch almond cakes contain fecal matter? Do I even want to know why the hot dogs are so cheap? I no longer trust you, IKEA food. Not even you, $1 Frozen Yogurt.

9. Getting It All Home

First there is the issue of leaving all your stuff on the sidewalk as you run to get your car. Then, once you finally get your car to the loading station, you have to figure out how to cram it all in. This often means having your roommate grasp onto one end of a box while the other end sticks out of the trunk, driving as slowly as possible and praying for the best. I’ve never lost anything, but it’s been touch and go a few times.

10. Build It Yourself or Die Trying!

I always start off my IKEA construction projects excited, like I’m a contestant on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. It’s a game and I’m going to win. Then, after an hour, I realize I’ve built the entire thing backwards, throw my Allen Wrench against the wall and apologize for all the times I yelled at Beth during puzzle challenges. This puzzle stuff is HARD, yo.

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  • Bridget Lappert Salisbury

    I purchased stress sweat deodorant because of IKEA.

  • Anindita Ray

    Ive never had the Ikea experience yet , but have heard such similar versions .. not with such hilarity before though 😀 love your “10 reasons” articles Nicole , hilariously wonderful they are !

  • Jennifer Edmondson

    Fecal matter? Um, ew. Horsemeat? Ahhhhhhhjjj

  • Maggie Maloney

    As I was reading your intro, I’m thinking to myself why does it feel like I have shared this memory despite me never going to Ikea? Oh, because I’ve watched 500 Days that many times. I still have hopes that is how my first trip I’d when I attempt to find a desk for upcoming grad school, but I appreciate these warnings as I’m sure I’ll experience each and every one of them.

  • Stella Flygare

    While I agree with all of you examples as to why IKEA is hell on earth, I still love it. Perhaps it’s because I’m swedish, and I always feel so at home there. And perhaps because I very rarely actually buy anything. I tend to just wander around, get inspired, have a nap in every bed on the bedroom floor, laugh at other peoples hysteria and then leave with, like, a blanket.

  • Theresa Biv

    Stop going to Ikea. Problem: Solved.

  • Charity S Wagner

    Horse meat must taste good because I love their Swedish meatballs :-)

    • Bianca Carriero

      Horse meat is actually is used in high end restaurants… many restaurants in Montreal serve. What’s the difference if you eat cow or horse? You are torturing both animals…

  • Katherine Kreitzer

    I dislike their commercial where the woman is running out ‘Start the car, start the car!’ and yelling like a maniac instead of doing the right thing: going back in to ensure that the prices are really that low.
    Way to promote dishonesty, Ikea!

  • Nelson Ricardo

    At least half of these are under your control and therefore your own fault.

  • Joynal Rab

    More than half, if not all, of these can be solved if you stop being lazy. Sounds like you just want things handed to you — and abandoning the cart at the register? Douche much? Talk about a freakin baby.

    • Taryn Parrish

      Way harsh, this article is clearly in good fun Joynal, lighten up :)

  • Samantha Costanilla

    If the Swedish names are too much of a challenge to pronounce, just write them down and show it to the invisible employee if you need help. Or take it as a prompt to learn a new language. Not everything should be “Americanized”. Some things are better left untranslated, like anime. (Those dubbed versions are horrendous!)

  • Stephanie Hall

    LOL! My aunt is dragging her 3 daughters with her ON A TRAIN TO CHICAGO THIS WEEKEND just to go to an IKEA store. She has NO IDEA what she’s getting!(For that matter she doesn’t know what’s shes getting herself into)Hopefully they won’t kill each other.

  • Rebecca Zinner

    Take pictures on your cell of the item’s tag! It helps tremendously with locating the item later in the warehouse area.

  • Laurence Hazell

    TRUE!!! No matter where in the world you are, IKEA is one of the few stores that truly brings out a persons inner axe murderer.

  • Hans Johan Svensson

    Vittsjö and Tofteryd are two hamlets in Sweden. Förhöja means to heighten or to enhance.
    Horsemeat and feakal matter. That was and is a foodindustryscandal that has hit all over Europe – “You get what you pay for” as the saying goes. Great Brittain and Ireland were the most appaled. The french did´nt mind much.
    I too get kind of flustered when people around me run around for no apparent reason. The trick is to slow yourself down and take your own time about it. Old people are good at this. Old people are exeptionally annoyingly good at this.
    The other way is to decide what you want before you go there.
    IKEA is selfservice. You´re supposed to loaf around and get a little bit lost in there.

  • Amber Medina West

    I love IKEA, despite the fact that I agree with most of these.

    Maybe the idea of being in a real-life Super Mario Bros is appealing.

    Or maybe I’m a masochist.

    I do know that I refashioned their instruction manual to better reflect my building skill set. That helped considerably.

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