Jessie Wade
May 24, 2015 8:00 am

The first time I visited IKEA was when it opened in my home state, right next door to the Mall of America. Where I’m from, many people love going to the extensive mall in Bloomington, MN. But once IKEA opened, it was a whole new world…(yes, like Jasmine and Aladdin). I wouldn’t think as much about stopping at the Mall of America and spending dollar after dollar on the fantastic designer clothing stores (where of course, I would get the cheapest items available) and getting lunch, snacks and dinner from any country on the map. No. I just wanted Ikea.

And so, here are reasons why I decided that Ikea was my BFF.

If you’re decorating a dorm, it’s a total lifesaver

For those of us who do not have those high-paying, corporate jobs, but would still like to live in a place that looks like we do, Ikea is paradise. I always have my “shopping list” on Ikea’s website, and am constantly adding and deleting things. Recently, I had a coffee table on my list that was around $120, well over my budget as a college student. So I decided to go for the Lack series coffee table that was only $20. Yes, you heard right: $20

Anything that is not appealing about a dorm-room or small apartment can be resolved with Ikea goods. If you have the most dingy space with rotting floors or walls, you can make it a (somewhat) charming room in an easy afternoon with rugs, wall art, pillows, throws and inexpensive accessories. Not only that, but if you are in need of a desk, bookcase, or anything for a small space, they have you covered.

It’s a perfect date spot. No, really

I know, I know, you are probably thinking “What is this girl talking about???” But it is the truth! Forget about the awkward first or second dates where you sit in a restaurant for an hour or two and awkwardly try not to stare into one another’s eyes. Not only would you be able to walk around looking at things the entire time (eh em, not being stuck staring at each other for what seems like days) but if you really like the person, you can hone into what their style sense is, and bond over it. Chances are, if you are both up to going to Ikea together, then you probably have similar design taste. (Score!). Bonus: You can grab a bite to eat at the in-store restaurant, so you can make it into more of a “date-date.”

It’s secretly just a great, cheap restaurant

Don’t worry, there was no way I was going to leave the Swedish meatballs out. The fact that there is a legitimate restaurant in Ikea stores is still mind-blowing to me. I mean, how brilliant was the creator of that idea?! ‘Hmm…what makes people the most annoyed when they are shopping? Oh I know, being HUNGRY. What will shoppers do then? Leave with what they have and not come back…’ And not only is there food, but there is GOOD food. And it is beyond cheap. I shall never be hungry and crabby while shopping again.

When the world is chaos, IKEA is organized

I know the layout at my “home store” so well, that I feel like a skilled master when I maneuver around the laid out paths and cut through secret doorways to the short cuts. When things outside are messy and complicated, things in IKEA are clean and well-organized and well-lit. It’s a soothing thing.

You can get your decorating fix online :

Incase you haven’t peeked at Ikea’s website before, they have dozens and dozens of laid-out floor plans for you to salivate over. Anytime I feel I did a badass job decorating rooms in my house, I end up seeing a room on Ikea.com and quickly start adding and changing things around. (Or just adding dream items to my “shopping lists”). One of my favorite collections to look at are the ones that help with my organization…or lack there of. It’s a good way to think about spaces creatively.

Doing it yourself is empowering

So I might be one of the few who finds happiness and bliss while thrusting the flat bed cart (that has a mind of it’s own by the way) down the isles to grab my furniture. There is just something exciting about doing it myself that makes it more valid to me. Sure, I definitely love ordering furniture and having it delivered to my door all in one piece and without having to lift a finger, but it’s fun at times doing it the way where you get to use your physical strength, and struggle with a girlfriend while you try to hoist that dining table into the back of her truck. Laughter is priceless. And you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment.

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