Flat pack to pack flat


I went to IKEA with my eldest and her friend.  We had a simple aim: to furnish and equip an empty two bedroom flat.  I expected this to be straightforward. My daughter and I had never been to IKEA before. Her friend gamely volunteered to be our guide, like Virgil leading Dante round the circles of hell.

We went to the misleadingly named Lakeside. There was no lake in sight. It was a weekday morning and the car park was almost full. We found a space some distance from the blue cathedral and joined the throng of worshippers.

My first impression was: “Oooo, free pencils!… And look, you can get coffee and a cinnamon bun for 50p.” Which was exactly what they wanted me to think. Instantly I was beguiled by the homely good value and clean Scandinavian designs.

It turns out that IKEA is a cult, not a retail store. Once you have entered it is almost impossible to escape until you are versed in the mantra of Ektorp sofas and Billy bookcases and have tithed ten per cent of your income, for ever.

I am convinced that it would be possible to live in IKEA undetected for many years. Each day you could mingle with the faithful and dine on atonishingly cheap meatballs and chips, washed down with bottomless tumblers of lingonberry juice. Each night you could hide in a Birkeland wardrobe until the staff had gone home and then dig for loose change down the back of the Karlstad sofas before tucking up in a kingsized Malm bed with an orthopaedic pillow.

Perhaps this already happens.  It is hard to tell.

It certainly felt as if we had been there for years when we emerged, blinking, six hours later with nine (nine!) trolleys of flat-pack goods, which would not fit into the van.

We drove back to the flat and unloaded. I left the girls to assemble the furniture. It shouldn’t take them too long.


5 Responses to “Flat pack to pack flat”

  1. 1 Andy F

    One of the many major benefits of living in Norfolk is the complete absence of an IKEA store. Whenever we go anywhere else, should there be an IKEA store in the vicinity I get dragged in for a look around for a few hours. If there was a local IKEA I have no doubt there would be regualr trips occupying the best part of the weekend.

  2. 2 Sarah Faherty

    My husband is proud of his trip to Ikea in Edinburgh a couple of years ago to pick up kitchen chairs.

    We checked availability on-line and got details of the warehouse aisle location.

    His sat-nav recorded that his total stop time during the return journey was 11 minutes!

  3. 4 Amanda

    Amy and Rosie indeed did announce some time ago that they would like to live in Ikea! They saw that all of their needs would be met, even though I did point out that some of the display items such as TVs wouldn’t actually work. They didn’t seem too bothered when I said the same applied to the showers. And they love their meatballs.

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