Office Makeover, Part 1: Ikea vs. The City Dweller

My home office is getting a face lift! When I started writing this post, I realized I had a lot to say on the matter. For this reason, my office makeover reveal will be broken into four parts. Keep reading and you’ll find out why.

I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea. Why? Because it’s SO. FAR. AWAY. It takes an hour to drive from my West Town apartment to the Schaumburg, IL Ikea and there’s always traffic. If I owned a car or lived closer to Ikea, maybe I wouldn’t feel so negative. Unfortunately, that is not the life I live. So every time I want to spruce up my apartment with some lovely, affordable, Scandinavian decor, a mixture of dread and anticipation forms a knot in my stomach. That being said, there’s one person who hates driving to Ikea 100x more than me—The Boyfriend.

7 Reasons Why The Boyfriend Hates Going to Ikea

  1. He usually thinks we can do without (fill in the blank), and that our apartment looks fine the way it is.
  2. Because of Reason #1, he thinks we’re going to waste money.
  3. He hates sitting in traffic on the weekend and would much rather do anything else in the world.
  4. He hates trying to find a parking spot in the Ikea parking lot because everyone and their mother is at Ikea on the weekend.
  5. He hates walking around the showroom when people are walking the wrong way. You know, those people who don’t follow the arrows…
  6. We always end up buying way more than we had planned because I usually get “inspired” by the showroom.
  7. See Reason #6.

As you can see, a trip to Ikea is quite the ordeal for us. Which is why Peggy Wang’s recent Buzzfeed post, 18 IKEA Shopping Tips That Will Save You Time And Money, changed my life. I was familiar with all of Wang’s tips except for one: Making your shopping list online. When you create an online Ikea account, you can create your own Shopping List. The Shopping List is not your Shopping Cart. I repeat, the Shopping List is not your Shopping Cart. I’m emphasizing this because the Shopping List will organize your items by weight or location in the Self-Service area. This amazing little feature allows you to research what you really want, skip the showroom, and pick up your items with time to spare.

I put Wang’s tip to the test when my boyfriend and I made our Ikea run today. Total time spent in Ikea: 25 minutes! I know, right? It was the Ikea trip where we didn’t argue over which item to purchase (the cute one or the cheap one), nobody ran over our toes with their shopping cart, and we had time to enjoy our $1 hot dogs.

I wanted to share this amazing experience with you because DIY Ikea projects can be pretty expensive and time consuming for a city dweller like me. If you rent a car for at least 3 hours through a car share service like Zipcar, or take a cab to and from Ikea, you will easily spend $50-80. Often times, this completely defeats the purpose of a DIY project because you end up spending more money than you had originally budgeted. When you’re planning a DIY project, never lose sight of your budget. Unless you’re some sort of self-made millionaire (if so, can we be friends?), you live your life on a budget. Yes, Pinterest is filled to the brim with fun and appealing DIY projects, but that doesn’t mean you need to do all of them or go broke trying. Take on the DIY projects that make sense for you and your lifestyle. The last thing you want is for your home to start overflowing with more washi tape and terrariums than you have space for.

Big thanks to Wang for sharing this tip and helping me stay on budget for my office makeover! An Ikea DIY project is in the works. Check back later for a new post!