Thinking of making your first trip to the home of Swedish flatpack? This handy guide will help you make the most of the experience!

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1. Don’t try to beat the system

Think you can just take a shortcut to get directly to the kitchen department? Think again! IKEA’s world has different rules. Although shortcuts do exist, they aren’t easy to find without help. Be prepared to walk around in circles if you try to beat the system on your own!

2. Make room in your home for some weird stuff

At the time it seems like a great idea to buy the colourful items for your home, but in reality you don’t really know what they are for, and you aren’t going to use them, ever.

3. Be prepared to tackle flatpack furniture

Almost all of those lovely bits of furniture on display require some self-assembly. Get ready to try to decipher the instructions – and, yes, it does feel a bit like learning a new language.

tips for IKEA virgins

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4. Don’t be surprised if you get the DIY bug

You will feel an amazing sense of achievement when you’ve successfully built your first piece of flatpack. Now you’ve assembled an IKEA table, what’s next?

5. Pay attention to an item’s location and name

If you don’t take notes, you won’t remember the name of the shelves you want or where to find them!

6. Don’t be taken in

Don’t just buy things because they’re cheap and they look nice. Think about where you are you going to put them. The secret to a successful IKEA shop is to only get the stuff you actually need.

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7. Take a moment to people watch

Seriously, you won’t be disappointed! You can see it all in IKEA…

8. Don’t let the experience get to you

The going around in circles, attempting to find your products in the self-serve area and the queues to pay are all worth it in the end, honest!

9. Be prepared to lose your bearings

How do I get back to the kitchen department? Which direction was I going in? They are questions we have all asked ourselves in IKEA. You are not alone…

tips for IKEA

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10. Leave enough time

A simple shopping trip easily turns into an epic marathon. There’s so much to see that you’ll always find you spend longer than intended.

11. Go in the week

Of course, this isn’t always possible, but weekday evenings are less overwhelming than the weekend.

12. Be prepared to fall in love

With the reasonable prices, attractive designs and sheer choice, you may well yourself falling in love with IKEA. It’s OK, it’s happened to all of us!

13. Check out the food!

The Swedish food market is a joy to behold. Sure, it’ll take you a while to understand what on earth everything is, but you can find some real gems amongst the salted liquorice and dried elk sausage.

14. You’ll never leave empty handed

At the very least you will always win a mini pencil!