The Ikea Trap

Yes, I need all of those
Yes, I need all of those

Have you ever been to Ikea? Or KMart? You walk in with your list of things you need, maybe just one thing, and you walk out with ALL THE THINGS. And, more often than not, not the thing you went in for.

This happened to me the other day. I went in to KMart for an electric blanket, to ensure Stepdaughter was OK acclimatising from her Qld home to the freezing cold of Sydney. Did I walk out of there with an electric blanket? No. But I did buy 2 heaters, a cushion, ping pong balls and 2 fit balls. Oh yeah, and some face wipes. As you do.

What is it about places like this? Every time I go in it’s like I’ve found all the things I never knew I always needed. I never knew I wanted a mirror that was actually 3 really thin mirrors side by side until I saw them in Target, but now I do. In fact, I need them. I also totally need a fancy soap dispenser for the bathroom with a matching toothbrush holder and shower caddy.

Yes, I need all of those

Last trip to Ikea saw us not only filled with cheap breakfast (pancakes for $4?! Yes please!) but we also walked out with somewhere in the vicinity of 14 bookshelves, a lint roller, tea towels and who knows what else. I’m sure I have tiny little pots for herbs around here somewhere.

It’s for this reason it’s generally safer to just not enter these stores. I don’t really need an ironing board cover that matches my iron and if I think about it for 10 seconds I think I know that. But walking through those stores fills me with a misguided sense of hope. All logic fails me like my wallet is superman and this store is my retail cryptonite.

Sometimes I think maybe if I buy all those things my house too will be a temple of organisation. No longer will it have random piles of crap or a tap that keeps falling off in the shower, no, it will be like it stepped straight out of Beautiful Homes magazine. With it’s matching soap dispenser and all.

Do you get caught in the Ikea trap? What’s your shopping cryptonite? What’s the most useless thing you have ever bought?

Buy all the things here with original from Hyperbole and a Half

Lost in Ikea

  • Melinda

    My other half has put a ban on Ikea for that exact reason – I want to buy the entire store every time we step foot in there!

    Kmart is just as bad (he just doesn’t realise it!). I go there to get nappies or Bonds stuff for the kids and always buy another twenty things!

    • Tamsin Howse

      I almost think Kmart is worse… It has clothes AND homewares

  • John James

    You see, this is why not having a car is an advantage…there’s only so much you can carry on public transport, so we always have a built-in limit to what we can impulse buy 😉

  • Jess Profiterole

    Oh I so get this.. the first time I went to IKEA I was a bit overwhelmed and came out with two plastic plants (not very nice ones either!), among other random crap.
    I need to go again soon for a chest of drawers, and am determined to come out with nothing else!

    • Tamsin Howse

      That’s quite a challenge – please report back!

  • Rose Russo

    I get lost in Ikea T… it’s like a black hole but I love it!

    I once had a kid purposely step on my foot in Ikea I was not happy!

    I always buy random crap… sink plunger, random stuff for Lola, bargain $10 shoes that break in like a week!

    • Tamsin Howse

      I once did a short film in there after hours, with all the lights off it’s REALLY easy to get lost. Ironically the short film was about getting lost in Ikea… and I really did.

  • Whippersnapper

    Oh man I love that place. MMMMMM. Ikea. Just the name makes my heart start beating with love.

    Mind you, those places like Ikea and K Mart are all designed in a stragetic way to make you walk out with more than you went in for.

  • John James

    I went off IKEA about 15 years ago…I’m always still surprised when people say how much they love it…I find their stuff really boring and sub-standard…

    • Monique Fischle

      I love IKEA but I absolutely loathe having to assemble IKEA furniture. I would rather pay someone to do it than do it myself.

      • Sonja van Woerkom

        You can, in fact, pay someone I’m pretty sure!

        • Monique Fischle

          It is what I will do in future. That or make a friend do it haha