Why I Absolutely Refuse to Buy Anything From Ikea

Anna Monette Roberts

 

I know I run the risk of being chewed up for such a strong statement, but it's true: I absolutely refuse to buy anything from Ikea. Life is too damn short to struggle so much for furniture. Here are my backup reasons why:

 

1. The Fails Seem Unavoidable, Predictable Even

OK, I've never bought a single piece of Ikea furniture before, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I don't know a friend, family member, or co-worker that hasn't struggled, failed, and given up when it comes to assembling Ikea furniture. I think I actively decided against buying anything from Ikea thanks to my sister, whose apartment consists of many pieces of Ikea furniture. I consider her the most skilled furniture assembler in the world, and even she has owned up to the fact that a set of Ikea drawers, for instance, may take her all weekend to build.

All weekend? Excuse me, but my weekends are sacred, and I'd rather be outdoors shopping in a flea market for a set of drawers than attempting to build one, sucking at it majorly, and running the risk of a meltdown that requires a bottle of wine to soothe. The scene in Celeste and Jesse Forever seems all too plausible. Ryan Reynolds speaks for everyone when he says Ikea furniture causes "a slow descent into alcoholism." In addition, I need very clear, very detailed step-by-steps if I'm going to "build" something, and recently, my sister and I laughed and laughed at the set of instructions (if you can call them that) that came with her Ikea drawers.

2. I Am Accident-Prone and Don't Trust Myself

All of these furniture recalls really freak me out. I don't trust myself to build a safe, sturdy piece of furniture. I am confident I'd find a way to collapse (in the chair) or something equally as terrible and dangerous. No thanks.

3. The Store Is a Consumer's Prison

Have you ever tried to just do a quick "walk-through" of an Ikea? The store is designed to be a mousetrap. Even the "shortcuts" take you another roundabout way. There is no escaping the florescent lights and dizzying, sickening rows of stuff. I couldn't help but imagine all of it ending up in a landfill in a few years time.

4. I Bought One Thing and Am Unhappy With It

I have bought exactly one thing from Ikea in all of my adulthood, and that's a mattress. Truth is, I had wanted a latex mattress, and my then-boyfriend pressured me into going the cheap-o route and buying from Ikea. I should have known better. I loathe sleeping on the mattress and will never forget my experience of actually buying it. I had ordered it ahead, but since it would have taken forever (and cost extra) to get it delivered, I opted to go to the store to pick it up. Disaster. I scheduled my pick-up time way in advance, but it still took them an hour for them to pull the mattress to the pick-up section. Thankfully I had two extra sets of hands to stuff it into the back of my car, but I'm getting too old for this rodeo of lifting stuff that's too heavy for my small frame. I plan on going the Casper route next time.

5. Ikea Furniture Doesn't "Spark Joy"

I recently went through Marie Kondo's KonMari Method, which calls for assessing every single thing you own (furniture included) and tossing everything that doesn't "spark joy." Ikea furniture doesn't "spark joy" for me. I want to value the objects I own, and I find that's hard to do with Ikea furniture, maybe because it's intended to be temporary and something that's tossed within a few years' use. I get that people are often motivated by price when buying furniture, and I am too, but I value pieces of furniture I want to keep for a while.

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