There’s a rumor that trips to IKEA cause couples to break up. The store has also stirred up some controversy in Italy over an ad that showed a gay couple holding hands. IKEA can also trick you into thinking you’ve made something, when really, you’re just assembling something from a box. There’s a Harvard Business School study that shows the “IKEA Effect” in which we associate labor with love, or an increased valuation for the things we make rather than buy. Then there’s always the people who just hate IKEA; whether it’s the cheap construction of the furniture, the unpronounceable Swedish names for every product, or the lack of instructions to help you put things together. Most people I know tend to have a love-hate relationship with IKEA.
Basically, IKEA causes a lot of emotions. This past weekend, I took a trip to the IKEA at College Park, Maryland and found that I too had many feelings after my visit. Mostly, my feelings consisted of a desire to organize my life and make the most of the space in my small apartment. The way IKEA sets up their showrooms and the rooms they show in their catalogs just makes me feel like I should be living in a tiny house in Sweden where everything is neat and efficient. Constant struggles.
Walking through an IKEA also feels like a mini-war against everyone else in the store. I MUST GET THE LAST BOWL BEFORE YOU DO! A store as big as IKEA can overwhelm my senses and the introvert in me instinctually seeks an escape. I usually just try to get in and out as quickly and painlessly as possible. Now that I am fully recovered from my trip to IKEA, I can confidently say that this trip was a success. A) I’m still in a relationship, B) we fully assembled the bookshelf sans instructions, and C) nothing has fallen apart yet (knock on wood…or particle board).
Plus, you know what makes everything (including IKEA) better? Cats.