Ikea Madness

Few days ago I had an adventurous day at Ikea with my family to buy a bedroom wardrobe. This adventure reminded me first of all how crazy shopping at Ikea can be and secondly, how my mother-in-law went into berserk mode at that store last summer.

This is how it should look like
This is how the wardrobe should look like in the end!

Let me tell you first of all about the family adventure to buy that wardrobe. In theory everything was set in stone, we had already figured out which wardrobe we want (PAX System), what extras should be included and how we transport it. How naive I had been to imagine that this would actually work as planned. The trouble started already with the mass of people at Ikea. It was so full that I felt like being back in China, walking through some shopping center except it was not that hot at Ikea and few less Chinese around. The next problem was that we could not just pick out a wardrobe from the examples as they did not fit my wife’s taste so we had to put together every single item of the 3m wardrobe system.


The list of the different items for such wardrobe included for example the frame, sliding doors, the different elements of the door, shelves and much more. After roughly one hour of planing this was done and everyone was hungry (except me because I was just dead tired by now) so it was lunch time at the store’s own restaurant. Again it felt eerily similar to a Chinese restaurant by the noise level and amount of people except of course the food itself.


WP_20141017_044Lunch was done and the first two hours at Ikea were survived and we walked straight into the next disaster. We had to collect the different parts from the warehouse and as we found the first few pieces we started to realize that we would definitely not be able to take the monstrosity of a wardrobe in our car with us. Not only were these parts just too huge but also too heavy as my father and me together started to sweat carrying them. This meant we had to decide on a delivery option and we ended up renting a little truck to drive our purchased goods home. This is usually not so stressful or related to madness itself however the rental timeframe was only two hours, the store being over 30km away from our home, which meant a lot of speeding and very quick loading and unloading of the truck. In the end we spent six hours with Ikea stuff, including the rental truck story!



DSC01021Now lets continue with my dear mother-in-law. Back in February I wrote a short version of her berserk shopping style at Ikea. As it was only a brief description of her weird ideas I did not mention much of her craziness. As mentioned in the article she had the idea to take an Ikea kitchen cabinet to China for their own use. Not only was this a very silly idea due to the size and weight of the packed cabinet but this whole kitchen cabinet idea would have ended latest in China as both MIL and FIL have just zero talent at constructing stuff. They surely would have tried to build it up but it would have been anything but a kitchen cabinet in the end! Whenever they have to do such things themselves it either never happens or they hire someone to do it for them as it just does not work for them.


The fascinating thing about my crazy Chinese mother-in-law was that she was not really interested in all the furniture offered at Ikea but all the annoying stuff downstairs(for me at least) such as kitchen ware, carpets, textiles and the dreadful area of interior decoration. Can you even imagine how much time a person can spend on trying to convince someone of the great traits of a cappuccino foam maker? Lets just say MIL used up the better part of one hour to convince her daughter to purchase it. Saddest part back then was that MIL did not even like any coffee or related drinks, she just wanted it to show her friends what fancy drinks she can make. But that was back then, by now she has her own coffee machine and couple of nice Finnish coffee packs.


Basically MIL and FIL investigated everything there, especially all the small items to give away as gifts to their friends. No matter what they checked out it was just not good enough as every single item had one thing in common: Made in China. No good for my Chinese parents-in-law but good enough for me. After being for several hours there with my in-laws we left the store without having bought anything. They certainly liked the things offered there but all the stuff was not good enough for their friends which resulted later on a chocolate buying mayhem on a cruise ship.


Now in the end to show you what Ikea Madness means also for me: 2 1/2 days of constructing the bedroom wardrobe and still not done!

28 thoughts on “Ikea Madness”

  1. Your MIL wanted a cappuccino foam maker but doesn’t drink coffee – it’s like buying a car but not being able to drive (actually I knew someone in that situation come to think of it)!

    My husband and I have bought a few things from Ikea and putting them together will, let’s say, was a huge task. Every time my husband started putting something together and I would offer my assistance, in my mind I was saying ‘Please say no! Please say no!’

    Oh, and your time at Ikea probably sounds as frustrating as the times I went there in Taiwan. I remember spotting a comfy chair in their catalogue, perfect for our sunroom, as well as some other items. However, when I went to look at them, I had to compete with several people chilling out on the items I was interested in buying while others were taken lots of selfies in the showrooms I wanted to check out. But then again, nothing sounds as bad as the article written about Ikea in China (have you read it? If you haven’t, I will look up the link.)

    1. I don’t know anymore if I have read that article, would be nice if you can find it for me ๐Ÿ™‚
      In Germany and finland ikea is full but people don’t really occupy the sofas and beds. Sure, people who want to buy these items try them out shortly but nothing else so this makes it much more easier ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Wow, this article is really crazy. It is hard for me to imagine that people do this (though my MIL most likely would do it..). Now I am just happy how peaceful it is here at ikea ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh my MIL is a very special case, she would never ever trust ikea in China :p
      I think there is no ikea (at least last summer) near xi’an and I doubt they send it cross different provinces

  2. IKEA. Oh what fun – the shopping and the building. It’s funny how IKEA furniture looks effortless to make, but really, it’s so far from the truth. I sympathise with you. My IKEA white shelf and table took a day for my dad to put together. First you have to separate the screws and figure out which screw goes where. Then comes the piecing together part ๐Ÿ˜€ And often IKEA furniture needs hammering too. I hope Nathan wasn’t disturbed too much by all the mess.

    That cupboard looks like it’s going to last a long time. My IKEA furniture is still standing strong after almost ten years.

    1. Usually I am pretty good with putting these ikea things together but this wardrobe was jus a massive monster, today I will still have to put in the last shelves ๐Ÿ™‚

      Nathan didn’t really my d any noise as he is whole day two floors downstairs with my wife and my mother at their apartment (we will live just in the same building with my parents, will be a huge help with little nathan)

      1. I hope you have finished the wardrobe by now. It looked like it was finished in the last photo. Well done, Crazy. You’re certainly a handy-man around the house ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ahhh, IKEA. The memories! I miss being a child and getting tossed into the kids’ area and left “unattended” (well there was staff there, but it wasn’t mom or dad) for a couple of hours. It was great! Now IKEA is just a bother, and I would sooner shoot myself in the foot than go on a weekend. D: Well done for surviving AND putting the wardrobe together so quickly!

    1. Yeah, I have more fond memories of ikea from m y childhood, these days it is just a nightmare to go there for me due to two reasons :
      1. It’s full of people
      2. I have to build up the stuff myself which is more often than not pretty frustrating

      1. Nr 1. is reason enough. That alone is why I avoid going pretty much anywhere on weekends. D: (Thank goodness freelance work allows me to go places on weekdays instead!)

        And nr 2… it’s definitely frustrating. So extra well done at finishing it!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. We bought several pieces from ikea at the beginning of the month and since we are in China the delivery and installation fees for three huge pieces was less than 300 RMB (about $45 usd). The expert took two hours to put it together – I think it would have taken us days. Best 300 RMB I have spent in a long time!

    1. Would love to pay that little for the putting this wardrobe together. We actually asked here but it would have been close to 300usd, so a no go for us ๐Ÿ™‚
      Usually I am pretty good with ikea stuff due to years of experience with it but this time I found a worthy opponent in that wardrobe. I never had so much trouble with an item from ikea as with this one and I have never spent more than a few hours on assembling till these 2 1/2 days of work!

  5. That wardrobe is simply huge!! I think you have to be an expert to assemble it!

    It is not only your MIL, all Chinese people go crazy in Ikea ๐Ÿ˜€ Retired people even go there for their meetings I think hahaha.

    1. The wardrobe is 3m long and it was a terrible mess to assemble and actually to get the parts into the apartment. We live in the 3rd floor and both me and my dad were totally exhausted once everything was upstairs, never again!

  6. I think I’m the only person in the world who has yet to go into an IKEA. I know. I KNOW. I have stuff from IKEA that was given to me as gifts (coffee mugs and a baby mobile and some other miscellaneous bits) but I’ve never been in one of their stores. If your in-laws go to Beijing, there’s an IKEA there. And I looooooooooooooooove how your MIL wanted to buy a cappuccino machine to show off to her friends. OF COURSE SHE DID. I remember when Raelynn’s 100 day celebration was coming up and she bought the ugliest tackiest jewelry for her EVER and left the tags on it as if to say “Look how much I spent!” On ugly jewelry. For a baby. And the baby’s mom (ME) will never allow this baby to wear the jewelry I overpaid for ever again. Yeah. Seoul’s 100 day celebration is this weekend. Yes, I’ll be blogging about that one so stay tuned. In any event, I’m curious to know if IKEA has a service where they can 1) deliver and 2) assemble. It might be worth the extra cost if that’s available the next time you need furniture. Oh and I saw in the news recently how Chinese people take naps inside the IKEAs here. Hahahaha!

    1. Ikea actually deliver the items and assemble then. The costs for that varies in every country but I bet it is pretty cheap at least in China. We just didnt want to pay for our wardrobe over 250USD for delivery and assembling, Ikea in Germany got pretty good prices but the delivery service could be improved…

      We also got for Nathan some Chinese jewellery but it is actually not that bad, my wife even likes it so much that SHE wears it ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Well in the end you managed to get a nice and very spacious looking wardrobe out of your efforts so maybe it was worthwhile. I’ve never been a fan of going to Ikea- be it Taiwan or America, the place just sucks the life out of me. Once I’m out of the store, I feel completely lackluster and devoid of energy. Most definitely not capable of assembling anything too complicated. My husband and I outfitted our old room at the in-laws’ largely with Ikea furniture. It’s not very good quality. Several slats in our bed snapped and the dresser drawers caved in. Luckily we moved out and our rental came pre-outfitted with decent stuff (so far none of that has broken and it’s been a year, fingers crossed we can keep it up- I want that deposit back!)

    1. IKEA is really some special place. I am also so annoyed there and just want to leave. Usually I know what I need/ want so I run there, grab the stuff and get the hell out of there. But when I am there with my wife or mother in law or my own mother…oh no, it will take ages and I just get more frustrated.
      Thus far all ikea stuff has survived pretty well for us. My parents even got some furniture (their own huge wardrobe) which is over 30years old and still as good as new!

      1. Hmm. Maybe Ikea’s quality has gone downhill in recent years then. In Taipei, we live near a ‘furniture street,’ Nanchang Road, where every store for two blocks sells furniture. We bought a wardrobe there. Delivery/assembly was provided for a small additional fee. I like how shops selling particular his revs to be concentrated in one area. It keeps prices down and makes shopping less strenuous. I think Ikea’s prices are usually pretty cheap too, but as I said I don’t trust their quality.

  8. First thing is first, shopping at IKEA can make any sane person mad so therefore the theory is that everyone there becomes mad by the time you get to that second floor. All those things that we don’t ever need at home but somehow wind up buying….
    And secondly, did we read right?? MIL and FIL discussed bringing back a flat-pack kitchen to China?

    1. Yes, they were actually thinking how great these cabinets would look like in their apartment. I am just glad that my wife was able to convince them not to buy anything there, wonder how it would have worked out at the airport check in with these huge packages!

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