Lost In Decoration: The 5 Most Valuable Life-Lessons I Learned From Ikea - Hannah Mang
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Lost In Decoration: The 5 Most Valuable Life-Lessons I Learned From Ikea


Have you ever been to Ikea?

If you’re one of the blessed souls who don’t even know what an “Ikea” is + you’re picturing a colorful parrot right now? Nope.

That’s a “Kea”:

And it’s nothing like what I “experienced” in the last 2 days:

Ikea. The Swedish furniture company responsible famous for cute yellow-and-blue megastores all over everywhere, product names that sound like rare diseases, furniture you “get to build yourself” at home and of course: meat balls. (I’m using the term “of course” here as if it was the most natural thing to eat meatballs whenever you buy a new wardrobe… But it’s NOT!)

Anyway. Ikea-prices are okay + their stuff looks nice, so EVERYBODY goes there.

It’s one of those places you drive to — say around noon on a Tuesday — and it’s freakin’ crowded. And you’re saying to yourself: “Does nobody have to work anymore? Jeez, what’s everybody doing here at this time?”

But right before you start to complain about all these useless people and how they should buy their stuff on Friday afternoons and Saturdays like they’re supposed to?

You realize you’re one of them and that it’s actually awesome! So you pat yourself on the shoulder, take one last deep breath + stride off into your Swedish nightmare adventure.

Yes, I went to Ikea. 2 days. In a row.

Can you picture me alongside hordes of annoyingly overjoyed “we’re-moving-in-together”-couples + hysterical chicks who – like me – are trying real hard NOT to waste another 57 bucks on vanilla scented candles or floral-print napkins for “special occasions” that never occur? (For the record: We failed.)

It was hilarious. Except that it wasn’t.

But 2 days at Ikea sure taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons.

And since I love you long time? I shall not withhold them from you!

Alright: “Cuddle up in your chair”, light up that vanilla scented candle, place it on a floral-print napkin to avoid wax stains (but really to feel good about yourself because you did in fact need all that stuff) and let me share life’s most valuable lessons with you!

Lesson #1: Know exactly what you want.

Seriously, friends. You gotta know what you want.

Because if you’re not crystal-clear on what you want? You’re gonna end up with LOADS OF CRAP but never with what you came for.

You’re gonna get lost in decoration + won’t be able to focus.

So if you don’t wanna drown in unwanted crap? Get clear on what exactly you want. BEFORE you go out there and get some.

Both in life and Ikea.

Lesson #2: Better safe than sorry.

I swear to God and all things holy: From now on I’ll double check everything!

See, I bought a new couch today (yay by the way!).

And after you hand over your money to Ikea? You gotta wait for them to fetch all the funny pieces your new couch consists of until you can finally take that sucker home with you.

And usually you don’t compare the 37493-digit product number on your receipt to the product number on each of the 8 freaking boxes they load onto you. Right?


If you don’t wanna drag 2-times your bodyweight all the way up to your apartment and ecstatically rip the boxes off your new baby only to discover that the gorgeous grey couch you thought you bought is actually fucking magenta?

You better go check your numbers!

Because just checking the product title (Friheten) and whether you got all your 8 boxes in a row? Is simply not good enough!

So, no — I did NOT compare the product numbers because a) I had the guy I hired waiting outside with his truck and b) who the hell does that? Get a fucking life!
So, no — the couch that just cost me $115 in transportation alone + probably two precious years of my life? WAS NOT THE COLOR I BOUGHT.

If I’d only compared the product numbers…

(First world problems, I know!)

And this brought me to lesson #3.

Lesson #3: Stay strong + don’t let them fool you!

My afternoon went on like this: After recovering from my magenta-trauma and the anxiety of possibly having to go “back there” AGAIN?

I called Ikea.

I thought I’d be friendly because, hey! — It’s not the fault of the chick who randomly picked up the phone and nobody benefits from me being an asshole anyway.

But that went terribly wrong.

I was all like “Excuse me Miss, but you gave me the wrong couch”. And she was all like “Ok. Bring it back and you’ll get store credit.”


Are you fucking kidding me?

She pretty much forced me to use the magic word: supervisor.

(Which apparently is the magic Ikea-word for “why don’t you just hang the eff up on me” because that’s exactly what she did. Talk about customer service, right?)

But I stayed strong. I didn’t let them fool me. I called again.
And eventually?
I could speak to a supervisor.

Who then taught me lesson #4!

Lesson #4: Don’t trust anybody.

This is the actual piece of advice I got from the supervisor at the Ikea service hotline. True story.

When I told her what happened and that it was absolutely NOT possible for a customer to identify the color of “Friheten” from neither the package nor the receipt? The supervisor told me I should have double-checked (which means that in fact she deserves store credit for lesson #2 as well) and that just in general I should not trust anyone.

Why, thank you.

You just woke up the lawyer in me!

Because I sure as hell didn’t call for misleading life-advice. You can get that anywhere for free.

I called for a COUCH!

And after 10 minutes of me lawyering the shit out of the case? (ok, probably anyone could have done it, but give me my moment of glory there please ;)

I received an apology and the couch I actually bought delivered to my living room within 2 hours.

So forget about Lesson #4. It’s dumb and you should ignore it because the lesson really is that I didn’t study law for nothing which is not even a lesson for you, so now I owe you an apology.

I’m sorry!

Why don’t we just move on to the last one and pretend this never happened?

Lesson #5: Surround yourself with positive people.

ESPECIALLY when you’re fixing up Ikea-furniture.

I don’t know if it’s the word- and numberless instructions or the blank fear of your couch breaking into pieces the first time you rest your sexy back on it… but boy, do people get MAD when they build up Ikea stuff.

Divorces are filed. Tears are shed. And blood might even flow.

Seriously, I don’t think I know ANYONE who builds Ikea furniture in peace + harmony. That’s just not how it works. It’s more like: You want that sofa? We’re gonna throw in 3 years of therapy*. You’re welcome!
*Therapist fees not included.

So please make sure you surround yourself with strong + positive people who won’t give up on you when shit hits the fan. And then you’ll have a shot at surviving the furniture-inferno together.

Have you ever been to Ikea? (Walmart-visits DO count!)

What “valuable life lessons” did you learn?

And what really pissed you off this week (but you were scared of saying it out loud because of the Law Of Attraction and all the crap you’d manifest if you did think these nasty thoughts)? It’s okay to let it out, take my hand and tell us in the comments! :)

I’d love to hear all about it from YOU!



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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Adolfo August 8, 2014, 2:59 am

    Have you looked at the capstan kitchen tables? Would love
    one of them in our dining room, unfortunately I don’t reside in a
    massive house

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