Ikea can be a designers best friend. The worldwide furniture and decor enterprise is known for having easy to transport quality home goods for a fair price. However, anyone who has visited the massive stores knows that going to Ikea is as much an excursion as it is a shopping trip. Here are a few tips for making the most of your shopping time.

    1. Browse online first.

    Ikea is a massive store. If you go in blind, you may come out having redecorated your entire home without intending to. Worse, you may become so overwhelmed with options you could become a shopping zombie who is unsure of what to purchase. By pre-shopping online, you can make a list of items which interest you and create a plan of attack. If you sign up for an account with Ikea.com, you can make printable shopping lists which include information about where you can find items and their prices.

    2. Take good measurements.

    Ikea has a pretty good return policy, but there is still nothing worse than having to make multiple trips to return items which don’t fit. Every product tag has the items measurements listed on it. If you bring the measurements of your space with you, you can ensure everything will fit perfect the moment you bring it home.

    3. Always check out the As-Is section.

    Ikea is really great about reselling incomplete, returned, or display items. While items in the As-Is section are not returnable, there is usually a really great bargain to be found in this section. Sometimes there are minor damages like scratches or dents. Other times items are incomplete or have been returned. With incomplete items, you may need a little imagination for how to use items, like making bookcase sides into table tops. If you are a repurposing guru than the As-Is section is for you. For inspiration on how to repurpose Ikea items, do a web search for Ikea hacks.