The 13 Stages of Every Student Trip to IKEA

The things we do for a Billy bookcase…

1. The Approach.


You’ll feel a rush of excitement and dread as it looms into view, dominating the landscape and eclipsing the sun. Just a taste of the dark, miserable and draining times ahead.

2. The Showrooms.

You’ve decided; IKEA is the absolute tits. The showrooms are surely proof that you can transform your dingy, mouldy and damp infested student home into a fresh and funky 21st Century Swedish style house, perfectly matching your zingy and unique nature all for about £2.50.

3. The Reality.

You realise they charge more for better colours and quality, your estimated bill is creeping up and up and it dawns on you that your new and depressing home is likely to look like every other horrible student house. By the time you’ve reached the millionth show room your inner idealist has perished and your pragmatic self kicks in, determined to get the essentials and nothing else as quickly and as efficiently as possible. You wonder why there is a display of table legs.

4. The Maze

It’s a trap. IKEA have caught you. You’re fucked. You are forced to march through endless one-way paths, meandering through increasingly ridiculous and unrealistic bedrooms, bathrooms etc. There are couples arguing over kitchen cabinets, children screaming, slow walkers and pedestrian jams caused by abandoned buggies or trolleys. You suddenly realise how hot it is.

5. The Sign from God.

Rescuing helpless shoppers everywhere.

6. The Fallen Few

People just can’t hack it. This could be you. You power on.

7. The Meatballs.

Your flatmate swears by IKEA meatballs. They’re obviously the only reason your flatmate even bothered to come. You queue for ages and spend even more time trying to find a seat. You tuck in and realised your flatmate has fucked you over and made you fork out a fiver for tough beefy porky balls of disappointment. Maybe this is payback for stealing their left over Dominos. Regardless, your happy to be off your feet and have something fill the empty void the showrooms have left in you

8. The Determination.

You’ve been carrying around an almost empty yellow bag for a while now. The reality has set in, you’ve pissed away two hours looking at shit you’ll never buy – but now it’s time for the Marketplace. You know your list back to front. You’re going to grab your things and go. Simple. Just like that.

9. The Marketplace

You’re flying through. You’re grabbing plates and glasses and mugs and straws like you’re on an even more boring version of supermarket sweep. You’re unstoppable. Amazing. Nothing can hold you back. You look into your full trolley and realise you’ve fucked up again. Do you need that Martini Glass? Is green really an appropriate colour for a plate? How good will this frying pan be really? You go to phone your mum for advice and realise IKEA have fucked you again. No signal. You’re isolated and the only way out is through endless quantities of the same shit in different sizes or colours. Someone in the distance smashes a glass. IKEA have claimed another soul.

10. The Warehouse.

You’ve been transported to that top-secret government warehouse from the end of Indiana Jones. The crowds have disappeared. They must still be trapped in the showrooms. It’s a group effort to locate and secure the chunky bit of flat pack furniture you need. It’s probably a Billy Bookcase. If you’re having real trouble you can ask the staff who, though helpful, never seem to be in a fitting uniform.

11. The Exit.

You’ve last minute grabbed a couple of large blue IKEA bags for your laundry and a big pack of Daim chocolate. You’ve come this far, you deserve it. The checkout staff rudely ask for your postcode, which you haven’t even got remembered yet so you hand over your parent’s one. Your shop is cheaper than expected. It’s over. You’re free.

12. The Last Hurdle.

Getting back to the car is a fucking nightmare. All the lifts are constantly full and you can’t take the stairs because you bought more than you needed to. Once you finally secure a place in the cavernous elevator you have to then tetris the fuck out of your three-door banger with all of your flat pack bullshit and your moaning flatmate.

13. The Result.

This lamp shade makes it all worth it.