Friday, September 28, 2012

Using Ikea

When an American typically arrives for an extended stay or for a job in Germany....there's this immediate requirement for furniture for the new apartment.....cheap furniture.  So, I'm going to offer this advice.

Look around your major community, and find the local Ikea.  Most towns.....like Mainz, Frankfurt, Mannheim, etc.....have an Ikea.  It's a Swedish company, which expanded out over the past forty-odd years, runs like a large display warehouse.

As you enter the store....there's usually a free catalog at the front....around 100 pages in length.  My advice is to walk around the store for an hour to get idea of what they offer, then go home and gaze at the items in the catalog before you get real serious.

To be honest, it's cheap stuff....mostly things that you put together, and it's not something you'd keep for a decade.  They do make lots of stuff to easily fit into a 400 square foot apartment.  If you consider the pricing scheme....they generally beat most of the big-name stores.  The down-side here is that you pay for lesser quality in the end.  It's stuff that you can toss into the dumpster in four years when you leave....because it's worthless.

Furnishing up a kid's room?  It's the best place to start, and usually has everything you need.  Same for kitchens.

English?  Well....most of the stores have employees who do speak English.  I would admit from the two or three occasions that I've been in the stores....it's been a pleasant experience.  And they do offer a small coffee shop in the stores.

Expectations?  If you are into high-quality living....don't bother going.  If you just want some simple cheap furniture, then it's a decent place.  End of the story.

1 comment:

Nor said...

I didn't know that people didn't know what IKEA was. I work at one in Florida and this matches up well.

Can you throw it all in a German dumpster if you don't want it anymore? It doesn't seem likely in my head from all your columns about their recycling habits. Good reading though :)