Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thanks, IKEA Guy!...a Homeschool Remodel Adventure

After 10 years of homeschooling and 14 years in this house, we are remodeling our "schoolroom." I spent some time on the IKEA website yesterday afternoon and found a few things I wanted. So dh and I headed out for an IKEA date night. Join me on the journey...

7:15 Arrival. At the top of my list is a metal door cover I'd seen on the website. In the description it said it could work as a magnetic board. We make a pass through the maze that is IKEA and finally ask a salesperson for help.

7:25 In kitchens..."We're looking for the metal door covers that we saw on the website. Can you point us in the right direction?"

Saleswoman looks at me like I'm from planet homeschooler. "We don't carry anything like that."

"But I saw it on the website this afternoon."

"No, nothing like that here. It'd have to be brand-new for me to not know about it."

We keep looking, continuing through the maze.  We find a salesman who scratches his head. "There are some smaller magnetic boards in organization, but nothing big like that." Since we're standing IN organization, we take another run through, give up, and head back upstairs.

Salesperson #3...or is it #4..."Nope."

Crazy homeschool lady..."But I saw it on the website this afternoon. It said it was IN STOCK for this location."

Salesperson #umpteenthousandandone..."Nope."

It's now 8:42ish. (Time flies when you're having fun.) We've trecked through IKEA 10 times, uphill both ways and in the snow. We find a computer "self search" machine. Enter "magnetic board." Zero results. Enter "magnetic." Get a list of hits that INCLUDE THE PHRASE "magnetic board." Mine isn't there.

8:50 Find a salesman near the stock/EXIT area. Tell him our long, sordid story. He looks on the "self search" machine. Unbelievably, HE GETS THE SAME RESULTS AS US. (Pound head into large metal--perhaps magnetic?--object!) Yet, there is hope. This man finds a computer with internet access. Attempts to get on. Learns that since he's only been an employee for two weeks that he NEEDS A PASSWORD. Waits for assistance to access internet. Waits. Waits some more. Another guy comes to help. He doesn't have a password either. We look at the first employee. He shrugs. "He was hired the same time I was."

8:58 With new help, salesman finally accesses IKEA website. I immediately direct him to the magnetic door panels. He enters the stock number into the "self search" machine. We all peer at the "location in store" box. What does it say?

"Consult sales personnel." 

(Attempt to drive large metal--perhaps magnetic?--object into temple.)

9:00 Across the loudspeaker: "IKEA is now closing."

9:01 Salesman says he has no idea where to find the item...although he does note that the computer indicates that 31 of them are available at this location. (Note to IKEA...the reason you have 31 of this item is that NO ONE ON YOUR STAFF KNOWS WHERE THEY ARE!)

9:02 Salesman says his best guess is that the item is warehoused at another location and that you make the purchase here before picking it up there.

9:03 I ask how you're supposed to make a purchase, sight unseen.

9:04 Salesman tells us to try kitchens. (Note: Go back and read 7:25.)

9:06 We fly through the lower floor and return back upstairs to kitchens. On the way we desperately call out to a couple salespeople chatting..."Kitchens? Metal door panels?"

"That way!!!" they yell.

9:08 We find a miniature display version of the door panel. Reject it. (If we'd actually wanted it, I'm not at all sure that they could have found it!)

9:10 Head to checkout with a few purchases.

9:13 Walk out the door as they're turning off the lights.

Moral of the story? Please let me know.

Hopefully, I'll have a remodeled room to show you in a month or so. Maybe. If IKEA isn't involved.


P.S. But dh notes, "Yeah, but we had fun together!!!" True story. ;)

P.P.S. The thanks goes to the IKEA guy who finally got us on the website!!!! Otherwise, we might still be there.


  1. I'm cracking up...I should have also mentioned..."don't count on their website inventory behing accurate"
    But just know...you dh cannot possibly be truly related to my dh...because my guy get within 50 feet of Ikea :)
    I hope you at least ate meatballs.

  2. Haha! What a nightmare!

    IKEA was my favourite store of all time for the last 10 years ... based only on catalogues, wishing to ONE day go there. Then we finally went! Reality wasn't nearly as perfect as the picture I'd built up, it's mostly laminated chipboard. We took photos and came home to build our own shelves.

  3. I went to Ikea for the first time in my life on Friday evening. I didn't know whether the desk I watned was there, and had forgotten what it was called. I wandered the maze, didn't see it in Ikea Workplace (where they'd said it would be if they had it), asked for help. The person looked up table; I said try desk. I said it was $20; she said she couldn't search on the price. She had to go through pages of stuff, but found it. It's called Laiva. "Go to aisle 8, section 25 in the warehouse."

    Ok. We get a bit lost on the way, and pass people saying "How do I get out?!" But we find it, buy it, and get out in about 30 minutes total. Not so bad. But I'll remember your story.

    The assembly took me over an hour, and it's particle board covered in plastic (or maybe laminate). But it's the right size to go next to my desk for students! I'm glad to have a desk for them.

  4. I bought a piece of sheet metal, cut to my specifications (3' x 5') at Salem Heating and Sheet Metal (located near the Math Learning Center). It cost $34 and they even carried it to my car for me. We hung it on the wall with foam adhesive strips - easy peasy. We love it.
    Can't wait to see the big reveal on the HS room.

  5. About 80% of what we have in the house comes from IKEA, but we rarely if ever asked salespeople for help. Overall I have the same impression - they are less than helpful. But your post really made me curious as to what you were looking for. We have a set of three magnetic boards from IKEA that hang side by side on our wall and provide a nice long magnetic board - enough to put up all Anna's artwork. But they are not tall - I believe they are about 80 cm high.

  6. Thanks for all your comments!

    franticallysimple...We did think about doing this...maybe still will. But now I'm drooling over magnetized whiteboards. Decisions, decisions...

    Happy Child...

    Rubrik is what I was looking at:


    They come in all different sizes and shapes.

  7. I owe ya after the Ikea trip...

  8. Did you know that SH&SM have the magnetized whiteboards too? Again, cut to size and just slightly more money than the plain.

  9. Feeling slightly guilty for laughing. And yet...



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