Our IKEA Shopping Trip

posted by Andrea | 08/5/2011

We were supposed to go to IKEA 2 weeks ago — but do to a few “issues” with our truck’s electrical hook-ups, we had to postpone our trip.

Thankfully, a very nice friend from church let us use their truck so we were finally able to go earlier this week — and boy was it an adventure!

Here are a few of our purchases:

We basically planned to purchase all our living room furniture from IKEA — mainly because it’s one of the only stores that offers a super reasonable price for slip-covered furniture. We figure that in a few years, little children will be taking over our house and we wanted something inexpensive and washable so we wouldn’t feel bad if it got ruined.

{Also, for those of you who were/are super concerned about my choice of a “white couch”, let me just assure you that we did get it protected with the highest grade stain protectant via my carpet cleaner plus, it’s machine washable!}

Ok, back to our big shopping trip:

Remember all my brilliant tips for planning a big shopping trip? Well, I followed all my own rules and really worked hard to make sure I considered every single detail.

Since we were going to IKEA specifically to purchase a couch, we had to rent a Uhaul. I checked IKEA’s website to get the package dimensions of the couch, I reserved the appropriately sized Uhaul, I called the day before to confirm our Uhaul registration, and I even called IKEA on Monday morning to make sure they had the couch in stock.

I covered ALL my basis… or so I thought.

We got to IKEA, did our shopping, ate lunch, shopped some more, and then paid for our purchases. Since the couch was so big, we just got a slip of paper with a bar code on it to make the check-out process go smoother.

Then Dave brought the truck and Uhaul around to the “loading dock” and a guy wheeled us out our first 2 packages — the slip cover {a very small box} and the corner section of our couch {which easily fit in the back of our truck}.

At this point, we thought there was only one more large package that we were planning to put in the Uhaul. And based on the website measurements, it would fit perfectly, leaving just enough room for a few other boxes along the side.

Then the IKEA worker came out with a WAY bigger package than the website measurements — like almost double the size!

As I saw him pushing the enormous package towards us, I looked at our little trailer and had a mini panic attack thinking “there is absolutely NO way that package will fit in this Uhual…”

And I was right.

So, after a long day of shopping, Dave and I had to unpack all the boxes in the middle of the sweltering hot IKEA parking lot, in order to perfectly position everything inside the Uhaul.

Can you see how thrilled my husband is to be doing this in a hot parking lot on a 90 degree day with 75% humidity — yup, he was just a little sweaty!

Don’t worry, we got ice-cream cones from IKEA and a huge fountain pop from a gas station.

Plus, it didn’t take us too long to get the couch wedged in there…


We even had plenty of room left over for several of our smaller boxes and other items, and after an hour of packing, unpacking, and re-packing, we were ready to hit the road!


Thankfully, our story has a happy ending as we were able to get the couch back safe and sound, put it together, and quickly get our living room somewhat set up and ready for me to host a 20-person bridal shower tomorrow!

So THAT was our IKEA shopping trip!

Not exactly how I planned it to go, but over-all, it was a success. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to convince Dave to go back any time soon!

I guess the moral of the story is: even extensively planning ahead won’t prevent every problem! Or maybe it’s that we should pay for furniture delivery!

Please tell me I’m not the ONLY one who has ever had such issues. What are you best {or worst} shopping mishaps?


Filed under: LifeDaily Life

Leave a comment


  1. Ben


    I know that this post was several years ago but I am wondering if you remember what size UHaul trailer you rented? Also were you able to fit the whole sectional in the trailer or was the back of the truck full too?
    Thank you.


    Andrea Reply:

    Sorry, I don’t remember the size of the trailer — but I do think I mentioned in the post that we definitely were NOT able to fit the whole sectional in the trailer. In the pictures, you can see that we had to take all the packaging off just to fit most of the couch in the trailer — and also, the back of the truck was loaded up too. 🙂


  2. Cortney


    I don’t have a story for you but I do have to say we have all white slipcovered ektorp couches from Ikea. I have two messy little boys and we share our dining and living room area. Needless to say they get trashed, but a run thru the washer and they look Brand new. Everytime we have people come over they always ask how we keep them so clean and then talk about how they need to get new furniture. If they only knew… But I love them and they are so worth it! We have had them for four years and they are holding up amazing! We did get a second set of slipcovers recently to rotate out, just cause I like to wash them a lot, I just love to feel like I have new furniture every once in a while…. Hope you Enjoy yours as much!


    Andrea Reply:

    yay — thanks for the reassurance Cortney!
    I figure between the stain guard and our washing machine, I’ll be able to keep them looking pretty nice. Plus, for $99 I can totally replace the entire slip cover for a BRAND NEW looking couch.
    I’m sure we’ll love ours as much as you love yours!


  3. JoDi


    Wow, have I got a doozie for ya! I purchase a queen sleeper sofa for our family room which is in the basement of our townhouse. The new sofa was shorter than the sofa that was already down there so I thought there would be no problem getting it down the stairs. WRONG! The sofa was shorter, but the back was higher, and the stairs down to the basement consist of a short flight to a landing with a 90 degree turn to go down the longer flight to the bottom. Got down to the landing and couldn’t turn it no matter how hard we tried, YIKES!

    Fortunately, one of our kitchen walls forms a wall of the landing, and we were renovating the kitchen at the time. We kocked out part of that kitchen wall to open a straight shot down the longer flight of stairs and eliminate the 90 degree turn. So it added a little more drywall work, but at least we got it down there!

    Needless to say, that sofa ain’t comin’ with us when we move! Hope the new owner likes it!


  4. Roxanne


    My roommates and I recently moved into a new condo and are in the midst of furnishing it. Just last week we had a Craigslist adventure- I picked up my one roommate after she was done with work and we drove to look at a dining set (which happened to be from IKEA lol) and we ended up buying it. Of course, the logical thing when purchasing a dining table and chairs would have been to borrow one of our parents’ SUVs… but all we had was my little Chevy Cavalier. Fortunately, the back seats fold down and open to the trunk, so after a half hour of moving things in, out and around the car, we made everything (including ourselves!) fit inside. Granted, my roommate had to sit with one of the chairs in her lap and my seat was so far forward that my knees were wedged under the steering wheel… but it worked!