New Adventure: Assembly Required

After a week of organizing our things in every calculated square inch of our apartment the weekend arrived: time to get furniture!  Brice and I really liked our home on Campus ave in Ames, but we both came to the realization that we needed to transform our space into a “big boy and girl” apartment.  This means buying sets of dishes, not just the one or two dishes or glasses on sale as I tend to do. 🙂 This method of furnishing an apartment over time is yes, cheaper but you end up with an eclectic mix 18 different glasses and plastic beer mugs from every Welch Ave. college bar in Ames.  We felt that our guests may not have the same appreciation of sipping wine from a 32 ounce Mickey’s mug when they come over to our apartment overlooking silicon valley.

So, as much as we wanted to get out and explore the ever growing list of attractions in the area we focused on completing our apartment with the right storage and space solutions for our needs of entertaining and relaxing.  Armed with a clipboard and a tape measurer, we entered the Ikea in East Palo Alto.  For those of you that have never been to an Ikea- it is 3 stories of organized chaos for every area of a home.  You can literally build your home from the ground up (minus the home frame and inner workings) from this store. Then, after you complete the maze of showrooms, you have to hunt down the correct boxes according to the item numbers that you selected while on the showroom in a huge warehouse-like environment.  Sounds like fun, right?  I actually think it is a lot of fun- I get to have control over my entire retail experience.  No over-zealous sales people asking 15 times “HELLO! IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?!” (I’ve worked in retail- I know the type)  If you need help- it’s there.  If you don’t then they leave you alone.

The last hurdle is getting everything home.  If you’re lucky enough to own a F150 or know someone who does then you’re in luck.  Otherwise you’ve got to pay the $59 to have everything delivered.  We opted for the delivery and went home and anxiously awaited our furniture to arrive.  When it did- it was in flat boxes.  Basically finished items that were not assembled with tools included- that’s Ikea!  Brice had plans to go out to eat with friends or go for a hike that afternoon, but after he saw how the Ikea system worked he understood when I had told him earlier that day, “you’d better clear your plans for the rest of the weekend.”

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in assembly mode.  We had dowels, allen wrenches and screws surrounding us and there were quite a few expletives that were said when things needed to disassembled because of a mistake.  Luckily the only injuries that were sustained was a throbbing thumb and cracked toenail.

The major roadblock was when we opened the 4 chair boxes and realized that we had purchased the wrong color chair for the table we selected.  So, we had to return to Ikea Sunday and return the chairs and get a few other items we missed.  Since we were out we decided to go to Crate & Barrell- a store I’ve never purchased anything in because of my previous home-ware shopping habits. But staying with our mantra of having a nice space, we purchased a new dinnerware set, beverage glasses (they were on sale!) and a few other items we are very happy with.

We finished the weekend with a two-hour Whole Foods store stop to get our kitchen back up and running.  I’m getting tired of eating lean cuisines!  I missed my Fage greek yogurt and quick rolled oats.  We brought our bulk containers and used our teamwork to fill all 9 of them up with our essentials.  For anyone that hasn’t considered buying in bulk- I highly  recommend it.  According to one source– 80 million tons of waste is generated from our retail packaging.  As many of you know I’m one of the first to advocate good marketing to get a consumer to buy a product- I’m a bulk bin”lifer.”  It’s a lot easier to get what you need, and it is much less wasteful.

You can get anything from freshly ground peanut butter to flour for baking.  And, you can get the perfect amount.  Just need 1 tsp. of cumin for a recpie?  You can buy just 1 tsp.  Without all of the cardboard, plastic packaging, longer/higher transportation needs to transport it to the store and less shelf space the product takes up in a bin.  Perfect for you and the environment.

So, the groceries are put away, the dishwasher is humming, I’m sitting on our new Manstad sofa blogging away and drinking ice tea from the Artland highball glasses- I’d say settling is in is going smoothly.

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