Surviving IKEA opening day!

IKEA opened store #41 in St. Louis Mo today and it was a major event. A major event for the media, the city, shoppers, and people like me, professional organizers! I went with 5 other professional organizers and we had a plan. Going with a plan is the only way to survive a day like this.

First of all we got there early. But not too early. We didn’t sleep out starting on Monday to try and score a couch or anything crazy like that. We met at The Boathouse restaurant in Forest Park where we left our cars and all rode together. (Aren’t we smart, carpooling). We arrived at 9:00 and got a primo spot in the underground garage. There were at least 1,000 people already in line, but the line was  so it wasn’t too bad at all. We were handed a goodie bag with a water bottle, a tape measure and a handy screwdriver set. Organizers love stuff like that!! And by 9:15 we were in the door!!  We were greeted with much enthusiasm. It was electrifying! St. Louis favorite Fred Bird was there to greet guests too. IMG_4837 IMG_4831IMG_4865IMG_4832

One thing was also decided was that we weren’t going to buy anything today. It was a huge fear that the checkout lines would be outrageous. So we went about the task of picking our favorite IKEA item. We all chose something different, and they all had to do with organizing. I chose this cute little metal storage cart. It could be useful in the home office for supplies, the craft room for craft supplies, the pantry for small items, the bathroom for things you want to keep handy and the dorm room for all essentials. For $30 I think this is a great find!


IMG_4860After we had wondered around the store for about 2 hours we made our way down to the checkout only to find out that THERE WERE NO LINES!! We could have loaded up bags and carts and gone totally crazy! We were very surprised to see that there were 26 checkout stands and all of them were open. If they continue to run the store like this, then it will be a fantastic place to shop.


One other thing to be aware of is the food here is actually very good. We got to sample some cookies and the amazing cinnamon buns. Also notice that the food is not expensive either. I hear the Swedish Meatballs are good, but we didn’t get to sample those today.


The first 2,000 guests were given a secret envelope. Most of them had either a $10 gift card or a buy one get one free coupon for a hot dog.

So my top tips for shopping at IKEA would be:

1) Go with a plan. Allow 2 hours if you are just going to wander around.

2) Take the measuring tape, pencil and shopping list they offer at the entrance.

3) Take pictures with your phone of the rooms and ideas.

4) Look at everything! There is so much to take in and enjoy. And you will get some great ideas.

5) Go with friends! It’s so much more fun and they might notice something that you have missed.





  1. I’m so glad you guys had so much done. Honestly, as excited as I am, that was about the last place I wanted to be because I thought it would be crowded and unpleasant. But it sounds like it was great! Thanks for the report!!

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