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I took advantage of my day off today and decided to make a trip to Ikea. Now, before undergoing such a grueling task it’s important to observe a few rules…

Rule #1: Never, ever, under any circumstances, go on a weekend day. You’re asking for pure punishment from the moment you hit the parking lot. We took a chance going on a Friday afternoon ourselves, but had to risk it.

Rule #2: Always go with a list. Of course, there’s no real way to avoid the impulse buys as you meander through the maze, but a list will help you keep your eye on the prize. Trust me, we have more hangers, bag clips, and lint rollers than anyone. Today was really no different, but we did actually get what we went for.

Rule #3: Pick up a map. They’re conveniently located near the entrance and strategically placed throughout the labyrinth where people get lost the most. It’s a mad house in there. You will need some sort of navigational device if only to make you feel like you’re getting somewhere. Oh, and disregard the arrows painted on the floor, they are only there to confuse you. Also “shortcuts” – aren’t.

Having made many trips over the years, I’ve nearly perfected the Ikea experience. Having a plan, a list, a little patience and maybe a Xanax will always help.

(*For the record, I wrote this post on Friday. I just didn’t post it until after midnight…)

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