A blue and yellow hell


Yesterday was a sort of “lost day”. I decided to finally grab the bull by the horns and tackle my never ending problem….STORAGE. My willing accomplice in this quest was Sheila, who is currently moving into her new home.

Ikea hell

We were SO organised:

  • List? tick.
  • Measurements? tick.
  • Marcus’s jeep? tick.
  • Ropes, just in case we buy something really big? tick.
  • Caffeine levels topped up? tick.
  • Early start? tick.


Looking a bit like Thelma and Louise, but without the soft-top car, or the sunglasses, we set off to err..em...IKEA!

The first snag we encountered was when we were driving to our destination, we noticed a lot of kids that should really have been at school. And then it slowly dawned on us….Yes, we had, of all the weeks in the year, picked the MID TERM BREAK to go to Ikea. Well, we were nearly there, so there was no going back.

I don’t know how it happened, but after a fairly controlled trip through mostly furniture upstairs, obediently not straying from the “path” (think lambs going to slaughter) and following the arrows on the floor, we arrived on the most dangerous area of all… the ground floor.

Armed with just a scrap of paper with the numbers of the items we were interested in, we duly got a trolley each. So far so good, but then we’d to trawl through the kitchen stuff, the bedroom stuff, the bathroom stuff, the lighting stuff, and all the-other-stuff-you-certainly-don’t-need stuff. Oh, and I almost forgot… the candles: you never can have too many of these.

Somehow during all of this I did manage to get some of the “drawer storage solutions” I had been in search for, but had managed to lose Sheila. Thank God for mobile phones! When I got a text from her saying she was “heading into the Heart of Darkness-the pick up place!” I began to wonder what she meant. Had she discovered some sort of speed dating area? I had noticed a number of people in an area under the stairs, but thought (in my innocence) that they were putting things in the lockers. How could I have missed THAT? Then I realised she meant the place where all those desired items we had jotted down on paper – a long time ago upstairs – lived. Yikes, the storage units! I’d almost forgotten about those. Looking at my trolley, I wondered how on earth they were going to fit… where did all this other “stuff” come from? Did I mix up my trolley with someone else’s? But no, on closer inspection, the contents were all mine.

It was in the "Heart of Darkness" I had a “Marie Moment”, and couldn’t seem to find the correct “Aisle”, let alone the “loc” or “Article No.” of my “ALGOT” storage frames and baskets. Luckily at this point I found Sheila, but she was almost as bad trying to find her stuff. Perhaps the “Marie” problem is contagious, or maybe it is just the Ikea effect?

Finally we headed to, or more accurately – careered towards, the check out with two regular trollies and one serious flat-pack trolley between us. As I put the shrink wrapped set of china on the conveyor belt, I spotted that it was smashed, in fact very smashed. I didn’t like to think how that might have happened, but it could have been when I was trying to “fit” the ALGOT storage frames and baskets in, what appeared to be, my ever shrinking trolley.

My face must have said it all, the very thought of retracing my steps back to the kitchen stuff through all the-other-stuff-you-certainly-don’t-need stuff, filled me with dread and made me blanch. The very nice woman at the till, the ultimate professional, phoned a colleague who brought a replacement down. Phew, that was a close call!

Down to the car park by lift was an even trickier manoeuvre with three Jenga-like trollies between the two of us. Our packing skills were really tested, but eventually we left Ikea / Hell, packed to explosion point. In the jeep, as neither of us wears a watch, we realised that we had just been in a kind of twilight zone and “lost” four hours of our lives there.

Today I discovered two major flaws with my purchases. Firstly, as I started to assemble the ALGOT storage system, I have realised I can’t fit them all into the space I had intended them for. I still have no idea how my measurements changed between home and hell. [Editor's note: What's this 'I' business Kimosabi - I seem to remember you helping unwrap the items, then f'ing off to "make tea".]

And secondly after emptying the drawers in the studio, throwing out nearly a third of their contents, putting the “drawer organisers” in place, I now can’t fit half of the much-reduced stuff back in the drawers. How on earth did that happen?

Note to self…..in future don’t bother!