Occasionally, after we've moved house or I'm re-organising a space, I'll suggest to Tom that we should maybe make a trip to Ikea, and he always looks back at me like he's hearing the shrieking violins from Psycho. He comes around though in the end, and into the car we get. We always 'fuel up' on the way to Richmond (this time a choc brownie and coffee from the Auction Rooms in Nth Melb) and arrive primed with the mantra 'IN and OUT'. We grab our list, the big yellow Ikea bag and brave the crowd. Inevitably, we always find ourselves two hours later dragging our heels through the kitchen storage section, starving and exhausted and desperately in search of more trolleys to stack our growing cargo.
The irony of going shopping at Ikea is that I always want to go there because we already have TOO MUCH STUFF. Too many things and in our small house nowhere to put it, and with a baby on the way the situation is all the more pressing. I've got to say though, if you're willing to face the flat pack, then Ikea do have some very clever and affordable storage solutions and a surprisingly large range of baby stuff.
Though I'm new to this whole child rearing thing, I've noticed with other friends' children that they seem to grow out of things really fast. Like from size 0000 to 000 in the blink of an eye, from bouncer to high chair, and from bassinet to cot in a flash. For this reason, we've decided to buy second hand as much as possible. It's cheaper, better for the environment, and so much of the stuff has been barely used anyway. We already have a Leander cot we bought on ebay that never even made it out of the box, and I especially like it because it transforms into a child's bed when the baby grows out of it so you can use it for longer.
Cute, huh? They also do a matching change table that turns into a kids desk...
But in our little nursery (almost all painted now but not quite ready for the big reveal) it would be too bulky, not to mention too expensive. For a fraction of the price we found this 'more than meets the eye' Hensvik change table at Ikea that becomes a child's bookshelf.
As you can imagine, they have all kinds of complementary nappy changing accessories on offer which we over-zealously took advantage of, before going on to make a series of impromptu purchases including a persian rug for the bedroom (yes, Ikea have persian rugs now!), a shoe cabinet and small bookshelf for the hallway, glass jars, one of those fabric wardrobe hangers, muslin wraps, baby-proofing gadgets, a kids' wall hanger that looks like a frog... the list goes on. How much did this all set us back? In total, less than the price of the Leander change table so we were pretty happy with that.
Were we still happy at a quarter to midnight that night?
Even the pooch looks unimpressed - evicted from the living room because she kept walking through all of my little piles of Ikea screws. We got there in the end though, thanks to my long suffering husband who when everything was assembled had to fix the shoe cabinet and bookshelf to the hallway wall, but he does like having somewhere convenient to put all of his trainers.