The IKEA Debacle/School Room Update!

So as I mentioned in this post, I am creating allll the desk space in our new school/office room and so I needed a gazillion Alex drawers (ok... 5) to make it happen. Look anywhere on Pinterest under home office or home-work station, and you'll see these puppies left and right~ so I won't pretend that these are some clever invention of my own. However I wanted a "grown up" desk area as well as a "kid school station" area so I needed theirs to be low and cute like all things kiddo. The options out there weren't great, so I decided to cut these bad boys down to the size I wanted. Read on to see the part that IS my own clever work!

I mean how cute is that, right?



Ok now that that's out there, let's get to the Ikea stuff:


The Why


These desks are all over Pinterest for a reason. The Alex drawers are super perfect for this little DIY project as are the Klimpen drawers which I've used in multiple clients' homes as well. I love them because you can create a desk area that is custom to the size of your space and they don't cost a fortune (though the butcher block can inch up there in price when you use larger sizes).


Here is a version I made for a client with the Klimpen drawers:


Ikea makes this toy chest that I've seen others use for a low version for kids, but:

1) I need drawers for school stuff, not just a big open drawer with a divider for everything to get thrown in and messy

2) I didn't like the width of the toy chests eating into the sitting space that I needed for the kids.

3) I didn't like the depth either which wouldn't accommodate the standard butcher block top that I am using.


Now before you get all excited about some of the other lines that look very similar and are even nice and low for the kids~ none of them had the depth that I needed for the top. So be careful. Alex and Klimpen were my only options and my ol' table saw got the job done!


The Debacle

So I stalked the IKEA site for what felt like months, waiting for these drawers to be in stock. This is when I decided the whole world was using them for their home school needs and due to Covid they didn't seem to be restocking (ie probably not really manufacturing) often. I started to wonder if I was going to have to come up with another plan to be ready by the first day of school. One morning, which happened to be the day before I was leaving town to visit family, I saw that there were suddenly 153 in stock. So excited, and also worried that if I waited until I returned from my trip they would all be gone again (because I am imagining all the Karens pushing to get their Alex's for their precious home schooled babies.. ya know, just like me), I decided to head out to IKEA right then and there.


I should mention that IKEA isn't close to me. It's about 40-something minutes on a good day. I should also mention that I don't really go anywhere right now... ya know, Covid and all. But I grabbed my mask and my gloves (yep I'm "one of those" people) and high tailed it out there at almost rush hour. When I arrived, I thought I was being all clever by just parking at the "returns" end and heading straight for my aisle and bin number that I've looked up in advance (bc by now I know how to avoid all the masses of people and that maze that only IKEA goers know WILL SUCK YOU IN FOR HOURS Y'ALL). Nope.. wasn't dealing with all of that.. I was on a mission for my Alex. I get to the door and this guy kindly asks how he can help me. I explain that I'm headed for one bin and ask him where I can get a nice clean cart. (Karen 101). He says "so you're here to shop?". I wanted to say, no no.. PURCHASE. I'M HERE TO PURCHASE. SHOPPING MEANS I WILL BE UP IN THAT MAZE BROWSING. But instead, I'm actually not so Karen and simply said yes. He then redirects me alllll the way around the building to the parking garage, downstairs, to that entrance. Oh boy. But ok. I walk in that direction, passing all these doors that are no longer in use as they try to control who comes in and out of the building due to Covid. I mean that part is actually good... but as I headed down the stairs I start to see this roped off area and people and people and people and lines and I'm like Holy Mary I can't do the people. As I almost had a little panic attack in my mask, I saw that the line was moving quickly, people were doing their part~ wearing their masks and keeping their distance on the little X's... I calmed myself down and went for it.


So I get inside. I make my way to my aisle and my bin. I hold my breath whenever I'm remotely near anyone because I'm weird. I get to my aisle... this little anticipatory heart pumping feeling, only to find EFFING NOTHING THERE. Nothing. I re-read the bin. the number. the aisle. THE NAME ON THE CARD. Clear as day: Alex. No. nope, no no this can't be. Where are all my 153 Alex's??? I walk the aisle a bit further... ya know, in case they have been placed in the wrong spot. Nothing. I turn and see a pile-o-people all huddled near computers with all their germs trying to locate various items. (They were probably all there for Alex. You know it). And I'm like oh heyyyll no. Not going near that petri dish spot. So I wiggle my hand out of my glove to try and search from my phone but I don't have any service in that huge warehouse. Defeated, I head out. A kind guy lets me out of these doors that no one is using, and as I get outside I try for one more check on the phone. Sure enough, 153 are in stock. What in the actual hotdog? I walk back and wave at my nice guy to come back and chat with me a second, and I explain the situation. He then tells me that it's most likely on a pallet somewhere, but that they aren't allowed to use the forklift during business hours, so I'll have to come back tomorrow. I ask a few more questions and then learned that if I sign on in the middle of the night between the hours of 12am and 4am, then I can likely get a curbside pickup order. Ok! I can handle that!


That night I stay up to stalk the IKEA site again. 12am, no slots. 12:10am, no slots. 12:15am none. I finally fall asleep and wake again at 2am for another go. Boom. GOT ONE! So I purchased in advance and all I had to do is go pick them up the next day. The rest of the story goes smoothly, so I highly encourage this method should you find yourself in a similar situation!


So the desks are in and I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM! I am so thrilled to finally have a legit space to work myself! The shelves that I made are adorable and honestly with the proper tools they weren't difficult at all. I need to order my chairs, some styling items, lighting, possibly a rug, and I may get fancy and purchase my logo for the wall over my desk. Not sure yet! Stay tuned for more!


Need to know HOW? Check out these posts below:


How to make the dang desk already


Leather Strap Shelves~ How'd you do that?!

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