IKEA Fieldtrip: Shopping for My Daughter’s Dorm Room

IKEA warehouse concept. For an article about dorm shopping

IKEA is a great place to shop when outfitting a dorm room.

With my youngest daughter starting college in a few weeks, we made our customary dorm shopping trip to IKEA in Dallas last weekend. We grabbed our yellow bags at the entry and started following the arrows, dorm list in hand.

I love IKEA, especially for something like outfitting a dorm. You can get everything in one place, get great European design, and all at minimal cost (a big plus, considering the cost of college tuition!)

So, here we are, moving along smoothly in the river of people, staying focused on our necessary purchases (this part was hard for me) when we get to the kitchen gadget area. OK, so I got a little off target there. Really, I only bought a few Swedish blue cereal bowls and a $6 pepper mill ($6!!). But I digress.

We arrived at the end where the river of fellow shoppers splits into human tributaries as they line up to check out, and we realized that we had to get back upstairs to the cafeteria. Panic time. Our plan was to meet Mary’s roommate over Swedish meatballs. She’s from Dallas and was dorm shopping with her mom at IKEA that day, too. At that point, the six of us (me, my husband, Mary, my other daughter Anna, my brother-in-law and his wife) had loaded up our huge yellow bags to the point where we needed a cart (specifically designed, of course, to hold the giant yellow bags. It’s the Swedish way).

If you’ve shopped at IKEA, you know that going back upstream is not an option, especially with six people and full bags.

My brother-in-law found a helpful employee (easy to spot in their IKEA polos), who led us past the check-out stands to the elevator. He didn’t even act annoyed. We maneuvered our way back through the cafeteria area and Mary spotted her future roommate (they had already “met” on Facebook) and her mom standing in line.

Over Swedish meatballs, veggie wraps, salmon and a discussion of bedding and dorm refrigerators, we bonded. Thanks, IKEA.

I feel better leaving Mary at school with such a great roommate. And I know that once I’m not busy gathering immunization records, making appointments to the dentist and doctor, checking off each thing on that back-to-college list, I know I’ll have too much time on my hands to start missing Mary.

I’ll miss having her lying down next to me on the bed to talk about her day or her worries. I’ll miss her giggle. I’ll miss her witty sense of humor and having coffee with her on the patio in the morning. I’ll miss the way she gives our labradoodle a doggie massage. I’ll miss watching stupid TV shows like Project Runway and good ones like 30 Rock with her.

But I know from experience that I’ll have to do what I did with my two older kids – concentrate on the exciting college experience they’re having. I’ll think about the new friendships they’re making. But mostly, I’ll be thinking about Parents Weekend or Fall Break when I get to see them again.

Categories: Editor’s Blog