As we have established I can argue a mean “I need this now” debate. If I want it, I’ll find a reason to have it. Yesterday, after a failed weekend away, Kevin and I spent the evening in IKEA. We had planned, for months, to take off the entire first weekend of March and spend it climbing in Pennsylvania. With last week’s rain and temperatures in the mid-30s, the rocks were fairly untouchable and in some cases: icy. We called it quits and slunk back to DC, but on the way made a quick pit stop into the IKEA in College Park, MD.
I had a few ideas in my head about what we needed to make our house a home, and the stop was intended to satisfy two needs: meatballs for Kevin and measurements for Molly. Two hours, eight boxes, and 350$ later I wondered, had I broken my no shopping month on day 4? We didn’t plan on buying when we walked in the door. It was a day for spontaneous looking. Had we jumped the gun?
We picked up a six drawer dresser for the bedroom, sideboard/open storage cabinet for the entryway, a small five shelf bookcase, and a tall six shelf wire storage rack for the kitchen. It was the first furniture purchase Kevin and I had made together – after living together for three years. Our first year together I was still in college and juggling my time between days on campus and days in DC. Post college I moved in full time and our apartment inherited a lot of my college “junk”, including a Sterilite plastic dresser that Kevin has been using for TWO YEARS. It was time for an upgrade.
I asked Kevin how I should write about our IKEA adventure. His suggestion? Write about the difference between essentials and non-essentials. Everything we had chosen was functional, it all works for us. The dresser means that all my clothes can move out of Kevin’s tall dresser and he can move out of the plastic dresser. We finally have a place for all our clothes. The sideboard replaced a too small, short white bookcase that was overcrowded with odds and ends. It looks 1000% sleeker and the white bookcase has been moved into the other room to house cosmetics, jewelry, and accessories (formally all balanced on top of the plastic dresser). The new bookcase will alleviate our old, overly crowded bookcase and the kitchen will finally have all the storage it needs from the wire racks.
While the decision to purchase was spontaneous the items we chose are ones that we have needed for over a year. To me, that makes these things essentials. They are pieces that take our apartment and make it a home. They flow, coordinate, add functionality and make us proud of where we live.
My takeaway is that while this was a “shopping” trip it does not fall into the categories of shopping I am forgoing this month. It wasn’t frivolous, it wasn’t purchasing something for style that will rotate out in a month, it wasn’t out of boredom, stress, or a shopping mania. It was a decision that Kevin and I made, as a couple, and are appreciating together.