Improving My Life With Some Shit From IKEA

“There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to, in my room, in my room.”

A bedroom is for three things: bed, clothes, and stuff. I live in 1920 rowhome(renting, roommates) that was built before they invented queen-sized beds. That is to say, when I moved in, my box spring did not fit up the stairs; it was simply too narrow and the box spring too wide. So my mattress is on the floor. It’s a floorbed! Having a floorbed is not uncommon in Baltimore rowhomes. The girlfriend coined the term when she complained about “not wanting to sleep on the floorbed.” I liked it.

Then there’s clothes. My 1920 room also has no closet. I have really cheap rent. I keep of all of my clothes sorted in an intricate basket method. I have no need for fashion, only wearing black t-shirts, as I have every day for the last decade. Hey, if you can successfully rock jeans and a t-shirt, your life is set. The blue basket holds the shirts that smell bad, the green basket holds the ones that smell OK, and in the white basket are the ones that smell fresh like Tide.

Sounds like I got it all figured out, huh? Well then there’s the stuff.


As a toy collector, record collector, video game collector, as well as having an inherent laziness to put things in the trashcan, my room can get kind of cluttered. Sometimes, between the floorbed, baskets, and crap everywhere, I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I think it’s finally happened–I’ve lost complete control. I started to feel it when the inflatable Blue Angel took flight and crash landed on top of Boxing ET. You’ll recognize a few of these items–they’re the last month’s blog entries. It’s happened–I’m finally collapsing under the weight of my crap. That’s when I knew it was time to man-up and go to IKEA.

I’m sure you know the feeling. You think the solution can be so simple, as in “I know what to do! I’ll just get some organizing shit at IKEA.” You think you can improve your life–a few plastic bins here, a cardboard doodad there, a box thingy. You don’t have a mental illness to cure. You just need a new plastic bin. So fans of home-makeover shows, this post is dedicated to you. I was going to improve my life with Some Shit From IKEA.

The girlfriend is never adverse to going on a shopping trip with me, and a shopping trip to IKEA well-qualifies as a date. That’s the kind of thing you at this point in the relationship, go to IKEA. That and watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua. As we walked in, taking the escalator up to showroom heaven, I mentioned how it would be fun if we lived together now and were picking out cheap Swedish imports together. She agreed. Wouldn’t it be nice to live together in the kind of world where we belong?

Going into it, I had no idea what to get. I needed a gay makeover host hopped up on Sugar Free Red Bulls to help me. Or maybe I just needed my own Red Bulls. Meanwhile, the girlfriend skipped around finding treasures; some stuff for sorting paper, something for sorting shoes. But I mulled and sulked, seeing nothing to properly show off a beat-up video-store-display Moonwalker box and a bean bag of Jabba the Hutt. There was only one choice. No file folder or Swedish box could help me. I would have to build some crap. What time is it? Tool time.

I settled on some cheap shelves that looked deceptively simple, and then we wandered around the rest of store, feeling the pillows and admiring the space-saving dish racks. On the way to the registers, a little plant caught my eye, a little plant that was only two dollars. I’ll buy anything at that price, and then I imagined my super-cool makeover room that was also capable of sustaining living things. Yes, a little plant, among the beer cans, floorbed, and Ninja Turtles. It would look nice. I bought him. Yes, the plant was now gendered. (But it doesn’t have a name. I’m not a weirdo who names plants.)


So there it is, a two dollar shrub of grass. He’s doing quite well too. I’ve only watered him once and I’m impressed. He’s not like those wimpy outdoor flowers who need water everyday or else they keel over and shrivel. Or stupid Trader Joes Flowers that die after a day on the table. Nope, this plant is a beast. (I’m thinking of naming him Jim, but I’m not a weirdo.)

Alright, it was shelf-building time. Baltimore people will appreciate my reference here–in order to build some shit from IKEA, you gotta have the most important tool–the right whiskey. Jameson, of course. So I set about my Saturday night to build shelves and drink some Jameson.


Unfortunately, I don’t have punch line here. I’m responsible enough that I couldn’t get ripped while drilling holes in my rental house. I put them up. They didn’t fall. But I didn’t press my luck and put much weight on them.

Are you ready to see my handy work? Let’s take a look:



A little better, if not also a little harrowing from the floorbed looking up. Good thing there’s no earthquakes in Baltimore. I’d be trapped under Michaelangelo and Madballs, with 35 Calfornia Raisins moonwalking through the wreckage.

At least I’d have Jim with me.

3 thoughts on “Improving My Life With Some Shit From IKEA

  1. Ikea shit comes with names. You might not be a weirdo who names plants, but rest assured those shelves have Swedish names.

  2. Nice Shelves.

    I love IKEA and sometimes I go there just for fun, without the intention of getting anything. Other times I go with a specific need in mind, and I almost always leave empty handed. It’s a weird yet wonderful place. I think it can just be so overwhelming; maybe the red bull would help.

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