Ikea: More Useless Crap?

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I have a confession: I’m addicted to those home cleaning shows, the ones where homeowners sell, purge and donate all of their useless household crap so they can live in clutter-free peace. The shows – especially the annoying yet endearing Clean House – have inspired me to get rid of entire carloads of junk. My co-workers have been the lucky recipients of my unwanted and unneeded stuff (Patrice: how’s the lamp?) and I’ve unloaded stuff on e-bay, freecycle and craigslist, as well.

I’ve purged so many things from the closets that my boyfriend jokes that he is going to go buy a bunch of stuff from Goodwill, just so I’ll have flotsam to donate, throw away and sell.

I am happy to report that for the first time in years, I am able to look around my home and, well, breathe. It’s clutter-free. But this Zen-like feeling has been shaken lately by the relentless – and breathless – drumbeat of media coverage of the new Ikea store that opens this week in Sunrise.

Buy. More. Stuff.

I know Ikea is awesome and cheap and serves those tasty Swedish meatballs. They also charge for plastic bags. Yay. But it's a goddamned store! And really, do we Americans need more cheap crap?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

Consider this anecdote from a recent article in the Miami Herald and tell me whether people here have waaaay too much time/money and too little sense when it comes to the ubiquitous home goods retailer:

"Denise Agudelo has never actually been in an IKEA store but has a dog-eared catalog that she's treasured for two years, in which she's marked all the items she might consider buying.

''I've always loved their unique items and their prices,'' said Agudelo, 29, who lives in South Miami-Dade. ``Everything is so pretty, so cool and so inexpensive. It's great for a starter home.''

Agudelo requested every Wednesday off this month from her job as a nurse at Mercy Hospital so she could be sure of attending IKEA's opening day. She also held off on furnishing the living room in the new apartment she and her husband moved into in July. Her IKEA shopping list includes a sofa, coffee table, lamps, vase, chairs, kitchen utensils and more.

''I just can't wait to go crazy,'' Agudelo said."

-Tamara Lush

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