Strangely enough, my first trip to an IKEA didn’t happen until we moved overseas. My mom claims she took me with her to get some stuff for my younger sister back in the day, but I don’t recall it. I don’t know what took me so long to walk through the doors of that magical place but I was hooked after my first visit in Singapore. Sadly, we don’t live in a country that has an IKEA (or maybe that’s a good thing for our bank account). This means that anytime we take a trip to an IKEA while in a neighboring country, we always have to keep the dimensions of our suitcase and the weight of each item in mind before making the purchase.

There are many things I love, absolutely love, at IKEA but not all items make the “airplane-travel friendly” cut. However, I have made some purchases that’ve proven to be extremely useful, versatile, practical, and can fit in a suitcase. Boom!

1. The FÖRNUFT 24-Piece Cutlery Set, stainless steel

I bought one pack of these when we were first moving into our new house. The quality is so great that I got another pack the next time I went to IKEA. If you live in a country that is not heavily populated with Westerners, you know that some good-quality items come at a high price. This is especially true if the item you’re in the market for isn’t even used by the common, local person (i.e. they use their hands or chopsticks to eat). It’s all about supply and demand, right?

2. BYGEL Rail and Wire Basket

If I were listing these according to which IKEA items were my favorite, these items would be at the top of the list. I have FOUR rails and THREE wire baskets, each serving a different purpose around my house. I’m actually in the market for another rail to put in my son’s room so I can hang some of his cute BYGEL containers from it. I mean, just check out this page full of all the different things you can hang from the rails. Below are some photos of how I personally use the rails and baskets. You’ll notice that I also invested in the 10-pack of S-hooks so that I could hang other items as well.


3. HEAT Pot Stand, cork (3-pack)

These are practical, cheap, and lightweight (remember, you’re packing this in your luggage)! I’ve purchased 2 packs and I’ve been pleased. I’ve also used one of the cork pot stands for something besides a place to put hot pots. If you look closely at the photo in the top right photo of the collage above, I use one cork pot stand as a little circular cork board to stick memos, reminders, and to-do lists.

4VARIERA Shelf Insert (see also a larger version)

With these shelf inserts, you can get more storage space for cups, bowls, and spices. It also makes it easier to view the contents of your cabinet. If you have the space, you can attach 2 or more shelf inserts together using the provided screws. I bought a larger shelf insert for my cup cabinet and a smaller shelf insert for my spice shelf. I can honestly say that I spend far less time digging around for what I’m looking for.

5. JANSJÖ LED Clamp Spotlight, white

The hubs and I each have our own light clamped to our side of the bed. It’s nice because you don’t have to take up any floor space or bedside table space to put a standing lamp. The “clamp lamp” arm is adjustable so you can easily direct light where you want it to go. Sometimes my son and I enjoy a little shadow puppet play by pointing the light right to the wall. Fun times!


6. HOLMÖ Floor Lamp

You might not think you could fit a floor lamp into your luggage but THINK AGAIN! This lamp folds down, accordion-style, into a 9 x 11.5 inch box (23 x 29 cm). The depth of the box is only about 3 inches (7 cm). I prefer to use a “natural light” bulb to give a softer lighting in the room. If you use a lightbulb labeled “white” or “cool daylight” (as I’ve seen it called in our current country of residence), then you might not get the same effect.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 11.43.14 PMPhoto Credit: IKEA

7. Curtains!

I bought all of the curtain for my house from IKEA. When I did the math, it came out to be the same price for me to have the curtains made here or to purchase them pre-made at IKEA. Since IKEA had the styles I was looking for (and at a price I was willing to pay), I decided to choose IKEA. They set up the curtain section in their store so nicely, too. All of the curtains are hanging up so you can see what they look like all unwrapped from their packaging.


These last 3 items might speak more to those out there who have little children running around the house…

8.  KUSINER Mesh Basket with Lid

Much like the floor lamp I listed above, this basket folds down accordion-style for easy packing. For our current season in life, this is the basket where all of my son’s stuffed animals are thrown. With a little sister on the way, it might become the home of many baby dolls.


Another great foldable storage box. We’re currently using this box for all of my son’s dress-up clothes. It’s much firmer and sturdier than the KUSINER mesh basket, if that’s something you’re in the market for.

10. PYSSLINGAR Wall Pockets

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a fan of all things storage-related when it comes to my children’s toys/items. Space is limited and toys are plentiful, so the more storage, the better! The great thing about the wall pockets (other than the fact that they match the PYSSLINGAR box) is that it doesn’t take up any floor space. The sky’s the limit for how you can use these pockets.

Can you spot all 3 items?



Want to pin this post to remember for your next trip to IKEA?