10 IKEA Etiquette Rules

Starting off with low expectations can really help delay that inevitable wave of frustration. TonyBaggett/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock

In a perfect world, an afternoon at IKEA would be a mix of Swedish meatballs, minimalistic furniture and shopping bliss. You'd eat at the restaurant, drop your kids off to play in the ball pit at Smaland, wander the store, exit with a disassembled coffee table inside a cardboard box — one that actually fits in your trunk — and everyone would mind his or her manners.

In reality, with more than 716 million visitors walking through the doors of its 318 stores every year, IKEA can serve as a backdrop for mobs behaving badly, whether they're blabbering into a cell phone after cutting in line, "forgetting" to clear a tray from the restaurant table, or getting a little too cozy on a daybed in the Showroom and obliviously snoring the afternoon away [source: IKEA].

But by following a few simple rules, you can be a paragon of good etiquette in the mini-society that is IKEA — all without saying "no" to extra meatballs. Let's take a look at what to keep in mind the next time you decide to brave the crowds for that particleboard bookshelf.