Thursday, February 27, 2014

The IKEA Effect

Last week, I gave the d'var torah (short talk about the week's Torah reading) at Friday night services. I always have a minor level of anxiety when tasked with giving a d'var, but had an idea in the back of my mind that I wanted to pursue for this week. And pursue I did. 

The reading for last weekend dealt with the building of the mishkan, the temporary "temple" the Israelites used in the desert. It was a ready to build and take apart type structure and their first holy site for worshiping God. 

Where am I going with this?

Well. Ever since I was younger and learning about this reading, I thought about IKEA furniture. The idea of it being easy to put together and easy to take apart and move. I naturally had to connect my words of Torah to my love of IKEA - and if I dare worked. 

The coolest thing I learned in my writing of the d'var? There is a documented effect called the "IKEA Effect"- it is the documented sense of accomplishment that comes from standing back and seeing what we've assembled on our own. 

Now, besides the pride I have over the d'var I wrote for last week, I totally believe this effect is real. 99.8% of my apartment is IKEA furniture (even kitchen gadgets and cookware...). I put it all together. I have so much pride in my little home. 
Every time I open my dresser to get some socks I think of how I was exhausted from moving, but I stuck with it and put that darn thing together (and that 3 years later it still stands, solidly!).
I may be exhausted when I climb into bed each night, but I love knowing that my determination and patience are what allow me to sleep soundly each night.
I love to read. I love IKEA. I love knowing that I put each Billy or Expedit in my apartment together.
It's only a coffee table, but I put it together (in record time, too).

To paraphrase what I wrote in my d'var:  "The creation of something from basic materials that before weren’t considered to be special seems to increase one's confidence."

I stand back and see an apartment that I built. I know it's mine, and I love that feeling. IKEA may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I bet if you reflect, you'll find a time when you experienced the "IKEA Effect." A time when you did something for yourself and the had that amazing sense of pride and accomplishment afterwards. It's pretty remarkable, isn't it?

13 thoughts on the matter:

Nicki said... {Reply}

We don't have an IKEA locally - but I can completely appreciate the sense of accomplishment you get when you persevere and build something - and it remains standing.

Anonymous said... {Reply}

I can't say I've ever been in an IKEA store, though I have friends who think they are completely amazing. I'm not sure there's even a store anywhere nearby in Louisiana where I live. However, the sense of accomplishment that is felt (satisfaction even) when being both productive and creating something with your own hands is definitely a pretty remarkable feeling.

Dara @ Not In Jersey said... {Reply}

awesome comparison! good job!

Nancy C said... {Reply}

IKEA has not made it to Nebraska as yet, but I do love your comparisons. Simple and easy -- is good! :)

Kim Cunningham said... {Reply}

Oh yes! Anything we put our efforts in to feels amazing at the end. I'm going to feel this way about painting a day! There are sometimes that I lament that I have to do things all on my own because I can't convince the troops that helping is a worthwhile cause...but then, I think, I can do this! And I do. IKEA effect! Love your analogy!

4 Lettre Words said... {Reply}

Simple pleasures are what life is all about!

The Artful Diva said... {Reply}

IKEA is one of my favorite stores. I've been meaning to drive across Alligator Alley and do some shopping. You've got me anxious to get going now!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said... {Reply}

I love this! I've definitely experienced the Ikea effect in my home as well!

Gina Kleinworth said... {Reply}

So well said & I completely agree. Something so satisfying about creating something of purpose & usefulness out of what you have.

Kim Stevens said... {Reply}

I love your analogy on this Tamar, so so good! Yes, there is something very satisfying about doing something with our own hands. When I was single, I filled the trunk of my car with so many bricks I'm surprised my tires weren't flat by the time I got home. But I built a small front porch with those bricks and it felt so good when I was finished. I love IKEA and I love the IKEA effect! :)

tiarastantrums said... {Reply}

awesome! My little one and I just finished this portion and are reading Moses death and the entry to the promised land.

Suburban Girl said... {Reply}

I have only bought unassembled furniture once...and recently. My son and I spent more time unassembling than assembling. It took us forever, but we had fun.

Karen said... {Reply}

I am overdue for a trip to IKEA!! Thanks for reminding me :)