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Using the IKEA Expedit

Updated on June 29, 2015
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The versatility of the IKEA Expedit - how to use it

I'm sure that some statistician at the IKEA head office could tell us how many Expedit bookcases have been sold over the years. And I'll bet that the number is really huge.

That's because of the amazing versatility of these pieces. Many people buy and use the product for exactly what you'd expect - as a bookcase - but these fantastic pieces of furniture can be used for so much more.

I have a large piece in my bedroom. Actually it's two - one high and a lower one beside it. I've had it for about five years but still love it. And yes, it holds books but because we only have a tiny clothes closet, it hold much more. Paperwork, computer accessories, shoes ... there are so many things we store in our simple unit.The photograph on the right - which is taken from the IKEA catalogue by the way - shows it being used in its traditional way but see those white boxes on the bottom shelves?

Who knows what's kept in there, but don't they look good?The adaptable piece of furniture is great value for money and here are some great ways to use it.

Ideas

The tall, single units is great to add shelving to small areas but it can also be very useful when used on its side. Try it as a TV table. It's also a great piece of furniture to have in your hallway. Add baskets or boxes to each cubbyhole and assign one to each member of the family. Add cushions on the top and it makes a handy bench for the kids to use to take their shoes off. (You may want to reinforce this a little, especially if heavier members of the family may sit on it). This horizontal unit looks great under a window too. It can be mounted on the wall to create a lot of extra space.

  • Even though the these units are self-assembly, I put ours together easily and quickly. And I don't know the difference between a screwdriver and a corkscrew (unless it's time for a glass of red wine).If you're going to use a tall unit, it might be a good idea to have it attached to the wall, especially if you have small children who will see it as an excellent playground climbing frame. It's also a good idea to put the heaviest items on the bottom shelves. One of the wonderful things about the range is that you can buy just one unit and add accessories and other units at a later date. So flexible!
  • This is a great unit to use as a room divider when placed at right angles to a wall. It's great in living rooms but is especially useful for one-room living. If you live in a studio, they are a great way to separate your living area from your sleeping area. Doors can be added on either side too so you can access them from both areas. Leave book shelves open so that you can access them from either side if you wish. If you don't want people to see through to your sleeping area. hang a gorgeous fabric on the bed space side for extra décor and privacy.
  • My neighbor uses a unit in his kitchen. It has a variety of doors, boxes and open shelves. Recipe books, glassware and decorative items. Who knows what the boxes hold or what's behind the doors? But it's a tiny kitchen and the versatile unit has more than doubled his storage space. He also keeps items - a mix of décor and stuff in baskets - on top of the unit.
  • It can be a great piece of furniture in the bedroom. Smaller units can be used inside closet to give a wonderful organized space. Some lucky people who have walk-in closets find the range invaluable there too. Single units can be used horizontally to make the most of under bed storage. Smaller low units can be used as a dressing table too. I use my lower unit as a nightstand and it holds books, family photographs and miscellaneous stuff in a decorative basket.
  • Very few people use theirs in exactly the way they came out of the box. Decals are available to make them more individual - some are great for kids' rooms. Fabric and wallpaper can be used to create backs or to decorate the sides. By using a variety of storage boxes and baskets, your own units can be unique to you.

Gallery - Images from the fantastic Ikeahackers website

Click thumbnail to view full-size

A variety of units

This range is arguably the most multi-functional piece of furniture every invented! It can be used, as we've seen, in every room in the house. Notice how it can be used in the home office, too.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @tabletalk: Definitely :)

    • tabletalk profile image

      tabletalk 

      4 years ago

      Ahhh...Simplicity sometimes is the best way to go!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Merrci: I really don't know how I'd manage without mine. The apartment is so tiny but we have loads of storage space. Thanks!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Brite-Ideas: And so wonderfully inexpensive too :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      These are great! They hold so much and are so adaptable. Enjoyed your lens!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I love the storage units and different system Ikea has

    • profile image

      marsha32 

      4 years ago

      Oh I could use a wall to wall storage unit in every room of my house!

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 

      5 years ago

      I like the variety that IKEA brings to people. It is also nice that most of it seems to work well together.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: IKEA is a real boon for us all :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I've been using the ikea "Billy" bookcases for years. Very cost effective and fairly sturdy.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @silla lm: That's a really good idea and you'll get so much more extra storage space as a bonus.

    • silla lm profile image

      silla lm 

      5 years ago

      I love the idea of using it as a room divider! I could do that to separate the TV area from the exercise area in my lounge.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @PromptWriter: That's a great idea!

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 

      5 years ago

      Nice to see our swedish products reaching worldwide. I have Expedit too, the bookcase version with transparent shelf boxes. It swallows A LOT of stuff- great way to tidy a room in a haste when guests do surprise visits :)

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      We have one we use in the basement as a room divider. On one side is the guest quarters and on the other is DH radio equipment.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @kindoak: True! I was SO pleased when they eventually opened a store in Florida. Before that time, the nearest was New York. I knew people who would band together, rent a U-Haul and drive up to NYC to shop there - it was cheaper than the shipping charges. Thanks for visiting kindoak!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JoanieMRuppel54: We had that dilemma too but custom built was so expensive. Also, we've moved house since buying out Expedits and they are adaptable so fit in perfectly. You can see which option I'd choose :)

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      Been trying to decide between this Ikea product and having custom shelves built.....so far nothing has happened!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @HSP Connections: Hi Denmarkguy, my neighbor has just redone his kitchen using IKEA cabinets and it looks fabulous!

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      5 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Love IKEA... growing up in Denmark, we got pretty much everything from them. Last house I lived in I completely redid the kitchen using IKEA cabinets... and it was great. Nearest store is a couple of hours away now, but we still go there quite bit when we need some kind of furniture or storage unit.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 

      5 years ago

      I love visiting IKEA, although it's practically a day trip to the nearest store for me. I'm going to look into the expedit, I need something like this!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Ours is a little nearer but it's still a great day out!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I love ikea, they've some pretty awesome things the nearest one to me is an hour away so its like a day out for us.

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