The Super-Cheap IKEA Staples You’ll Always Find in My House

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Those tropes about walking into Target or Home Goods for one thing and walking out with armfuls? That’s the IKEA Marketplace for me. Everything’s so affordable, and I can’t escape the feeling that I’ll have my whole life together if I can just organize my kitchen like this perfect little endcap vignette.

While I’ve made my share of questionable choices from the downstairs marketplace, there are three super-affordable home staples that stand out as major winners. They’re each $1.49 or less, so you can feel good about stocking up.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Classic European style for 79¢? Sign me up. I used to have separate stocks of linens — dish towels for the kitchen, tea towels for serving, and yet still a set of napkins for each person to use. Now? Only TEKLA. And I’m not the only one who loves them — we’ve seen them sewn into curtains, made into moroccan-style pillows, dyed into a rainbow (a great solution if the classic colorway isn’t your style), and I even heard about someone who uses them as gym towels.

These little frames can be real workhorses. They make cute, affordable little picture frames for displaying your favorite snaps, of course — whether around the house or for a special occasion. I keep a small stash on hand and use them as decorations at baby showers, engagement parties and milestone birthdays — any time it feels right to showcase a bunch of photos through the years of the guest of honor. They’re also great for labeling dishes at a potluck; you can either print out the name of the dish in nice type, or fill TOLSBY with pretty patterned paper and draw right on the plastic with a dry erase marker. And I have one with our wifi name and password that I leave in the guest room when somebody stays over.

(Image credit: IKEA)

I have at minimum five of these at home at any given time (they fold up small). They make it easy to get from the car to the door with a full load of groceries on one arm. They will replace every laundry basket in your home. They’re part of my personal sharing economy. I’ll bring over a few dishes to a friends potluck stashed safely within a FRAKTA, and she’ll return it a few weekends later with some gardening tools she’s letting me borrow.

They’re the only way to walk into Christmas with a load of gifts (FRAKTA is Santa’s sack in my house, and the blue bag has been made into stockings before — I don’t know what makes it so great at the holidays, but it is). I’ve even used them in lieu of moving boxes (FRAKTA does mean “carry” in Swedish, after all) — you can stash loads of kitchenware, books or clothes in one blue bag and it’ll still be an ease to carry thanks to that long handle.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Three $1 IKEA Staples You’ll Always Find in My House