16 Out-of-Context IKEA Instructions to Help You Live a Better Life

Printed without words, IKEA instructions are meant to be used around the globe. Someone in Tokyo can build his KLÄPPE swivel chair from the same booklet as a college kid in her Maryland dorm.

This saves the Swedish furniture manufacturer tons of money in printing costs, but it also serves a surprising purpose: Taken out of context, certain pages and details from IKEA instruction books can be interpreted as guides to living a fuller and more happy life. Here are 16 examples.

1. Relax

You earned it. Follow steps 1-3 as shown above for maximum relaxation. If you don't feel like going all the way, stop at step 2. This is you time.

2. Wash Your Garbage

Sanitation workers will appreciate and even look forward to your spring-fresh bag of trash on collection days.

3. Attach Wheels to Your Pet Starfish

Now he's the fastest echinoderm on the block. Look at him go!

4. The Area Behind the Knee is Very Sensitive

It's a little-known erogenous zone, as demonstrated by the shaded "heat" sphere above.

5. There's Your Wallet

Right there, underneath that thing with all the other wallets.

6. Have a Beer

Long day? Kick back with a cold one or two, which will be floating in space for you to grab when you're ready.

7. Stefan Is Gone

And he's never coming back. Time to move on.

8. Check Under and Inside Your Grand Piano Twice a Year

There may be loose change or even forgotten treats that have accumulated down there. Best to make sure.

9. Don't Be Glum

There's a daybed right behind you. Lie down for a bit and think about things that'll cheer you up. Remember the Home Improvement episode where Tim enters the lawn mower race? That was a good one. Think about that.

10. Diving Boards Make Great Presents

Attach a bow to the bottom to give your gift some decorative flair.

11. Look Up

There, at those branches. Fall is around the corner; you can tell by how the leaves are changing color.

12. Do Squats

A great butt isn't given, it's earned.

13. Start At the Top Right Square for Tic-Tac-Toe

It's the secret to winning this classic game.

14. Fonzie Melted

Fold up what's left of the King of Cool for easy storage.

15. You Only Really Need Two Keys

Why are you lugging around that loaded keychain? Free up some much-needed pocket space by streamlining.

16. No Sketches of Punch and Judy

A hastily drawn outline doesn't do these beloved characters justice.

[All images from IKEA product instructions. Source Products: Karlstad, IKEA PS, Mysinge, Pax Tonnes, Premiar, Rakke, Rationell, Smaldal, Stefan, Tylosand, Udden, Verner, Vreta]

The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios