Tuesday, April 16, 2013

IKEA ANEBODA Wardrobe Review

At some point you're going to run out of chairs and floor space to stash your clothes. That or someone else will get annoyed that he or she is living with a pig. Then there's also the chance that you "mature" into a fashionista or snob, buy lots of expensive clothes, and start worrying about keeping them in pristine shape. Long story short, there comes a time in everyone's life when he/she decides that they need a proper storage space for their clothes.
If you're lucky, you have a room with a built-in closet where you can stash a ton of stuff. In case you run out of space or you're a sucker like me who lives in a room without a closet, you're going to want one. Why? It's good for stashing stuff and keeping that stuff free of dust and clean.

On the low end of the wardrobe world, there's always refrigerator packaging boxes. Throw a few 2x4s in there and you may actually be able to support a few heavier items. Moving up a bit and beyond, there is Ikea. There, you will find a ton of options from simple uncovered racks for a few bucks, relatively cheap covered wardrobes, and very elaborate modular systems that go from floor to ceiling with every option you can think of.

This entire conundrum occurred for me a decade-ish ago. I decided on a "cheapo" $150 closet at Ikea, jammed it into a car we didn't care about, and below is a present day photo: I give you the ANEBODA with a discontinued colour. The present day ANEBODA goes for only $100 and it comes in your favourite colour, white, as long as your favourite colour is white. Do note the major change in price -- argh.

If it isn't obvious, the thing has held up amazingly well for me over the years. Again, I am very good with my stuff to a fault. The item is particleboard/fiberboard furniture with a foil/laminate/plastic/whatever faux surface. Because it isn't solid wood, it is amazingly easy to clean with a paper towel or a Swiffer pad. The "windows" are all plastic and the backing is your typical nail on fiberboard.
Ikea ANEBODA Front View
Ikea ANEBODA ($99.00)

Ikea ANEBODA Wardrobe Close-up
Ikea ANEBODA Wardrobe Review

I seem to recall building it from the base up and on its side. I put the legs on the bottom board, attached the top and two walls, nailed on the backing, and boom, mostly done. According to the website, the entire package weighs 86 lb, which is a bit surprising considering that I have slid the thing across the room with ease many times. I definitely needed a second person to do this one, especially because someone had to hold everything in position as the other person secured them. The doors went on after I set the thing upright. Hopefully your floors are level because these are the types of doors that start sagging and looking weird when there's an incline of any sort -- I used a cardboard square leveler but they may have been adjustable.


Ikea included a bracket for fixing the piece of furniture to the wall. The entire unit slid across the floor easily, while fully loaded, for me when I pushed from the bottom. With the small number of screws holding everything together, I wouldn't try bending anything, which pushing from anywhere but the bottom would do. 

Expandability / Customizability
Being a cheaper item among Ikea's collection of products, this is not a fully customizable and modular design. Well, that's not true: Ikea's Table Bar system is stupidly cheap and you can customize it. Okay, this one isn't customizable. The most that I've found that you can do is throw some boxes inside and attach some "over the door" hangers. If you look at the first picture, I've done just that. Both of those hangers are from Ikea, but it appears that they may have since been discontinued. Lucky for you, there's a new line called GRUNDTAL at $2.49 for a pair. Other models from other stores may work too. Just don't expect these hooks to hang on for dear life unless you screw them in, which I would avoid just to not damage/deface the furniture permanently.

Everyday Use
My ANEBODA has been in use for around a decade or so. It's been moved across the room a few times, but like any cheapo furniture, I wouldn't expect it to hold up after an actual move across floors and definitely not one to another home. Best idea would be to completely disassemble it first if I plan on moving it. And I would use screws instead of nails for the backing.
Ikea ANEBODA Hanger Rack
After all this time, my ANEBODA has been filled to the brim. Check out the picture above to get an idea of what you can fit inside. Those are a ton of dress shirts, two suits at the sides, and a few thinner jackets. To be honest, I use the door hangers more often than the inside. Cantilevering heavy winter jackets off the doors does not appear to have damaged them -- yet. Some of those clothes are a decade old and have not been worn in years. Below is a picture of the lower shelf and bottom. This is definitely a "closet" in that it stores a lot of useless, unworn stuff. I just don't have the heart to throw any of it away.

In terms of durability, I use my stuff lightly, but I'm pretty sure I've jammed a few things into the lower shelves more than a few times. The nails on the back of the backing have held up well. Screws may work better longer term though -- I can't prove that, I just think it might be true.

Ikea ANEBODA Lower Shelf
Overall, it's a good cheap wardrobe unit. Definitely not the prettiest. It's stable, it's a box, it has doors, it works. And they dropped the price $50 since I got it...

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