7. Establishing the System

Between moving from an apartment to a house and having a second child, my wife and I have been in constant upgrade mode in terms of home furnishings. It’s a funny stage—you want better furniture than you came out of college with, but with children you can’t afford to be too particular. Take it from me, yet-to-be-parents: Crayon and food stains will abound.

The best option for us continues to be IKEA. If you’ve been there, you’re familiar with the craziness that ensues while trekking the showroom. There are tons of home goods to choose from, and the enormity of the place makes it all but impossible to walk away with any fewer than five purchases. Living in Syracuse, New York, only compounds the matter: The closest IKEA ...

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