How Does IKEA Incidentally Teach You How to Live Better

Use the IKEA effect to improve your life

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

According to the scientific studies, when you assemble a sofa or a shelf by your own, you value it much higher than its price tag. This increase in valuation of what you made is called the IKEA effect. Together with the effort heuristic it shows that when you create something by your own, you value it very highly despite its imperfections or defects.

Both of the mentioned cognitive biases look unrelated to your well-being at first glance. But you might use them for your good.

Are you interested how?

Below you will find five inspiration how to use the IKEA effect and effort heuristic to elevate your well-being.

1. Learn that good enough is better than perfect

Many wise people say that done is better than perfect. IKEA effect scientifically proves such idea as only when you successfully finish assembling the furniture, you trigger the IKEA effect. It doesn’t matter how crappy the result of your effort is so long as you manage to crate the final product. Additionally concentrating on the done, or even better on the good enough, allows you to focus on possible improvement rather than struggling on getting started.

2. Increase your self-esteem

When you create something by your own, meanwhile you create many positive feelings including feeling of a competence that come with the successful completion of a task. You also learn to focus on the positive attributes as you decide not to bother about little defects of your creation. All of this leads to increased self-esteem and a happier life.

3. Personalize everything

The thing individualized to your exact needs and desires is always better than the generic one. If you put some effort into individualization, you will like and value your possessions more. Think about it; would you prefer a generic dress from a store or a creation based on your idea. The more you put in, the more you get out. But in many cases, even co-creation can trigger IKEA effect for your good.

4. Rest from delegating, outsourcing and managing

Work with no directly visible final creations is tiring for many. However utilizing the IKEA effect, you could minimalize this issue. Simply pick up the DIY hobby and rest from the countless activities with no easily visible outcomes. Some of the most popular choices are cooking, gardening, woodworking, DIY home decorations, DIY electronics, DIY fashion, DIY jewelry, DIY cosmetics, and my personal favorite– self-publishing. Want to rest from your highly abstract job? Start a DIY hobby and create…

5. DIY life is the only life worth living

No one said that the IKEA effect is restricted to the physical objects. Thus, you can profit from it, building your habits and your life.

As a reader of Thrive Global, you know that you must create your own journey. Your life belongs to you only. Moreover, it is a unique asset. You are special and extraordinary; no two people are the same; no two lives are identical. Thus, search for your unique way in this world and never mindlessly copy what others do. Find your purpose, create the life tailored specifically for you and enjoy the IKEA effect you trigger. In consequence, your well-being and happiness will skyrocket. Which I wish you heartfully!

Want more?

Visit my author site at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


How to Make Your Hard Work a Labor of Love

by Angela Duckworth

Using The ‘IKEA Effect’ To Improve Collaboration

by Jono Bacon

7 Cognitive Biases That Could Ruin Your Decision-Making

by Jory MacKay
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.