Resiliency with IKEA

In building resiliency and establishing emergency provisions and preps, finding good values and quality products are an important part of the process.  We evaluate our basic needs and look over resources like the WSID Guide and books like When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency for inspiration on how to build food security, acquire clean water, and seek shelter in various forms.

After a recent trip to IKEA, the Scandinavian home furnishing and lifestyle store, I discovered a number of affordable and quality preparedness items that can build resiliency into any home and give your pocketbook a bit of a break at the same time. These inexpensive items can give you a jumpstart on your resiliency-building efforts and help you take baby steps to a more sustainable lifestyle.  And to bolster my new found love for IKEA resiliency products, there was mention in the Healthy Table group of a "kids" play cook set that can double as a simple emergency/grab-and-go cookware for the car, backpack, or as backup for your primary kitchen tools. Frugal ideas like this and others can be found and shared at the Frugal Living group.

So let's explore a few of my favorite IKEA resiliency items:

GLIMMA - Unscented tealights - $3.99
For a 100 pack of simple tealights, these 4-hour burn time candles make the occasional winter power outage more bearable. And knowing that they are made from soy wax and not a petroleum derivative makes lighting them up a little less stressful in my mind as far as air pollution goes.

ROTERA - Lantern for tealight - $3.99
The perfect inexpensive accessory to go with the above-mentioned tealights. It provides nice protection from having an open flame in the house and gives me a little piece of mind when using candles with my kids around.  Also great as an alternative to a flashlight for use indoors or out.

KORKEN - Jar with lid, clear glass 17 oz & 34 oz - $2.99 - $3.99
I love having these jars handy when the produce from the garden and fruit trees really starts coming in.  They feature a rubber seal and latch closure and make great food storage containers, especially for snack foods, because they are so easily accessible.  We love them for dehydrated fruit.  We also use them to store bulk items (rice, beans, herbs/teas) and since they are clear glass, we always know how much of our stores are left.  Simple re-usable containers are great to have around.

KORKEN - Bottle with stopper, clear glass - $3.99
These 1 liter bottles are what we use for our on-the-go water needs. We filter our drinking water through our Berkey filter system and usually have about 6 of these bottles on hand at all times to make sure we have plenty to just grab when we are traveling into town or need a bottle for the garden.  They also work really well as a serving bottle for bigger family dinners when refills will be necessary. They are very sturdy and have held up to 2 years of abuse so far without any breakage.  BPA-free as well.

LEDARE - LED light bulbs - $9.99 - $13.99
If you are looking to make small incremental steps in improving your energy efficiency, IKEA can give you some bright ideas.  They have a number of affordable LED bulb solutions that range from 4.5 watts to 13 watts of power consumption.  We recently got 2 new LED bulbs for problem energy suckers (the kid's closet light and winter chicken coop light) and have been able to reduce our power consumption by over 100 watts just by replacing 2 bulbs.

TRYGG - Serving bowl, clear glass - $2.99 
As we head into spring and begin planting our garden, we always try to push the bounds of the growing season and get a few crops in the ground early and hope the record setting storm doesn't present itself.  After eyeing these inexpensive glass serving bowls, I had the idea of using them as a DIY Victorian Bell Cloche. They can protect young plants from frost and help them get past the early parts of the season, and then could be used as harvest bowls when your crops are ready.

SOCKER - Portable Greenhouse - $19.99
This mini-greenhouse is a neat way to get a jump on starts or for those plants that need a little more humidity when being stored indoors.  It is not so big that it can't be moved to a sunny spot on the porch to give the overnight protection from the cold that new plants need early in the season.

HYLLIS - Galvanized shelving unit - $14.99
One of the best ways to manage your resiliency items and food storage is with the help of sturdy shelving.  These cheap shelving units are a great way to get things organized and help protect them from critters, collisions, and the occasional catastrophic flood.  The shelves are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and work great for organizing the garage or your garden supplies.


While these are just a few of the items that I have come across while traversing the labyrinth of an IKEA store with a resiliency mindset, there are many other ways one can build resiliency within their means and by being creative.  Reuse, Recycle, and Upcycle everyday items whenever possible.  Find local businesses and neighbors who have wonderful talents and hobbies (I'm still seeking that local candle maker).  Join the Frugal Living Group to learn and share tips on ways to live and prep within ones budget and goals.  And just keep in mind that the road to resiliency and self-sufficiency is long, and most of us need a little help to traverse it, even if that help comes from a big-box store like IKEA.

If you have come across other IKEA products that you've found helpful in your own resiliency preparations, we would love to hear about them!  Please share them with us in the comments section below.

~ Jason Wiskerchen

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

First, great article! 
Second, I happen to know that the Korken jars you listed, can also be turned into solar lanterns! 

Depending on how pretty you want it to be, you can use a translucent spray paint to coat the inside of the jar (not the lid). This just adds a pretty glow once it's lit up, but also helps hide the solar cell you attach to the inside of the jar's lid! And there you have it. Solar path lighting can be really cheap, especially when you but at the end of the season. In fact, I believe the person who made the solar jar used the solar cells from lights also purchased from ikea. Just remove the solar component from the light fixture and attach to the inside of the lid. It's also a fun project for kids if they get to pick the paint colors, and if you really want to get fancy, insert a stencil of some sort to paint over, and the light will shine through your designs! 

Ikea, the most frustrating place to shop, for some of the best stuff!

Here's just one of many tutorials available on how to convert the jars into solar lanterns. In case anyone wants to try it out!


have fun!