10 IKEA products under $16 that your veterinary practice needs


The thought of practice renovations makes practice owners and managers squirm, mostly because it costs a load of money. But little upgrades dont, and they can make a bigger difference than you might think.

After renovating our waiting area on a team work-weekend with five people and a budget of $500, I'm here to tell you that you should upgrade your practice. But you shouldn't-and don't need to-spend a lot to do it. Check out these 10 products you can pick up at America's favorite Scandinavian-importer to spiff up your welcome area. (Note: Prices current at time of publication.)

1. SPONTAN magnetic board

Price: $12.99

Image courtesy of IKEAPrinted pieces of paper taped to the walls of your practice look terrible and leave unsightly marks. Use the SPONTAN magnetic board to hang those notifications in style. They come in a gray color, which matches nearly all color schemes. And they hang easily with a few screws. We use them in our waiting area to switch out seasonal handouts, rabies alerts and pet event flyers.

2. SORTERA recycling bin

Price: $9.99 to $12.99

Image courtesy of IKEAThe SORTERA recycling bin doesn't need to hold bottles and cans at your practice, although it could. We love them for stashing used exam room towels, cleaning rags and other unsightly-and sometimes stinky-laundry. It can be right in the room and customers won't notice your mess, giving you time for patients, instead of getting stuck with midday clean up.

3. BLEJD magazine stand

(in-store only; check your location for availability)

Price: $2.99

Image courtesy of IKEA

By the end of the day, magazines in your waiting area can look like a debris field following a tornado. Clean them up using the BLEJD magazine rack. At only $2.99, this is a no-brainer. It's the type of product that guides your customers to clean up after themselves simply by taking and replacing magazines from the rack.

4. SUCCULENT potted plant 

Price: $9.99

Image courtesy of IKEAWe've all heard indoor plants improve air quality. They also look nice-when trimmed and maintained-and give your clients a subconscious connection to nature, which improves mental health. But the concept of trimmed and maintained doesn't sound like a lot of fun to most people. Try the $14.99 SUCCULENT potted plant. It's extremely easy to care for-it only needs a little water every couple of days. It will look great at your reception desk, and it will give your veterinary team something to do during their down time. (Ha! Just kidding about the down time.)

5. LILLNAGGEN squeegee 

Price: $1.99

Image courtesy of IKEA

Clean your doors and windows like the pros with IKEA's LILLNAGGEN squeegee. It's the surefire way to a streak-free shine. And at $1.99, you can certainly afford to buy two or three so there are no excuses from your team when the first one wears out.


6. RIMFORSA tablet stand 

Price: $15.99

Image courtesy of IKEAFor practices that use tablets to take patient info, show clients radiographs, or obtain e-signatures on documents, take your expensive gadget out of clients'-potentially-butter fingers and use RIMFORSA. It's a nice-looking wood laminated tablet stand that keeps everything right where you need it-and decreases the risk of your tablet falling to the floor. It's also just $15.99.

7. KLÄMTARE storage bin 

Price: $12.99

Image courtesy of IKEAGet your snow-melt bin and scoop out of sight using the $12.99 KLÄMTARE storage bin. It's a nice dark gray color and features a rugged design, perfect for keeping outside next to your entrance or front walkway.

8. BÄSTIS hooks 

Price: $2.99

Image courtesy of IKEACustomers need a place to hang up their coat or purse. Give them a “tail” to tell about how cool and creative your practice is by using BÄSTIS hooks. They look like a dog's rear-end, with a nice upward tail to hold those jackets and bags while making people-especially kids-smile, for just $2.99 a piece. A youngster in our office once said, “Those dogs must have been going fast to crash through the wall like that!”

9. HEKTAR clamp-on spotlight 

Price: $14.99

Image courtesy of IKEAYou put lots of time, money and effort into your retail offerings (at least I hope you do). But if the items aren't properly lit, people might not notice them. A clamp-on spotlight like the HEKTAR could do the trick, and it's only $14.99. Use an LED bulb and you'll light up the rack, but not your electric bill.

10. BÄSTIS lint roller 

Price: $0.79

Image courtesy of IKEAHair. It's everywhere. When it's on the floor, you sweep it up. But often, when it's on you, it doesn't seem to go anywhere except home with you at the end of the day. Customers notice, though, so get rid of it with the $0.79-yes, you read that right-BÄSTIS lint roller. We keep them in every room and behind the reception desk. A quick 10-second roll and those hairy messes are gone for good.

Brent Dickinson is practice manager at Dickinson-McNeill Veterinary Clinic in Chesterfield, New Jersey.


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