A Tip for Getting Faster Deliveries & A New Purchase I’m Already Using & Loving

Welcome to the 649th Metamorphosis Monday!

Recently I mentioned in a post that the Ikea Billy Bookcases here in my home office, make lousy bookcases. They really do! Unless you only own/read paperback books or wish to fill your bookcase shelves with a lot of tchotchkes, the shelves are going to bow. They do not hold up well under the hardback books at all!


Magdy, a lovely BNOTP reader, emailed me about a much better alternative, the Ikea Hemnes. It’s made of actual wood so the shelves won’t bow under the weight of hardback books. Also, the shelves are an inch or so deeper which means the handful of books I have that stick off my current shelves, would fit completely on the shelf. The Hemnes is a bit more expensive but definitely worth it since it’s made of actual wood.


I read online that Ikea has supposedly improved the strength of their Billy Bookcase shelves in recent years. Not sure I trust that after my experience, so I would rather just replace my current shelves with Hemnes bookshelves. Unfortunately, the Hemnes is around 3-4 inches wider (which I actually like!) so three Hemnes would not fit on this wall in my office without removing the little blue refrigerator in the corner. I could live with that if I had another place for it somewhere upstairs, but I really don’t have a great spot. For now, I think I’ll just put up with my bowing shelves, but I will definitely consider changing to Hemnes sometime in the future.

Blue Retro Refrigerator for Home Office


Changing Gears: A Tip I Hope You Find Helpful

In the meantime, I wanted to share a tip that worked great for me recently and that I hope you will find helpful when ordering furniture from Ikea, or really any store. In a recent post, I shared that I had ordered a couple more of the Ikea Billy Oxberg cabinets for display storage. I already have one in my master bedroom that I just added an extension shelf to the top. Once the other two cabinets arrive, I may remove the extension from this one since I’ll have more storage then and may not need the extension.

Billy Oxberg Cabinet for Handbag Storage


I don’t have room for all three cabinets in my master bedroom area, so I cleared a spot on the left wall here in my guest bedroom by moving a trunk that was on that wall to another spot in the room.


So about that tip: When I first ordered the Billy Oxberg cabinets on June 24th, the first available delivery date the Ikea system offered was during the first week of August. I could not do it that week so had to schedule it for the end of August. Argggh. I called Ikea a few days later to see if they had any cancellations or could perhaps move my delivery up a few days to some time in July. Sadly, the answer I got was, No. They also don’t keep a list of customers who would like to reschedule if a cancelation occurs and a closer date opens up. Drat!

I got an idea. I decided to stalk the Ikea website each day to see if maybe, just maybe, the schedule would open up–and it did! About a week after placing my order, I noticed when I clicked to “reschedule,” the system showed delivery dates as soon as July 22nd, but for some weird reason, the system wouldn’t let me actually change my existing delivery date.


I called Ikea the next day and was told that though customers can’t change their delivery date online (despite the fact it actually shows a “reschedule” link to do that!?) the represenative could change it for me. So the Ikea rep was able to move my delivery to a date later this month. Yay! That’s so much better than having to wait all the way to the end of August.

So my big tip is, if you order something from Ikea, or really any company, and you get a way-far-out delivery date, make a note to check back either online or via phone each day to see if the schedule opens up. Right now, a lot of companies are having stock/delivery issues, so they may quote a far-off date when in reality stock may become available much sooner.


Catch-up Post Is Coming

I’m going to create a catch-up post this week and answer some of the questions I’ve gotten about past mini-projects I’ve started/been working on…like framing the painting that I purchased to go over my bed, scheduling the roof cleaning, having the new screened doors installed, how button covers actually work to protect t-shirts, etc… I wanted to include all of that in today’s post but it’s just too much for one post. But I will definitely do that post this week, so watch for that if you’ve been wondering about any of those things.

In the meantime, here’s a small but significant upgrade I made this past week that I’m sooo happy about. In the past, whenever I have needed a step ladder (like when I placed the extension shelf on top of the Billy Oxberg) this is the ladder I’ve always used. In this old photo from a few years back, I was using it as a temporary stand to hold mealworms for the bluebirds nesting in the dovecote in my front yard.


Notice the bottom step on that ladder–see how skinny it is? Dangerous! I’ve almost slipped off that step more than once when trying to carry something heavy up or down the ladder. I love standing on the platform part of this stepladder when I’m retrieving stuff from high places or painting molding, but that skinny step on the way down is a definite hazard.


A few days ago, after using that ladder to add the extension to the Billy Oxberg, I noticed the rubber covers on the feet of the ladder were completely worn through. Thank goodness the metal part of the ladder didn’t dent or scratch my hardwood flooring. Not sure how because they were sharp! I thought about replacing the rubber feet but I couldn’t even get the rubber covers off.

Billy Oxberg Cabinet for Handbag Storage


At that point, I decided to treat myself to a much better, safer ladder. I noticed this ladder has outstanding reviews HERE, and after using it, I understand why–it’s a great ladder! It comes in various sizes and I chose the 4-step size because I wanted the shelf, but honestly, the 3-step version would have been totally adequate for most of my needs because the 3rd step places my head within 6 inches of my 8-foot ceiling.

Great Step Ladder for Household Chores


I used it this weekend to clean the chandelier here in my bedroom where I have much higher ceilings, and it worked great!

Spring, Summer Bedding, Plaid Moire


I love having a shelf available when I’m working on something and need a place for nails/screws and a screwdriver or hammer. Of course, a shelf really comes in handy for holding a can of paint when painting molding, etc…

Step Ladder with Shelf for paint and tools


I LOVE these nice wide steps! They are so comfortable and stable when climbing. I also like their non-slip surface. The really wide feet are great–they feel much more stable and shouldn’t scratch or damage my hardwood flooring. Love that!

Stepladder with Wide Steps for Safety


If you need a safer/better step ladder, I very much recommend this one. If you don’t need the shelf and you have 8-foot ceilings, you could probably get by with the 3-step version which is a bit lighter for carrying. (Update: I just discovered they make this ladder in a 3-step with a tray, too! You’ll find it here: 3-Step Ladder with Tray. )You’ll find this ladder in a 2-step, 3-step, and 4-step version (like I have) here: Step Ladder.

Great Step Ladder for Household Chores


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Good luck with all your bookcase projects, Susan! I know you’re going to love the display shelves in the guest room and I hope you are able to get the better shelves for your office. Say, would there be a place for that cute little fridge in your Frog? It would blend in nicely with all the blue you have in there. And thanks for the info about the step ladder. I’ve not seen one like that and it looks so much safer than a regular ladder or small step ladder. I’m going to check it out. (Although I admit, it makes me nervous thinking of you climbing that thing all over your house – because I know you do, or will!) I’m the same way though, so I shouldn’t complain. πŸ˜€

    • I thought about that but there’s just no place for it in there. I’m afraid it would stick out like a sore thumb if I were able find a spot in there. Thanks for that suggestion, though!
      lol I know, I try to be careful but sometimes ya just gotta climb to reach something.

  2. Thanks for the link to the ladder. At only five feet tall, I need a ladder for many things and having a platform would make many tasks easier. The ladder you linked seems like a good upgrade for one of mine that is sturdy but has no platform and folds in a weird way.

  3. The Hemnes does look sturdier. Perhaps buy one for now and replace the middle Billy with it. Then put your heaviest and deepest books on that one. You would have to shift the left Billy over, but I can’t tell from the photo if those few inches would interfere with the refrigerator. And having the middle bookcase protrude a bit still looks good. At least in my head

    • Unfortunately, Hemnes is a couple of inches shorter in height so it wouldn’t work very well with the others. I do love how they look, though!

  4. Theresa in Tucson says

    It is possible to reinforce the Billi bookshelves. We have some old Billi from the 80s, bought when we were in Germany and tacked the center shelf in place and to the back. If your space between shelves will no change you can put a reinforcing strip of 1 by material on the back and sides. You can further reinforce each shelf by adding a strip of wood to the front and either staining to match or use a contrast color. Sunset Books has several books on shelving and storage that cover how to do this.

    • It would be pretty hard I think since the back is just cardboard. Also, they are really, really warped now from years of use so even if the shelves could be flipped, which they can’t, I’m not sure they would ever straighten back out.
      Thanks for that suggestion, Theresa! The Hemnes is so much nicer, I think it’s time to donate these and buy something better.

  5. SharonFromMichigan says

    Is there any way to remove the bowing shelves & replace them with solid wood shelves? I never buy any furniture anymore that is made of particle board or MDF because they always seem to warp in some way πŸ™

    • I thought about that but they probably wouldn’t match in color. Also, these shelves are weird…they have a notch cut out and the supports fit down inside the little circular notch. Plus, two of the shelves that are now warped/bowed are fixed shelves that can’t be replaced. You would think since these are called Billy “Bookcases” they would actually work for books without bowing. You’re smart to stay away from particle board or whatever this is…well at least for books. I love the Billy Oxbergs with the glass door for handbag storage…or storing fairly lightweight stuff.

  6. Franki Parde says

    Nice JOB!!!! franki

  7. The Hemnes bookcase is also available in a 19 1/4″ wide bookcase, so maybe using one or two of the narrow ones in your arrangement would result in an overall width close to what you have. But my nature is to fix what I already have, so I’d get some wood trim strips about 2″ wide and screw/nail them to the real wood top and bottom pieces vertically down the center backside to strengthen it. Then attach small l-shaped braces https://www.homedepot.com/p/MiTek-3-1-16-in-G90-Corner-Brace-UBL3/313507616 under the center of each shelf and through to the new wood support strip.

    • These will never straighten up again, they’ve been bowed too long now and you can’t replace the shelves (unless I buy more of the same) because of how they are designed. The back of the bookcase is only cardboard so you can’t attach anything to it. Plus, two of the shelves that are bowed are “fixed” shelves so not removable. These shelves were only $49 each so I don’t want to put more money into them…will just donate them one day and buy the real-wood Hemnes.
      Thanks for those ideas, Anne!

  8. Oh gosh, glad you replaced your stepladder! I know several people (even in this past year) who’ve fallen off of a single step and had some major bone damage. I have the 3 step like yours, but with our ceiling height could use the 4. Not sure I’d feel safe though. We use a 3 step at the antique mall too, when styling the pegboard walls.

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t stand on that 4th step for a long period of time. It was fine for cleaning the side of the chandelier I couldn’t reach by standing on the bed. I wish they made the three-step with a tray…I may suggest that to them! lol

    • Rita, I just discovered they make the 3-step with a tray! I think I need it, too. lol You can see it here: https://bit.ly/3hi0m3V

  9. Your new ladder looks fabulous. I have to use a ladder frequently and it’s so important for it to be sturdy. Hope you had a good July 4th weekend. Thanks so much for hosting!

  10. carol springsteen says

    just a tip if you have not found this one Home Depot has daily Deals and I found a 3 step step ladder for my kitchen for almost nothing and the quality was superb I need to reach the top of my cabinets from time to time and its great

  11. Susan, Drop into Lowe’s or Home Depot and check for laminate boards in a beefier thickness. They will cut them to length for you. Keep the body and swap out the shelves. Might just work for you.

  12. Susan, I’ve been using a Hemnes cabinet with glass doors for my dishes – I’ve had it for about 3 years now and is working just great – no bowing of the shelves (and there are quite a few dishes in there lol). I’ve wanted to add a few more Hemnes cabinets, but they’ve been out of stock for about a year now. I got fed up with waiting and ordered the 2 of the Liatorps, also with glass doors, and they are just as sturdy and the shelves are just as thick as the Hemnes. I see the Liatorp also comes as a bookcase. Maybe worth checking it out??? Good luck!

    • That’s awesome that they work for dishes–I had wondered about that. Thanks for letting me know, Kim! I didn’t realize they had been out of stock for so long. Dang–wonder if it’s the lumber shortage issue.
      I will check out the Liatorps…hadn’t heard of those. All these funny names that I can’t pronounce! πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Susan, Happy 4th a day late!
    Thanks so, so much for the info on new Ikea shelves. I have 3 wide Billys like yours in my home office (cherry color), and they do bow, bow, bow. I have to move things off and flip them over every once in a while. One stationary shelf in the middle case is bowed, which I can’t do anything about unless I move the two cases on each side. Big job, and not happening soon!
    I have a 3-step Cosco ladder with a tray, similar to yours, with good footing and nice wide steps. I love it and it’s lasted for years. You’ll love it! They also make a 2-step which I use indoors — no tray.
    Hope you’re doing well!!

    • Marlene, how do you flip them? Mine have the little cut-outs on the underside where the shelf thingy hooks in, so I can’t flip them. I wish I could. I read that supposedly they had beefed up the shelves but replacements shelves are $15 each so replacing them in each bookcase would be more than buying a new Billy Bookcase altogether.

      • Susan, just call me tacky: I don’t worry about the cut-outs showing on the edges of the shelves after they’ve been flipped, and the shelf just rests on the shelf hook thingy itself. On most of my shelves, the books come right to the edge, or I move them up to the edge at the sides which covers the indentation.
        I also have some inexpensive bookshelves from Walmart, which also bow, but they don’t have inserts on either side and are finished on both sides, so they look OK after a flip.
        Hope this helps!

        • P.S. I don’t let any shelf get too heavy on the Billy’s, especially when the shelves are just resting on the hooks.

          • Hi Susan, I know this post is a few weeks old, but I wanted to clear some things up about my bookcases for you and your readers:
            The bowing bookcases in cherry that I thought were Billys are not, they’re Walmart. They bow terribly but the shelves are completely reversible with no inserts, so it’s perfectly safe to turn them and put the books back on the shelves.
            The Billy bookcase I have is much narrower and sits in a corner of the guest bedroom; it holds books and knick knacks and a few decorative pillows. I can turn the shelves over and they sit well on the hooks, but I don’t put any real weight in the center of each shelf.
            The third set that doesn’t bow at all is in hubs’ office at home; these are cherry also and have real wood veneers that don’t bow at all. I can’t remember if they came from Haverty’s or from Office Depot about 20 years ago, back when O/D carried decent office furniture.
            Sorry for the long post but I wanted to correct everything for you and your readers. Hope you’re doing well, Susan!

  14. Ok – I’m totally in for that ladder! Sure better than hauling the outdoor ladder in, cleaning it off, then hoping it doesn’t scratch the floor! Thanks for yet another get tip and great party!

    • lol Well, normally it stays in the garage for use in the house. I just took it outside into the garden a few times that summer for holding the mealworms. πŸ™‚

  15. Thanks so much for hosting this charming party each and every week!! I so appreciate all the time and effort that does into it!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  16. Maureen Khalil says

    Dear Susan, When cleaning the chandelier over your bed….please tell us that you didn’t put the ladder on the bed!! Maureen

    • lol I didn’t. I only used the ladder at the end of the bed on the floor. But I did stand on the bed to get the part of the chandelier that hangs over the bed. πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks for the tip on the step stool / ladder! At 5 feet tall, I have a step stool of some kind in every room. Recently bought a 4 step one that I don’t like…this one looks perfect for getting up in high ceilings…and for the Christmas Tree….all the ornaments on the tray and less “up and down”!

  18. Wow! You are always a wealth of information Susan. I love the look of that step ladder with the tray. Sorry- I am of no help about the bookshelves since I am not knowledgeable about IKEA furniture. On a unrelated/related note what do you use to clean your chandelier? Thanks. Have a great day- MaryJo

    • Thanks, MaryJo! I’m always afraid to use any chemicals so I just use a soft water-dampened cloth. The one thing you never want to do is to use one of those cleaners that you spray from the top and let drip down. I’ve seen it recommended where you place a towel or something underneath and spray/pour cleaner onto the chanderlier. The reason you don’t do that is the cleaner will get all down into the arms and inner parts of the chandelier where you can never get it out and it will cause it to look dirty/ugly. So I just clean each crystal with a soft cloth dampened with water. It takes about 20 minutes to clean an average size chandelier that way, but it only needs it once or twice a year, so totally worth it. That’s how I clean my dining room chandelier, as well. I just don’t trust chemicals. You’re really just trying to remove the dust so I don’t think any chemicals are needed.

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