Q: Anchoring bookcases to the wall without screws?

We have 3 full width, 3 half width BILLY bookcases and 4 GNEDBY CD/DVD storage. We’re about to move to a new home where we’ve been told we can’t secure the bookcases to the wall. Has anyone found any solution to this, perhaps using something like Command strips?




Hi Steve

Anchoring your tall bookcases to the wall is an important safety step and I’m glad you’re not overlooking it.

Consumer Reports recommends kits with straps made from nylon webbing or braided steel cable. The anchoring kits are typically comprised of two brackets tethered by a strap or cable. One bracket screws directly into the piece of furniture; the other fastens into a stud in the wall. The connecting strap or cable is typically affixed to each bracket, then tightened in place. The point of an anchoring kit is to prevent furniture tip over accidents.

IKEA also recommends screwing one part of the bracket directly to the wall and the other end onto the furniture with their provided wall anchor kits. You can request for one here.

Related: The best 14 IKEA BILLY hacks for every room in your home

I assume your landlord is wary of tenants making lots of holes in the walls. However, most landlords are okay if they patch up the holes and paint the wall when they move out. Do check with your landlord as safety should not be compromised.

Failing which, there are alternative anchoring kits.

#1 Furniture anti-tip kit

Qdos sells a furniture anti-tip kit which can be installed without screws. However, it still needs a picture hook, which they claim leaves a tiny pinhole with minimal damage to dry walls. Easily patched up when you leave. It’s available on Amazon.

#2 Baby safety strap locks

Reddit user found baby safety straps as a solution. Nextstopplease writes, “I have used these baby safety locks on a thin bookcase and lightweight bathroom cabinet, after one year they’re still holding up! The adhesive is very strong and I can tighten the straps to ensure the furniture doesn’t wobble or move.”

Photo: Nextstopplease

I’d suggest checking them regularly as the adhesive stickers and straps may deteriorate over time. Be aware the adhesive stickers may detach in the event of a tip over, as they will not be able to stop the force of a heavy bookshelf falling forward.

#3 Stabilise the bookcase

Other factors that may help is to always place heavy books and items on the bottom shelves to keep the bookshelves grounded.

As for Command strips, I don’t think the adhesive stickers have what it takes to anchor a bookshelf to the wall. If it’s just to stop them from wobbling when you open the doors, perhaps they’ll work. But as a safety measure, it is not what I would use.

Other methods like glue actually leave more damage on the wall and is harder to clean up when you want to move out.

All said, especially if you have kids, I would highly recommend screwing in the IKEA wall anchor kits — from the BILLY bookcases to the wall with hardware suitable for your wall. Patch up the holes when you move.

All the best in talking to your landlord.


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Jules Yap