Organizing My Life: Finding the Perfect Bookshelf at OfficeMax


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My Journey to Declutter and Get Organized

As someone who loves to read and collect books, I’ve always struggled with keeping my home organized. My book collection has gotten a bit out of control over the years. Books are spilling off shelves, stacking up in corners, and taking over any flat surface. While I love being surrounded by books, I knew it was time to get organized and declutter.

I decided this year would be the year I finally tackle getting my home in order. I made a goal to reduce clutter and create a peaceful, organized space that still honors my book collection. The first step was taking a good hard look at all the books I’ve accumulated. I sorted through them and made three piles – read and loved, unread but still interested, and ready to donate. This was a big exercise in letting go of books I was hanging onto but realistically would never open again.

The next step was taking inventory of the storage furniture I had for books. I had a couple cheap particle board bookshelves from college that were falling apart. It was time for an upgrade. I measured out the space I had for a new bookcase and started researching options. I wanted something sturdy and good quality that would stand the test of time. I headed to OfficeMax to check out their selection of bookshelves in person.

Shopping for Bookcases at OfficeMax

When I arrived at my local OfficeMax, I was overwhelmed with the options. There were so many different styles, colors, sizes and materials to choose from. I took some time browsing to get a feel for what they had available.

The main materials used for OfficeMax bookshelves were wood, metal and pressed particle board. Wood bookshelves tended to be the highest quality but also the most expensive. I saw gorgeous solid oak shelves in a few different stains but they were out of my budget. Metal shelves came in industrial styles or with wood accents. Particle board options were the most affordable but I was wary of getting another shelf that would fall apart.

There were plenty of traditional bookshelves with a basic rectangular shape and shelves. I also saw some interesting corner bookshelf options that fit perfectly in the corner of a room. OfficeMax had modern bookshelves with unique shapes and angles as well as classic, simplistic styles.

For my home office, I was considering a bookshelf in a rich brown or black color to contrast with my light gray walls. I saw espresso, chocolate, cherry and black wood tone options. There were also some bookshelves with weathered gray wood finishes that appealed to my farmhouse style. I measured a few shelves I liked to make sure they would fit the space I had available.

In terms of pricing, there was quite a range. Smaller pressed particle board shelves started at $50. Large statement bookshelves made of solid wood were $500-600. Most standard size wood or metal bookshelves fell in the $150-250 range. They had a few bookshelves on sale up to 40% off, so I kept an eye out for discounted options.

Comparing Specific Bookshelf Options at OfficeMax

After browsing all the options, I narrowed it down to a few specific bookshelves that would work for my space and style. Here were the contenders:

The Baxter 60” Bookcase reminded me of library shelves with its solid wood classic design. Assembly was required but I didn’t mind tackling that project to get sturdy shelves that could hold the weight of all my books. This was on the higher end at $229 but I loved the quality.

At first I was drawn to the sleek modern aesthetic of the Matteo 59” Bookcase with its metal frame and wood shelf accents. However, upon closer inspection I worried the thin metal would warp over time under the weight of heavy books. It also only came in a black finish, which wouldn’t work with my decor. This shelf was $189.

The Andover 55’’ Bookcase emerged as the winner for my needs. This unfinished solid pine shelf came in a few different wood stain options, so I could pick a rich espresso color. The shelf depth was extra deep to handle oversized books. Plus the price fit my budget at only $119 for quality solid wood.

I did debate getting two narrow corner bookshelves to tuck into the corners of my office instead of one wide shelf. The 30″ Dylan Corner Bookcase was on sale for 40% off at just $89. Though attractive for the price, I decided one long shelf would best fit the span of empty wall space I needed to fill.

Before making my final decision, I re-measured the wall space and used OfficeMax’s augmented reality app to visualize how the shelves would fit. This helped confirm my choice of the 55’’ Andover in espresso. I decided to purchase in-store since I needed it right away. The sales associate was helpful in finding the shelf I wanted in the back stock room.

Assembly and Installation

I was able to easily load the large flat Andover bookshelf box into my SUV. Once home, I cleared the space and unpacked the contents. The packaged included the shelf panels, legs, screws/hardware, and an instruction booklet. It looked straightforward but had a lot of pieces so I knew assembly would take some time.

Using the clear instructions, I carefully constructed each shelf starting with the top, then the sides, then the legs and bottom supports. I had to tighten each screw and shelf pin just right to get the balance level. I was impressed with how sturdy it felt during construction. This was high-quality furniture that could last for many years.

After assembly was complete, I carried the shelf to the open wall space. I enlisted my boyfriend’s help to lift and hold it while I anchored it securely to the wall studs. We wanted to ensure it could safely hold the weight of all the books without toppling over.

Once securely mounted on the wall, it was time to style the bookshelf! I tagged and organized all the books by genre, subject and size so I could artfully arrange them. Soon the new Andover shelf was filled with books displayed in an aesthetically pleasing way. It brought me so much joy to see my book collection finally neatly contained and organized.

Impressions So Far

Now that my new OfficeMax shelf is installed and styled, I’m extremely happy with my purchase. The heavy-duty solid wood construction gives it a high-quality, durable feel. The deep shelves accommodate oversized books and allow for generous room to showcase book covers. The rich espresso finish complements my decor perfectly and gives it a sophisticated look.

The assembly directions made constructing the shelf pretty straightforward. I would recommend having two people for the installation to securely anchor it to the wall. But now that it’s up, I have no concerns about it holding a ton of weight without sagging or tipping. It feels very study and stable. I also like that the shelf height is tall enough to fit some decorative items on top.

For the high product quality, I think the Andover shelf was an excellent value at the budget-friendly $119 price point. It looks far more expensive and custom than what I paid. I would absolutely recommend this shelf to anyone looking for an affordable bookshelf option from OfficeMax. I’m so glad I invested in some sturdy, long-lasting furniture to organize my book hoard in style. This will surely become the centerpiece of my home office for years of reading to come!

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