Upgrade a Basic Bookcase

Put a personal spin on an off-the-shelf bookcase with these easy DIY makeover ideas.

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Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

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Beach Chic Porch Renovation

A family put a new roof over their heads by turning their back deck into a coastal-inspired covered porch. Learn how they made the big change from their existing porch to their new, cozy family hangout area.

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Give a Plain Mirror a Makeover

Take a plain mirror to the next level with these easy DIY embellishments.

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DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

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Add Storage Around Stairs

Step up your home's storage capacity by making the most of underused areas below and beside your stairs. Here's a look at 18 homes that beautifully optimized stairwell and staircase spaces.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Team Clean: Get Help with Cleaning

Sick and tired of cleaning the entire house all by your lonesome? Make it easy for others to help and you won't have to. Take it one step further and make it fun, too! Read on for ideas.

Connect with Friends

Why toil separately when you can join forces with a friend? Spend a weekend morning or a weekday evening at your house, and then return the favor the following week. Make it a monthly date. With double the workforce, you'll get the job done twice as fast -- and have more fun doing it! Of course, you'll need to reward your hard work with a leisurely lunch or celebratory coffee.

Let Children Help

In the short run, sure, it may seem easy to just do it yourself. But take a little extra time to train the kiddos well, and the long run is guaranteed to be even easier. Be sure to give them age-appropriate tasks, and walk them through the first few times so they know exactly what's expected of them. And praise each job well done. Hooray for you both!

Set Partner Expectations

Talk to the other adult in your household to find out what cleaning duties he or she could take over permanently. We often expect others to do certain things, or to do things a certain way, yet we forget to tell them so. If this is a hot-button issue, schedule a time to talk when you're both prepared to communicate kindly. Reconnect regularly (and calmly) on the issue until you strike a balance everyone can live with.

Create a Task Jar

Stock a jar with slips of paper holding household tasks that tend to exist off the regular-cleaning radar. Make them manageable projects that will take about a half-hour or less, such as "clean the shower," "tidy up the entertainment center," or "dust the dining room light fixture." Also throw in a "free pass," if you want. Set one time each week when all household members select, then complete, their task.

Throw a Cleaning Party

Rebrand your family's mandatory weekly or biweekly housecleaning session as The Cleaning Party. Rotate DJ duty. Set the timer, then work fast and hard toward short, scheduled breaks, complete with special snacks. Plan for a simple, favorite meal to cap it off, like pizza, tacos, or takeout, so you can celebrate your accomplishment together.

More for You

What's your cleaning personality? Are you the Queen of Clean or a Don't Judge Me Girl? Find out, plus read what other BHG.com users have to say about cleaning.

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