Simple Organized Living Gets a NEW Look!!!

posted by Andrea | 09/30/2011

UPDATE: Since this post, I’ve done even MORE updates — including changing my entire blog name and URL.

Read more here! 

Did you notice that things are looking a little different here at Simple Organized Living?

That’s because after a year of blogging, I decided we needed a little update. So this morning, I “flipped the switch” and launched the brand new SimpleOrganizedLiving.com with lots of new features, fun extras, and even more great tips and ideas to help you simplify and organize every aspect of your life!

The main reason for the updates is because one year in blogland is practically ancient… plus, I was getting sick of looking at the same thing every day :) I’m committed to growing this blog and keeping the content new and updated, so I figured the design could use a little updating as well.

Here is a run down of the some of the changes we’ve made.

NEW Homepage:

One of the changes you probably already noticed is that my home page is totally different. I don’t have a slide show anymore {see above image of old homepage}. I loved the slideshow, but realized that it was just too difficult to know what my most recent content was from the homepage — which is not exactly ideal!

Instead, I now have several shortened posts with thumbnail images so you can quickly scroll through to see my latest content. If one of the shortened posts looks interesting, you can simply click “read the rest” and you’ll be brought directly to the full length post. You can also click “Comments” to leave a comment.

Also, any time I have a giveaway {which is usually every weekend} or another special announcement, I’ll keep a “sticky post” or “featured post” at the very top of the homepage so you’ll always know if there are great prizes to win…. or maybe a new baby to welcome :)

 

NEW Categories:

If you look just below my header, you’ll see that I have many new and updated categories. I “upgraded” from four categories {Home & Garden, Clutter Control, Time & Money, From my Kitchen} to SIX!

Some of the categories stayed the same, a few are brand new, and a couple simply morphed content from previous categories along with brand new content.

1 .  Living Simply:

This might be my favorite category because it encompasses everything I’m trying to do with this website and in my own life. The Living Simply category morphs some of the “Home” from my old Home & Garden category with some of the “Money” from my old Time & Money category, and a whole lot of new stuff too!

Living Simply contains all sorts of information about cleaning and home management, frugal living and budgeting, entertaining, going green, and “daily life” posts — all geared towards helping you LIVE SIMPLY!

2.  Clutter Control:

This category stayed the same, not only because I could talk about clutter every day for the next 50 years and never get sick of it, but also because it was my most popular category {which makes sense} and I wanted to make sure you could still find all those great clutter-busting tips and ideas.

3. Family Life:

This is a totally new category — and for good reason! Before now, we really never had a “family”… it was just Dave and me. But with a new baby just weeks away and the two new international students, we have become a little family of 5 {almost}! We are experiencing all the joys and challenges of pregnancy, newborns, and teenagers… at the same time!

Not only do I have a lot of fun posts planned for this category, I also wanted a designated category to share our life, our photos, and our memories with family and friends who don’t live close by and who want more than just our yearly Christmas card updates. So this is the place for that!

The content of Family Life will still be geared towards the over-all themes of Simple Organized Living, just with a more personal touch and more of our family-life and experiences woven into each post. I think you’ll love it!

4. From My Kitchen:

This category name stayed the same throughout the updates. However, there are lots of new features like whole sections devoted to Freezer CookingMeal Planning, Preserving, and more. Plus a totally updated Recipe Box where I’ve organized every single recipe posted here at Simple Organized Living!

I love cooking and baking, but I am light-years away from being a gourmet chef! For this reason, ALL my recipes are relatively simple, using easy-to-find ingredients, and won’t leave you trapped in the kitchen for hours each day. They are recipes your family will love, recipes you’ll love to make, and hopefully recipes you share with your friends and family!

5. Working From Home:

This is another totally new category, but you’ll see many of the “Time Management” and “Productivity” posts from my Time & Money category surface in this area.

However, I’ve been bombarded with emails these last few months questioning how I started my blog, how I started my business as a professional organizer, and asking all sorts of other business related questions. So instead of responding to loads of emails every week, I created the Working From Home where I can write about the different joys and challenges of working from home, how I do everything I do, and tips and suggestions to help others pursue their passion of working from home.

I’ll also offer helpful tips and resources, as well as a bunch of great office organizing tips.

6. Our Dream House:

As many of you know, Dave and I moved to our dream house {a 120 year old farmhouse} this past December and have been working to fix it up ever since. I started a new blog when we moved and was very diligent at updating it with our progress… until I got too busy! Turns out it is super time-consuming to keep 2 blogs updated all the time!

I also started to realize that much of the content I was publishing over at Farmhouse Love was content that would fit here at Simple Organized Living as well — and many of the subscribers at Farmhouse Love were also subscribers here!

So when I was planning all these new updates over the summer, I knew I wanted a designated place to talk about all things “Farmhouse”. However, even if you aren’t into gorgeous old farmhouses, there will still be plenty of other information about decorating, DIY projects, gardening, and more. This category is a mix of my old Home & Garden section along with lots of new Farmhouse Love content. YAY!!

 

NEW Sub-Navigation Bar:

If you look DIRECTLY under the main category bar and then either click on one of the main categories or simply “mouse over” them, you’ll see a new sub-navigation bar show up below.

The sub-navigation bar is one of my favorite new features because it looks so cool, it keeps things more organized, and makes it easier to find specific information even when you’re in a hurry!

 

NEW Sidebar Content:

The sidebar has always been somewhat of an issue for me, because it’s the best place for me to display important information, links, advertisements, etc. — but I DON’T want it to look cluttered!

So I’ve cleaned it up a bit, added a bunch of new features, and three really cool boxes to make it easy for anyone to see who I am, connect with me on Facebook, and join via Google Friend Connect.

I’ve included a list of my most popular posts which are always fun to look through. And I’ll also be rotating out several images and links that will take you to pertinent content for each specific time of year. For example, I currently have links to our baby news, our home renovations, school lunch idea, a few different organizing posts, and even a section to start planning ahead for Thanksgiving.

If you haven’t spent much time looking through the sidebar, there are a wealth of resources and information you’re probably missing out on :)

NEW Recipe Box:

I mentioned my new Recipe Box earlier — but if you haven’t gone to check it out yet… make sure you do. There are so many great features, a bunch of colorful images, and LOTS more recipes to come!

NEW About Page:

I’ve updated my About Page periodically throughout this last year; but I just did a major overhaul with lots more information and a little deeper look into my life. Oh, and there are some cute pictures too :)

NEW Ways to Connect with Me:

As Simple Organized Living grows, I’m getting more and more emails, comments, messages, etc. I try my best to respond to all of them, but sometimes that doesn’t always happen. Because of this, I’ve created a bunch of new ways for you to connect with me and with the entire Simple Organized Living community —  both on the blog and outside of the blog.

ON THE BLOG:

Leave a comment — I’d LOVE to hear your feedback, tips, ideas, and thoughts about what I write so please feel free to leave comments often :)

Reply to a comment – the comment section is not only a great place for your to share your feedback with me, but also with all my other readers. Many times, readers will as a question and before I even have time to respond, someone else “replies” to their comment with the right answer. This not only saves me a bunch of time, but it’s also super fun to see the interaction between readers — you guys all have so many great ideas! 

Submit a recipe – do you have a simple, delicious, family-friendly recipe that you’d like to share with Simple Organized Living readers? Email it to me!! I’ll try it out and then let you know if and when I’ll be featuring it on the blog — and of course, I’ll give you credit!

Submit a guest post – If you love writing about any of the topics we discuss here at Simple Organized Living.com, feel free to submit a guest post {or guest post idea} to me via email.

Advertise with us – yes, we accept advertising and would love to work with any company and product that promotes the simple organized lifestyle.

Sponsor a giveaway – in the past year, we have had over 60 amazing giveaways {including my huge Birthday Giveaway Week!} Giveaways are a great opportunity to promote your products to thousands of like-minded readers and get a huge amount of exposure for your company or brand.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG:

Via RSS Reader

Via Email – one email each day I write a blog post

Via Google Connect — check out the box in my side bar!

OUTSIDE OF THE BLOG:

Email :: aldekker{at}gmail.com

Facebook :: Facebook.com/SimpleOrganizedLiving

Twitter :: @LivingOrganized

Pinterest :: Pinterest.com/AndreaDekker

Tumblr :: SimpleOrganizedLiving.tumblr.com

Flickr :: Flickr.com/Andrea Dekker

Become a Client :: I offer many organizing services that might be just what you need to

So what do you think?

Take some time to look around and experience all the new features and then let me know if there is something else you would like to see or a new feature you’d like me to implement.

Like I said, we’ve made a lot of changes, updates, and upgrades — all of which I HOPE will make your experience here at Simple Organized Living even better!

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13 comments

  1. Annette W

    09/30/2011

    I’m new to your site…maybe learned of you a week or so ago…but love it. I also love the new updates!

    [Reply]

  2. Jen @ BigBinder

    09/30/2011

    Absolutely fantastic!!

    [Reply]

  3. Shelly

    09/30/2011

    Love all the changes to your site. These pots are so pretty. I would use them for all the holiday cooking just around the corner. Love all your posts on bread making. Just ordered my bucket for the dough from your link , can’t wait to get started. I made the english muffin bread and it turned out fabulous. Please add more posts on recipes with the dough you make. I just love visiting your site everyday~

    [Reply]

  4. Heidi

    09/30/2011

    Andrea, I think your blog is definitely in my top five favorites! I am so glad Lora introduced me to it. Congrats on doing a great job with it! :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Heidi — so glad to be in your “top 5″ — hehe!

    [Reply]

  5. Dawn Hogue

    09/30/2011

    Andrea, I like the changes you have made. It is definitely easier to use; I love the recipe box :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Dawn!! I still have a few more ideas up my sleeve, but I’m saving them for later :)

    [Reply]

  6. Miranda

    09/30/2011

    Love the newer look and how easily assessable it is. One thing I would like is if the site would recognize my name, email and website when leaving a comment. When I comment, I always have to retype my information.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That weird that it doesn’t automatically pull your information — it always pulls my information {even when I’m not logged in to my wordpress dashboard}. I’m not positive, but I think that could be a setting on your internet browser that you have to activate. However, I’ll look into it a little more.

    [Reply]

  7. Miranda

    10/01/2011

    I’m usually on my iPhone which uses safari. I never have a problem on any other blogs and I usually comment quite a lot :). I wonder if any other of your readers encounter this?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I don’t know — but I’m certainly glad you comment a lot!! I’ll definitely look into this some more. thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    [Reply]

  8. Catie

    10/02/2011

    Love all the changes! Can’t wait to browse around! And I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS LONG to follow you on Pinterest! HA! :)

    [Reply]

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