Help Me Help You

Name that movie. Come on, it’s an easy one. And while we’re on the subject of helping you, we’re here to share yet another way to dig through our archives and find any and all old posts that you’d like to peruse. After all it was one of my 2010 resolutions to seriously supe up the site. I’m not going for anything too techie and weird, just improved function and usability so you guys can find things more easily and click around to your heart’s content. I’m such a guy aren’t I? But I guess it’s all in the name of adding some twenty-ten-worthy simplicity and ease. So here’s the deal:

See that little search box in the top right hand corner of our site? Well there’s a tab there that says “Topics” and there’s where you can find a ton of categories (many of which are brand spanking new) to help you sift through our posts and find exactly what you seek.

You think I’m kidding when I say “a lot of categories” right? Well I’m not. Here are all of the different “buckets” that we have wrangled over 1,200 posts into:

We tried to keep our number of categories down but apparently we gab about a ton of stuff. And above all we want them to be effective so we had to create quite a few in the end. The good news is that you won’t have to sift through five hundred posts in a really vague category (like “Decorating”) and instead we’ve broken things down much further so it’s easier to pin down which bucket to search since they’re a little more descriptive.

So now if you’re looking for a cleaning post, just click on the “Clean Up Your Act” link. And if you want to take some fun quizzes just click on the “Pop Quizzes” category. You’ll see that we also added more detailed topics like “Furniture Makeovers,” “Exterior Upgrades” and “Painting Projects” – so if you’re bored and looking for a quick little DIY dose, those categories (along with “Before & After” and “Decorating Lessons“) are full of ideas and eye candy. And don’t forget to peep topics like “Easy Upgrades” and our latest addition called “Look & Learn” for even more doable (and affordable) ideas and decorating inspiration for the taking.

We also used to just have a category called “Our House” which we manually broke down (yeah it took a while) into every single one of the different rooms in our house. So now you can look at all of our kitchen posts (by clicking Our Kitchen) without having to sift through the rest of the house while you’re at it. In short, whether it’s organizing, saving money or even just flipping through old Design Dilemmas or Reader Redesigns, the topics tab is a great way to hunt anything down (and kill an hour or two if that’s the goal).

And while we’re on the subject of getting around, we also have our often relied on How To page with lots more categories and short linky descriptions to a plethora of posts that just might address your every need (from how to paint cabinets and furniture to how to upholster a headboard, mix up homemade cleaning products, unclog a drain or store everything in your house- even files and receipts- with style).

Plus we can’t forget the “Search” tab that can help you find something faster along with the “Archives” tab which allows you to flip back through our posts chronologically by month (they’re both up there with the “Topics” tab). So here’s hoping that it’s even easier for you guys to hunt down whatcha want watcha really really want. And yes I just got a little Mel B on you right there. You’re welcome.

Oh and on the subject of easier navigation and simpler YHL cruising, do you have any other requests in the functionality department? I can’t promise that I’m savvy enough to implement them all (well, any of them really) but I’d love to hear how you guys think we can make our site even easier to get around.

UPDATE: We’ve since retooled our categories, so some of the links above might not work anymore (since they’ve been updated).



Let’s Tackle It Together: Closet Clutter

So it’s been ages since we first introduced (and then seemingly forgot) a two-post feature where we invite you to tackle a house project right along with us. Last July it was cleaning out our garages, and this time we’re turning our attention to our closets.

Call it nesting. Call it the spring cleaning bug arriving a bit early. Call it whatever you want, but Sherry and I recently got the urge to purge. With the bean arriving in T-minus 10-ish weeks (and loot from baby showers headed our way even sooner) now’s the perfect time for us to donate/toss long forgotten items of clothing and unnecessary doodads that are taking up precious real estate in our closets- and better organize everything else that makes the cut. Plus, my closet has become quite a half-folded mess lately (we men only fold so much…):

So we’re giving in to that urge this weekend, and inviting you to join us. Well, not literally at our house, but to do the same thing in your own home. You get the idea.

And in case you think you’re off the hook because your clothes are perfectly pressed and sorted by color, we’d gonna tackle some other closets this weekend too. Like our hall closet that stores all sorts of memories along with a growing collection of “emergency” gift bags and boxes (nobody needs that many).

Plus, those bamboo blinds that conveniently cover the shelves over our laundry nook?

Um yeah… there’s a reason we conceal this mish-mash of tools, luggage, wrapping paper and what I can only imagine is a lot of dust too…

So now that our less organized nooks and crannies are out there for all to see, we’ve given ourselves a kick in the pants to make it better by Monday. (Do I get 500 bonus points for using nooks, crannies, and pants all in one sentence?). So who’s with us? What could use some purging / re-organizing at your house this weekend? Whether it’s a junk drawer or an entire floor, we’re here to virtually rally your troops and encourage you to take it on. Not only will you gain the satisfaction of a cleaner and more organized place to live, but you’ll actually earn extra square footage (for future storage, or just to allow your house to breathe again). And the self satisfaction of a job well done is pretty nice too (we’re fans of rewarding ourselves with ice cream). We promise to post our “results” next week along with the process that we used to clean house- and we can’t wait to hear how it goes for all of you too. Good luck! And good riddance to all that closet clutter.