Yesterday was the first day of Spring and if you have been drawing the blinds and pushing back the curtains to tackle dust bunnies or clearing out the closets for donations then now is also the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning on your blog.
I haven’t begun yet, however, while checking a few of my feeds I came across this post by Sean Nicholson over at SocMedSean which gives some great tips for cleaning up your blog.
7 Tips For Cleaning Up Your Blog And Improving Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Clean up those plugins – If you have been trying out new plugins or widgets for your blog, be sure to delete them if you’re not using them. By removing the files, you can speed up your page load times and reduce any potential security risks that may come from having out-of-date plugins.
WP-CleanFix is a great plugin that can help you do some Spring cleaning on your blog.
Get rid of unused categories and tags – Unused categories or tags are potential 404 errors waiting to happen. Additionally, the more categories and tags you use, the more it can bog down your database and decrease the performance of your blog. Tools like WP-CleanFix can help you identify any opportunities to clean up categories and tags (among other things) and make sure your database is optimized.
Use Google’s Webmaster tools to ensure that there aren’t any 404s occurring – If you aren’t familiar with Google’s Webmaster tools, now is the time to get familiar. The data provided to you by Google can be a goldmine in finding and fixing 404 errors. Technically, Google says they don’t penalize you for 404s, but why risk a bad visitor experience if they can’t find the page they are looking for. If you have changed your permalink structure or your domain name, you might even have some old links out there that need fixing because they point to the old URLs.If you need a good tool to redirect user from an out-of-date URL to a new one, check out the Redirection plugin for WordPress.
Make sure every image on your site has an Alt tag – This one is a MUST. Google will actually penalize your page if your images don’t have Alt tags. Since I’m a huge proponent of having images on every page, be sure that they are helping your SEO and not hurting it.
Re-read your posts and make sure they are still relevant– Let’s face it, some articles are just timely and are out-of-date quickly. But…maybe there is an update on the topic, maybe it’s a good opportunity for a new post that links back to the old post. Don’t just give up on those time-sensitive posts, find a way to update and re-energize the content
Cross-link between posts for better internal linking – It’s likely that your old posts talk about content that is similar to your new posts. So why not go back and create links between similar articles. You don’t want to go overboard and over-link your articles, but by creating internal links between articles, you’ll be helping readers and the search engines re-discover some of those older articles.
Re-evaluate your sidebar(s) – Page load time is a factor in your search engine ranking, so find ways to minimize that load time. One way to do is to take a good, hard look at the items that are located in your sidebar. Do you have too many widgets? Are those widgets slowing down your blog? If so, consider dropping some of them. Anything you can do to increase the speed of your blog and decrease page load times will pay off in SEO.
There you go! 7 quick tips that you can use to clean up your blog this Spring and, hopefully, drive more traffic.
Personally, I need to update and declutter my header tabs as well as update my Media Kit.
Have you made any changes to your blog, if so, please share.
Disclosure: The Renuzit brand provided me with samples of Renuzit Sensitive Scents in exchange for an honest product review. All opinions are however, 100% my own.
Last weekend I was able to enjoy one of my few unscheduled Saturdays so I took full advantage of it and decided to get a jump start on a little Spring Cleaning.
With the sun’s rays shining through the windows it was obvious that the dust bunnies had multiplied over the winter!
As you know, I have two sons, Malik, who is away at school at Bowie State University and Tayair is home attending the CLSC Program at the University of Delaware.
I had recently received these Renuzit products from Social Insiders so I was anxious to try them out and their bedrooms were the perfect place to begin. When Malik is away his bed is striped of it’s sheets and coverings so I started by spraying his mattress pad and pillows with the Renuzit Trigger Spray.
The Pure White Pear & Lavender scent was light and not overpowering which is great because both of my sons have seasonal allergies. If you watch the video below you will also see that I used the Trigger Spray in Tayair’s room, closet and on his sneakers.
I used the Pure Ocean Breeze Plug-In in Tayair’s room since it needs a bit more of a constant freshening and those of you who have teen age sons or young male adults know what I mean. The Pure Ocean Breeze scent was light and airy and after a few hours it made the whole room smell refreshed.
I was going to leave the Renuzit Sensitive Scent Gel Freshener in Malik’s room but once I took a whiff of the Pure Water Blossom & Cucumber scent, I immediately took it to my bedroom – it was heavenly! I will have to buy another one for Malik’s room before he gets home.
Having used Renuzit products in the past I was familiar with them, however, these new Sensitive Scents are much better and the Plug In Refills are universal so that they fit in any Glade or Air Wick warming unit, which saves you money if you have them already.
And speaking of saving money, I am conducting a Rafflecopter Giveway and will be giving away these 3 Coupons for a FREE Renuzit Sensitive Scents product. You can enter the contest below and make sure to leave a comment as to what your favorite Spring Scent is – good luck!
Drawing is open to USA residents only and will end on Sunday, March 13th.
5 Areas to Organize Inside Your Home Before Summer Ends
Author: Alyssa Craig
Though you may have already done some spring cleaning, there always seems to be a corner of the house that needs a little bit of attention. This summer, you may find yourself with good conditions or simply the time to do a little more organizing that will make your summer and the upcoming seasons easier.
Here are five key areas you can focus your attention on before summer closes out:
rack in the auto garage
Summer is the ideal time to pull everything out on your driveway and start from scratch. This gives you a chance not only to sort through everything you have acquired in that dungeon, but also to give it a good scrubbing while you are in there. As you start to put items back in your garage, make one pile for items to throw away and another pile for items to donate. You can also choose to have a garage sale with the items that are still in good condition. As you go about organizing the items you are keeping, consider the following:
use storage containers for like items (ie. winter snow gear, costumes, sports equipment)
install shelving for more use of vertical storage space
use hooks to hang tools or bikes on the walls or ceiling
Now that the kids are home for the summer, this is a great time to go through their closets together. Unless you have kept a close eye on their backpacks throughout the school year, it is possible there are papers, projects, and all sorts of surprises that have accumulated over the last nine months or so. Throw away old papers and if there are any special reports or projects they would like to keep, help them create a scrapbook or “special” box for them to keep these items.
Kids grow like weeds, so the summer is also a great time to re-evaluate their clothing. Go through their fall and winter clothing items and determine what no longer fits or what will likely no longer fit once those seasons come around again. This will help you put together a good list of what they will need for the new school year.
As you go through their clothes, do not forget to also address shoes, as feet grow quickly. This is also a great opportunity to spray them and clean them off, to prevent that stinky feet smell from getting out of control.
When was the last time you went through your pantry? It is likely there are many items inside you do not even remember purchasing because they have been tucked away in a corner for so long.
Start by taking everything out and wiping down the shelves and floor before returning the items you are going to keep. As you strive to make better use of the foods you buy (money saver!) and prepare healthy meals for your family, try some of these organization tips:
First and foremost, ditch anything expired and FINALLY get rid of any lingering holiday or Easter goodies.
Use Labels: This will help differentiate between similar looking products more easily (such as flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, etc). You can also use it to mark expiration dates in a more visible way.
Install pull out drawers to make everything more easily visible and accessible, such as those suggested here.
Use containers or baskets to group similar foods together such as baking items, goodies, breads, etc.
Your mudroom is probably a major drop zone in your house, full of shoes, jackets, bags and who knows what else has been left there over the last few months. Take some time to get everything put away in its rightful place in your home. The summer is a great time to get coats dry cleaned and boots and other winter shoes cleaned and winterized. You will be grateful when the cool weather hits that you thought to do this while those items were not in demand.
Take this time to do a deep cleaning of the cubbies and shelves in your mudroom. You may consider buying baskets that fit inside of the cubbies to keep the room looking more organized, as you won’t see individual items floating freely. If you have not already done so, assign each family member their own shelf or cubby space for them to be in charge of as the year goes on, giving them ownership and responsibility over keeping that space clean and organized from here on out.
The kitchen tends to be the typical family gathering place, so there needs to be a sense of order where there is likely often chaos instead. Make it a place where each person can find what they need without being overwhelmed by clutter that may build up. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
Create an area for mail to be sorted and taken care of. Have a slot for bills, one for fun items such as wedding invitations, or perhaps even a mail slot for each member of the family.
Keep wipes and paper towels handy for sticky ice cream and popsicle messes throughout the summer. This will help you keep the kitchen clean.
Look for creative ways to store countertop appliances, such as keeping them hidden in cupboards or drawers when they are not in use. This will help create a more clutter free feeling.
As school starts again, your children will likely be spending more time in the kitchen doing homework. Take inventory of your drawer that contains pencils, pens, and other school supplies and determine what can be thrown away (the 20 pens that no longer work) and what needs replacing.
By taking care of these five areas of your home, you will slowly, but surely feel a little more organized and ready to take on the next whirlwind life throws your way.
Disclosure: The Dial Brand provided me with a FREE sample of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Outdoor Spring Chores & Dial Hand Soap
Hello friends, I hope all is well in your world. Have you finished all of your Spring Cleaning yet? Thankfully, last weekend I was able to get most of the indoor chores done, so next week we’ll be heading outside to get the yard and deck ready for the longer, warmer days ahead.
Along with getting the lawn ready for planting, we will also be cleaning the outdoor furniture and cushions as well as power washing the siding and walkways. Working outside in the yard is very therapeutic but it can also be very messy so this bottle of Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap will definitely be put to good use.
Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap is the newest member of The Boutique Collection Hand Soap line from Dial and not only does it smell sweet like sugar cane, but it also a deep cleansing hand soap that moisturizes and keeps your hands smooth. I also put a bottle in the kitchen to use before and after preparing meals because Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap can be used by the entire family, and my men think the micro-scrubbing particles are great for removing dirt from their hands.
Read more about the new Dial Boutique Collection on their Facebook page then leave a comment below with your favorite soap scent.
Thanks to Dial I am also able to give away a coupon to three (3) lucky readers, so enter this Rafflecopter Sweepstakes today for your chance to win a FREE Dial Hand Soap, 7.5 oz or larger (open to U.S. residents only) contest ends at midnight on April 4th.
Most of you know that hubby will retiring this summer after 32+ years of service with the State of Delaware. Although he will be leaving the School District he won’t be leaving the workforce…at least not entirely. He may not know where the next phase of life will take him, he does vow not to have to wear a suit and tie again.
So with a closet full of them, where will they go after my sons have raided his closet, the answer is simple, they will be donated to Goodwill. Hubby may be leaving his job, but in donating his suits, ties, suspenders and shoes he will be helping to create jobs for others.
Using this online Goodwill Donation Calculator we can determine just how much our donations will be helping the community. For example, one man’s suit will provide 14 minutes of resume preparation and a pair of shoes will provide 19 minutes of the same.
Try it out for yourself as you pack up your donations.
You may not be leaving a job, but if your spring cleaning includes clearing out a cluttered closet to make room for more stuff, pack it up and donate it to Goodwill.
I’ll be the first to admit it, but hubby isn’t the only person that needs to clean out their closet…mine is due for some serious purging…need to make room for new shoes!
For more information on just how your donations work, check out this “How We Do It” PSA.
It’s going to be another cold weekend so I’m staying indoors to do some early Spring cleaning…yes, I’m even doing the boring chores. I don’t know about you, but I am super anxious for the warmer weather to get here so I can shed the layers and put away the snow shovel. Even though we have several more months before we get to that point, I wanted to at least get a jump start on it now.
I refuse to let the wintery winds of January stop me from thinking about or even shopping for the Spring season because now is the best time to do so. I recently signed up as an affiliate for Hannah Jane, a new online boutique with some great clothing and accessories at affordable prices. I found a few cute pieces on sale/clearance that I will be adding to my Spring wardrobe, take a look and let me know what you think.
I recently saw a fellow blogger in a classic white T-shirt, so I want to incorporate them into my wardrobe. This Yellow Bubble necklace would be a perfect accessory to jazz it up.
Fuchsia is such a fun Spring color and in jeans it will be great for a casual Friday outfit.
You know that I love all things Polka Dot and this top paired with a Houndstooth infinity scarf would be great to wear on an early chilly Spring morning or evening.
Or would it look better with the red scarf?
You definitely can’t go wrong with a White or Ivory button down blouse and I wish they had this skirt in stock!
I immediately feel in love with this striped comfy, casual knit dress. I could wear it with boots as shown or with pumps to work or even with ballet flats to run errands on the weekend. What do you think?
We do have a few months of cold weather ahead, so I’ll wear a turtleneck underneath this sweater.
AND… I finally found a pair of riding boots in my price range!
The great thing about shopping at Hannah Jane, other than the prices is that they offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50, and a flat $4.99 rate for orders under $50.
If you get a chance, head over to their website and take advantage of the 20% off one item sale and if you sign up for the Newsletter you’ll get an additional discount off of your first order. #winning
Stay Blessed – No Stress in 2014!
I make money on some products and services that I talk about on this website through affiliate relationships with the merchants in question. I get a small commission on sales of those products. That in no way affects my opinion of those products and services.
I know there is still snow on the ground and the temps are in the teens but if you are anything like me you don’t wait for March or April to begin Spring Cleaning. Unfortunately cleaning is constant…dust doesn’t take a break AND you never own a house, the house owns you!
I don’t have a baby but because I was my grandmother’s caregiver I have several packs of baby wipes left after she transitioned. I keep a tub of them in each bathroom to use as quick cleaning wipes they are thick and just the right size to use on the countertops and faucets, if used on the toilet seat I’ll add a little Pinesol. They are are less costly than the leading cleaning wipes and they don’t contain harsh chemicals so there’s no need to use gloves
In the hall on baseboards and walls – does not harm the paint
In the bedroom – delicate enough to remove dust from lamp shades and blinds
Dusting in the family room
In the kitchen
On carpet they are strong enough to pick up hair and dirt without falling apart
I have a basket full of old brushes and combs that I hate to throw away because as a child of the 60’s, we were taught to recycle and reuse everything. Today I was doing a little Spring Cleaning and my worse chore is vacuuming the stairs. Although we remove our shoes in the laundry room the stairs are always dusty and quite noticeable to me everyday.
Lugging the Electrolux canister vacuum up and down and positioning it on the steps, hoping it doesn’t fall keeps me from using it every week. Today I used an old brush to sweep the stairs, eliminating the need to plug, lug and move the vacuum up and down and as an added benefit it was great exercise!