A fun and completely safe experiment for the family to try during quarantine.
- Most of us are staying home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean there isn't learning and fun to be had.
- It's important to take a break from screen time. Kate the Chemist, professor, science entertainer, and author of "The Big Book of Experiments," has just the activity: Creating a bubble snake using common household ingredients including dish soap, food coloring, rubber bands, a towel, and a small plastic bottle.
- In this step-by-step tutorial, Kate walks us through the simple process of building the apparatus and combining materials to bring the fun snakes to life.
Simple tricks for hacking back your device.
- Smartphones are double edged swords. They are great tools for connecting people around the world, but they also often get in the way of productivity.
- One four-step strategy for taking back control is the Four R's: Remove, Replace, Reorganize, and Reclaim.
- By changing a few notifications settings and removing non-essential applications, you can completely transform your relationship with your device.
Get your finances in shape with this powerful money manager.
- Emma is a personal finance and budgeting app to help you better control your money.
- Emma organizes and analyzes all your financial accounts to save you cash.
- A $299.99 lifetime subscription is on sale now for just $39.
- Marie Kondo's 2014 book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, has sold over 9 million copies.
- The Japanese organizer's success has turned into a popular Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
- De-cluttering your home has an emotional resonance, says Kondo.
10 Amazing Tips from Tidying Up with Marie Kondo<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="513362d4486d5574d7e2bf01b97c746b"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TXzcmr2WcDA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Put into perspective, Kondo's bestseller, <em>The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up</em>, makes sense. There is room for cherished mementos that "spark joy," but not so much for empty boxes. Sort your belongings by category, not location. Fold better. Hold onto cherished photos, discard the rest. Reduce, reduce, reduce; discover what's really <em>necessary</em>.</p><p>I thought I had learned this lesson before. I moved to San Francisco shortly after graduating college in 1997. Life happened and I only stayed for half the year, so back to Jersey went my life. UPS went on strike on my way home. This resulted in two weeks of living out of one suitcase. </p><p>What I discovered then is what I rediscovered upon moving to Los Angeles in 2011, which is what I also rediscovered during our first weekend trying out the KonMari Method: we own much more than we need. Though simplistic on the screen, sorting, collecting and discarding objects is cathartic. Like emotional baggage, you realize how much you're holding onto, as well as how good it feels to let it all go. </p><p>And so my wife and I began cleaning on another level. A caveat: we didn't follow instructions perfectly. Kondo suggests cleaning by category. For example, pile all of your books in the center of a room. All clothing, kitchenware, and so on. Instead, we tackled the project room by room, with some categorizing, such as the linen closet and bathrooms. </p><p>From our closets went nine bags to the Salvation Army, plus items I've been holding "just in case," like a giant backpack I used to travel around Europe in 2000 and the comic book collection I'd stowed in a box in high school and never opened again. Two sets of utensils are unnecessary for two people. Do we really need a few dozen mugs? Of course not. Is my life enhanced by old magazines I never thumb through? The answer is obvious.</p>
Organizing guru Marie Kondo arrives for the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2019. Photo credit: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images<p>Yet, as mentioned, sentimental objects are different. Magazine cover stories I wrote warrant filing for the simple reason that they transport me back to a place and time: sitting across from a still-bearded Matisyahu as he prayed over his lunch in downtown Manhattan; drinking too many cappuccinos with Karsh Kale at Cafe Orlin while discussing his latest experimentation with Indian electronica; chatting with the creative Anoushka Shankar about continuing her father's incredible legacy. Moments before all of my writing lived on a screen are part of an autobiography I'd like to track.</p><p>Placing your life into a pile is an incredible way to grapple with your agency. Sure, this "collection of things" might not be the "true you," but it represents facets of your existence. Which of them would be required if you lived a life of scarcity? What would really matter then? How about a life of enough instead of excess? Such questions are impossible to ignore when everything is spread out in front of your eyes. </p><p>Cathartic, yes, but also healing. Also fun. There are many types of work; the most draining and exhilarating inspire emotions. The reorganization process is aspirational. You're putting your life back together — a life you aspire to, one of order and need, not chaos and gluttony. As Kondo writes, you might be angry at your family because your space is cluttered. We are animals of our environment. Create space in yours and emotional clarity ensues. </p><p>Yet I must push back on her feelings about books. Not that I hold onto all of them. I've donated more than I've kept, but the 300 or so surrounding me remain an important aspect of my identity. Perhaps it's not Shinto, but another Japanese word contradicts Kondoism: <a href="https://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/buy-more-books-than-you-ever-read-the-japanese-have-a-word-for-that" target="_self"><em>tsundoku</em></a>. Unread books elevate your space. </p><p>As with closets, dressers, and cabinets, Kondo asks that you move all of your books into a pile in the center of your room. She continues, </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill of pleasure when you touch it." </p><p>I might not give agency to inanimate ideas like gods, but books hold a certain power. (The power is the experience of having read it, of course. But still.) I agree with Kondo, that "you are going to read very few of your books again." At least I have the excuse of citation: many of the underlines and notes make their way into articles and books. Books are also how I like to decorate.</p><p>It's the one step I'm not ready to take. Maybe in the future — <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5XptSCCciU" target="_blank">never is a promise</a> you should never make. Regardless, Marie Kondo has made a huge impact in our home. I'm just not letting her invade my library, though… yet.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.</em></p>
One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.
- Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
- One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
- Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.