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10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

10 Ways Your Clutter is Costing You

Piece by piece, bit by bit, clutter can creep into our homes. It does not often happen all at once, but is predominantly a trickle of items not put away, or taken out of the house. Then one day, you find yourself with a closet you can’t close, and items falling on your head when you open the closet door. You decide to solve the problem by getting a storage unit. This is step one of your clutter starting to cost you. A good rule of thumb is buying only what you need, and getting rid of the things you no longer need. Take time daily, weekly, and a deeper clean seasonally to clear out clutter. Or, just don’t let it accumulate in the first place. Focus on what you use, and let go of the “desire to acquire” by being satisfied with what you have, and when you upgrade, toss out the old to make room for the new. Clutter can be more than the topic for another episode of the TV show, “Hoarders”, it can have true financial and emotional costs. Is your clutter really worth the cost? 10 Ways that clutter can cost you:

  1. Money: Renting a monthly storage unit — especially one you may never even go into — is a way to store your clutter that can cost thousands of dollars a year. If you don’t have room for it, don’t pay to store it. Also, if you have so much clutter that you can’t find things, you end up buying something new when you can’t find the item you had already bought. Find and use what you have by having less items, and keeping what you do have organized.
  2. Time: When the house is a mess, a common problem is lost items, such as keys, shoes, etc … Streamline your life and your time by having less. Get out the door quicker by putting things in the same place consistently. NAPO (The National Association for Professional Organizers) says that on average, people spend 1 year out of their life looking for lost items.
  3. Relationships: A common cause of fighting amongst couples is one person having more clutter than another. If you are dating, there literally is no room for someone to move in unless you keep your space clutter-free. Having clutter can also cause embarrassment and a lack of interest to let people into your home to entertain.
  4. Space: People start buying bigger and bigger houses in order to store all their stuff that they accumulate along the way. To make more space in your house, you may not need a room addition, or a second story, you may just simply need to let go of some stuff to make the space you already have seem bigger.
  5. Well-being: Clutter is a breeding ground for dust and bugs. If you can’t see the floor, you can’t clean it properly. If you want to avoid spiders, bedbugs, and your sanity, keep items off the floor. Dusty clutter also leads to allergies, headaches, and stress.
  6. Energy: On a deeper level, clutter can make you feel fatigued. In ancient Feng Shui principles, there needs to be a flow through a house, and clutter is perceived as stuck energy, limiting the healthy flow of energy in your home.
  7. Productivity: Without clutter in your way, you can spend less time looking for things, organizing things, and more time moving forward with your life and your goals. Clutter holds you back by nagging at you to face it, rather than having a clean slate to go forth and create anew.
  8. Vitality: On an energetic level, clutter can be a visual to-do list, perpetually staring you in the face about what you “should do”, or make you feel guilty for acquiring more than you need.
  9. Focus: Clutter is not only visually distracting, but when you see piles of papers, clothes, or boxes in your space, it can keep you from focusing on your family, your work, or your priorities.
  10. Freedom: The more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to move easily, to travel, or to make changes in your life. Your stuff can literally keep you stuck where you are, by being overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of items that stand between you and living the life of your dreams.

Time to let go of the clutter and avoid the hidden costs. Keep it light. Keep it simple. Save money, time, energy, and relationships, by having less and knowing what you do have in the first place.

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Featured photo credit: Alex via flickr.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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