Organizing a Home Health Clinic Vicki Norris with Smoothie

More and more people are trying to take care of themselves naturally, but the volume of information and supplies is overwhelming. Restoring your health is like anything else in organizing: it’s easiest when you streamline your efforts. Here, I share some simple and affordable organization ideas to manage your and your family’s health at home.

It’s so exciting for me to share a little with you, our Restoring Order extended family, some insider information on our very personal journey into reclaiming health.

Why am I blogging about restoring health nowadays?

  • For starters, an internal study we conducted in 2009 concluded that over 75% of our clients were dealing with health issues. Poor health is a burden. Our heart for our clients is to relieve burdens and rescue lives from all forms of “dis”order, including disease and discomfort!
  • Second, quality of life is directly linked to health. Diminished health actually causes disorganization! From the inability to physically get stuff done to mounting medical paperwork, health chaos results in life chaos, which manifests in personal space.
  • Lastly, an ordered life is holistic. If you don’t have your health, you can’t enjoy your priorities. In other words, a Life Reclaimist is – by necessity – also a Health Reclaimist!

Also, I have personal reasons for addressing health reclamation. When Trevor almost died from encephalitis in 2011, we woke up to our ultimate responsibility for our own health. Three long days in the ER and thirty thousand dollars in hospital fees later, he was released with debilitating conditions, but the doctors hadn’t known how Trevor became sick or how to help him. Now that was an expensive pill to swallow.

We were slapped into the reality that we were the ONLY ones and in fact – the chosen ones – to manage our own health and prevent disasters like this from happening in the future.

In the blink of a bleary eye, we chose to become Health Reclaimists rather than victims.

I am hoping that the last near-decade of research, preparation, and organization we have gone through can help YOU in your own health journey.

Life-Reclaimist-Video-Course-Series-Health

I’m going to share with you some of our solutions to restore health and how we’ve organized our own Home Health Clinic.

Our personal healthcare space is made up of several storage solutions throughout our home that contain health-related supplies and remedies.

A Home Health Clinic should be customized to you and your needs and what kind of supplies YOU use. Ours includes a unique, dedicated spot for:

  • Food
  • Essential oils
  • Tinctures
  • Herbs
  • First aid
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Reference material

In this article, I am going to share how we organize each of these health items.

Start with Real Food

Vicki Norris holding basket of produce

The most obvious way to reclaim your health is to improve what you eat.

We live in a society where people are starving for nutrition, even though they may be overweight. An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight.

Between the degraded soil, diminishing quality of food, and genetic modification of food with chemicals, almost none of us are getting the nutrition we need.

Believe it or not, there is an organizing solution for poor nutrition!

First, go ALL organic

Vicki Norris in garden with her boys

Okay, I know this might be hard for some of you to read because some still think eating organic is a “trend” for snooty people. I used to think so, too!

I’ve done daily natural health research for nearly 9 years. We’ve raised laying hens and meat chickens on our farm and we’ve planted and managed a huge garden and orchard. From all our research and experience, we have learned that non-organic food is largely poisoned with additives or modified to become larger or more standard in appearance.

Since the food we eat becomes part of our cellular structure, entering our bloodstream, we should probably take note of what is IN it.

  • If poultry or beef was raised with antibiotics and steroids, we’re going to ingest it.
  • If plants were sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, we’re going to ingest it.

Over time, these ingested chemicals add up in our bodies. And our bodies weren’t designed to process synthetic chemicals, so our immune system and filter organs have to work overtime to try to deal with the invasion.

So, the obvious first and best thing you can do to help yourself -and your family – get healthy – is to STOP buying degraded conventional food.

I know that it’s expensive and harder to find organic. You’re right.

But the problem is this: the more chemicals you put in your body, the more your body is compromised and the less it can operate at optimal function.

If buying organic is busting your budget, try the affordable online shopping and delivery services Imperfect Produce or Thrive Market.

Best of all, start growing organic foods you eat the most. You will then know exactly what it is in your food. Start with a countertop growing appliance or a small greenhouse or a garden, whichever feels more native to you and your family and jump starts your journey.

Next, keep raw food within reach

Many lead nutrition sources say that we should aim to eat 70% of our food raw. I can tell you that our family isn’t even close to that, but we are trying every month to increase our intake.

The good news is: there’s a very simple solution to contribute to the aim of consuming raw food – keep it handy!

Our top strategy is to keep raw food in view and accessible. We keep tons of fresh fruit and veggies on hand. I transfer all of the fruit to cute baskets on my counter, so there’s never an excuse NOT to eat healthy!

Fruit in baskets on counter

Here are some of our family’s other efforts to order what we eat:

Limit “dead” food, including animals and processed food

Limit “white” food. If we’ve eaten bagels at breakfast, we try not to follow it with sandwiches for lunch and rice for dinner!

Limit sugar. Disease can only grow in an acidic environment and sugar creates that degraded environment. Sugar is a poison to the body. The average American consumes 75 pounds of sugar per year! We diligently try to limit how much sugar we consume to natural sources. (We’re not militant about it, we still have a brownie at a birthday party once in a while.) We use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar as sweetener, and I substitute palm sugar (coconut sugar) for sugar when baking (lower glycemic index).

Prioritize natural snacks. When the kids ask for snacks, we insist they eat carrots, apples, oranges, snap peas, etc. FIRST before they have a granola bar or grain snack. This way, they fill up with good stuff and have less room for the prepared food.

Up the protein and good fats. I’ve packed my fridge with seeds and nuts of all kinds. This way, they stay fresh longer, as seeds and nuts have oils that can go rancid in the pantry. I transfer them into jars from their packaging to make them easy to see and use up more quickly. Snacking on nuts boosts brain power. As we transition from snacking on chips to nuts, we fill satiated faster and improve cerebral function!

Liquify. It’s easier to digest pre-broken-down foods. Trevor loves to make smoothies, packing spinach into our diets along with the frozen organic fruit and bananas from the counter. I love a superfood juice that allows me to “eat” huge amounts of nutrition in one cup of distilled food: a head of kale, multiple pieces of fruit, ginger, basil, etc. Try smoothies and juices and see how your health soars!

Convenience is king. Just as we need to keep organic, raw food on hand, we also need to keep our vitamins and supplements easily accessible so we remember to use them!

Organize Supplements by Type

Health Supplements Storage

Pictured here are vintage gym baskets which provide additional storage near my kitchen. Historically, I have used these bins for various household supplies.

Meanwhile, I’ve been collecting all kinds of supplements in my kitchen. The volume of these bottles and packets and tubs has been growing exponentially as I learn more about natural health. I was organizing these supplements by type in plastic shoebox bins within a big kitchen cabinet. They were awkwardly stacked and since the cabinet was under the counter, I had to practically climb in this corner cabinet to get to the supplements. They were organized but not readily visible or accessible.

As I have become more serious about managing our family health, I have purposed to create dedicated space in the home to prioritize health supplies.

When you get serious about your health, you will dedicate specific space in your home to support your health. Each of those areas needs a thoughtful, organized approach.

To address the burgeoning health supplement problem, I relocated the household items in my gym baskets and moved IN my supplements! I assigned each type of supplement to its own basket.

Portland Professional Organizing Services - Kitchen

 Each of these baskets stores my supplements by type:

  1. Seasonal
  2. Gut Health
  3. First Aid
  4. Daily
  5. Back-stock

I also dedicated one of these baskets to supplies like pill cases and plastic droppers.

A key component of your natural Home Health Clinic is a place where you can organize your vitamins and supplements by genre. Here are some of the qualifiers I used to select this storage location:

  • It had to be near the kitchen, where I take all my vitamins
  • It had to be at eye level
  • It had to include removable bins that would allow me to sub-sort by type

Now you can see why the gym baskets were the perfect location for my supplements.

Each week, I refill my vitamin tray. I simply take my “Daily” basket out of the gym basket unit and set it on the counter and refill the tray. When one bottle is empty, I order a replacement online to ensure I don’t “fall off the wagon” taking that specific supplement because I couldn’t get to the store in time.

Since the food we eat and soil it grows in are both so depleted, most all of us need supplementation of essential elements, nutrients, amino acids, vitamins etc. These supplements are so important to repairing and sustaining health that supplement organization is one of the first dedicated spaces I recommend setting up in your home health clinic.

Next, I really can’t do without my reference guides as I rebuild and restore optimal health for my family.

Store Home Health References Nearby

Another component of your Home Health Clinic is reference material.

When I started my health journey, I kept my books on a bookshelf in my “library,” which is in my office. This space, although beautifully organized, is a long way from my kitchen – the hub of my home.

As a result, I didn’t READ these books very often. I became a collector but not a doer. I guess ordering them was the first step, but without consuming and digesting the information, I was just a hoarder of health books!

Home Health Clinic Reference Books

Slowly, I began hauling these books into my kitchen (where I sit with my laptop all the time) and began opening them and diving deep. Since these books started laying around, I dedicated a spot for them to the left of where I sit…right on top of an end table that holds our charging station. Now, I can just grab key references when needed.

I recommend gathering and storing all your health reference materials near where you spend the most time. In my experience in organizing, if something is handy, you will use it. If it is tucked away a few rooms away, you won’t.

The next type of health remedies I have made room for in my life and home are tinctures.

Keep Preventative Home Health Remedies in View

Our home health clinic isn’t filled with pharmaceuticals, it’s powered by plants, the original source of healing.

Terrific Tinctures

When Trevor nearly died from encephalitis, I discovered tinctures early in my research. Apparently, his case was viral, so I went out and bought a bunch of anti-viral tinctures and began adding them to his water.

If you’ve never used tinctures; I highly recommend exploring this world of goodness! Because they are herbs distilled into liquid form, tinctures are highly useable by the body and don’t have to be “unpacked” in capsule form in the digestive system.

Some are nearly tasteless; some taste like sprouts or grass or even pungent or bitter – each as unique as the plant from which its derived. I rather like the variety; but some people have to get used to it.

But the great news is: your body will recognize and quickly absorb plant material. After all, we are made from the earth; so your body recognizes other stuff from the earth!

Tincture storage in home health clinic

I keep at least a dozen tinctures on hand all the time. Some of my favorites for detoxing are dandelion and milk thistle and we keep astragalus on hand for its anti-viral properties, as well as echinacea for immunity.

I was keeping them inside one of my upper cabinets in the kitchen, but then I kept forgetting to take them! They were CLOSE but not VISIBLE to me.

So, I set up this adorable wooden shelf in the shape of a house and dedicated it to my tinctures. I placed it immediately to the right of our kitchen sink. The cute birds and wooden house beautifies these necessities while keeping them in view. (I received this house as a gift from my friends at The Feathered Barn on Etsy – message them if you want one made!)

Right next to the sink is THE prime real estate for most people. This is where you are most likely to see and USE something. However, a box of remedies looks bad. So, my little house of daily tinctures keeps them accessible and useable.

Amazing Oils

To the left of the sink (also very accessible), I keep my essential oils in an old-fashioned print shop letter tray. In our personal experience, these concentrated oils soothe a sour tummy (peppermint and fennel), knock out a sore throat (copaiba), destroy swollen glands (frankincense), detox the cellular system (lemon and lime and other citrus), beat back a virus (basil and geranium) and so much more!

Some of you who have followed Restoring Order for a long time know that Trevor used to be bald. Well, he used peppermint and rosemary and he grew back ALL his hair…naturally! No kidding! My only requirement now is that he doesn’t grow his fabulous locks longer than mine!

One of the benefits of oils is that my youngest son hates taking internal remedies. I don’t think he has ever taken a capsule or tablet; he has a major aversion. For vitamins, I’ve had to go with chewables. But sometimes, he has really needed to get a remedy inside. Enter oils as the application of choice! I can rub oils on his tummy or feet and soon he is feeling better. After all, our skin is our largest organ and is a great way to absorb treatments!

To learn more about our health journey and also our experience with oils, visit Our Health Story page on our website!

Besides tinctures and oils, plants can be taken as tea, compresses, poultices, and more.

That’s why another ingredient in our Home Health Clinic is our newest addition: our FARMacy!

Create a FARMacy

Good organizing dedicates space to most-frequently-used items. When I started researching loose herbs, I went on a frenzy of fun! Some of my favorite books are:

Essential Oils Desk Reference by Life Science Publishing

Ten Essential Herbs by Lalitha Thomas

Health Through God’s Pharmacy by Maria Treben

Kids, Herbs, and Health by Linda B. White and Sunny Mavor

I started researching issues members of our family have each experienced and started ordering herbs that could be taken as tea to address those problems. My favorite organic herb store is Mountain Rose Herbs in Eugene, OR.

Pretty soon my kitchen counter was covered in huge herb bags.

I knew that plant matter deteriorates, and the potency of plants diminish over time and exposure to light. To address this, I researched amber glass jars. To my surprise, Ball has now come out with many sizes of amber jars. Yay! I found most of my jars at Walmart, believe it or not. The rest of the sizes I needed I ordered online.

Now, I just needed a dedicated PLACE for this key component of our Home Health Clinic!

I used to keep a huge vintage chalkboard in our laundry room, adjacent to our kitchen. I realized I could ditch this massive piece and commandeer the wall space for herb storage.

Since I guess I’m becoming a plant apothecarian, I needed an apothecary shop!

Pictured here is my FARMacy – a shelf system dedicated to my herbs – including cloves, sage, cayenne, peppermint, chamomile, and many herbs you’ve probably never heard of!

Trevor made me this awesome set of shelves, complete with guard rail, to fit in line with the wall “return.” I love it!

Now, we mix these wonderful plant leaves each day into unique teas to detox, boost our immunity, and eliminate troublesome conditions.

To top off our herbal shelf system, I had been dreaming of a sign that said “FARMacy” and when I came home from a trip, Trev surprised me with this homemade stenciled sign on a piece of sheet metal. Brilliant! Husband points!

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to create your own Home Health Clinic!

This idea is just a concept to encourage you to organize and store your health-related supplies, remedies, and reference in central, orderly systems.

Since homes aren’t built with this in mind, you may have to customize these unique spaces like we’ve done.

This has been one of my favorite pieces to write, because of the HOPE I have that you will be inspired to try some new directions in restoring health.

Instead of having to rely on medication, we make the Great Physician our doctor and His creation our pharmacy!

I’ve never studied anything more than natural health, and I am a continuous learner.

These ideas have been deeply researched, adapted, simplified, tweaked, abandoned, and restarted innumerable times. That is the journey of a real Health Reclaimist – choosing an indefatigable commitment to progress, not perfection. We have become continuous learners.

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Organizing a home health clinic

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