Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Healthy, Minimalist Life Short-Cuts: Improve Mind, Body, and Home + Hit Dreams

You want a clean, clutter-free home and an end to the frantic hunt for the scissors or your favorite shirt. You crave health, happiness, and the energy to accomplish your dreams.  Five years ago I had three closets packed with Stuff, I was 30 lbs overweight, and overworked in a cubicle. Now I'm at a healthy weight, eat an extremely healthy vegan diet, and have hundreds (!) fewer possessions. I'm self-employed with a flexible schedule and develop dreams daily.

There's no way to make this an instant reality, you have to make slow daily progress. Along the way I've definitely learned some short-cuts, though! Use this guide as a jump start to living the life you've dreamed of:

1) List DreamsList your life goals and dreams. The big ones (publish a book) and small (clean house). First, brain vomit all mind matter. Come back later to refine your list to the top favorites.

Exercise: Imagine you were a multi-millionaire with every degree. What would you spend time on? This is your true love and dream to pursue.

2) ScheduleNow make it all really happen, schedule those actions steps throughout the year. Take it slow. You can up the pace later.

Try: Brittni's Track This e-Book is my fav for breaking goals into tangible action steps.

3) PurgeAnything you don't unequivocally need or love must go. Visual clutter clouds your thoughts; seeing only what you love invigorates your soul. Remove unhealthy food/products, too.

Read: Hoarder Prevention and Purging for Thrifters, Creators, Stuff Lovers and YOU!

4) Stock-UpSometimes something as simple as "S" hooks for hanging pots and pans or metal baskets in the right spot will make life infinitely less stressful. I suggest:

IKEA shelves and storage boxes. Thrift Stores, yard sale and curbsides have plenty as well.
Pantry: Brown rice, lentils, beans, quinoa, and vitamin/supplements (optional). Buy in bulk to save.
Fridge: Fruits, leafy greens, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Freezer: I always keep ample frozen fruits/berries/veggies in stock for smoothies and soups.
Kitchen: Vitamix Blender (meals & clean-up in minutes), good knife, cutting board

* I have a fuller list of my raw vegan kitchen recommendations here

Staples for Cleaning/Body Products: Coconut oil, essential oils, vinegar, baking soda, corn starch

     Recipes: DIY Mouthwash / Toothpaste / Deodorant / Home Cleansers

Local and Seasonal: Seasonal fruits and veggies are the healthiest and cheapest option as there's often a surplus. When it'd cheap, buy more and freeze for later eating.

5) StationsThese are the areas in your home that coincide with your goals. Make your bedroom more restful with a cozy chair for reading beside the bed, make an area with your aisle and paints ready-to-go or a nice organized office. (I love my new office!)

6) HealthKeep it simple. Move as much as possible, replace your favorite foods with whole and unprocessed versions, drink plenty of water (you may need more than the recommended 10 cups, especially if dehydrate with salt meals of caffeine) and sleep your ass off (8 hours a night at least). Make sure do make it about doing what you love and fun additions, not deprivations.

Read: 5 Action Steps for Transforming Your Health. Worked For Me. Will Work For You!

7) Reflect, RepeatInvest in a new notebook (or use a word processor/blog) and write out everything that comes to mind every morning. Write frustrations, things that aren't working, things you want to improve and things you're grateful for. This meditative practice will help you get out negative mojo at the start of the day and actively work toward finding improvements instead of stewing in unhappiness. Let the book take the brunt of it, when you're trying your hardest you're going to flop and you need to vent.

8) Prioritize LivingTurn off the computer and step away from work. Make sure to schedule time with your friends and family. Get out and go on adventures as much as possible. Remember the Fisherman story, life's for living and enjoying. There's a necessary balance between hard work and taking breaks, you can't go on forever and let yourself burn out.

To Review: You probably don't need this review but some have been confused. "Whole Living" and "Whole Foods" refers to using whole, unprocessed (or minimally processed) products.

Book Recommendations:  101 Ways to Stress Free Living, Rescue from Domestic Perfection

Thrift Core Reading: (1) Simplify Life in 5 Simple Steps / (2) Organized Home Checklist / (3) Creativity Reboot / (4) Raw Vegan 101 (links to all articles at bottom of post) / (5) Furnishing Your Apartment for Free / (6) 10 Treasure Hunting Tactics for the Shameless Collector (for finding new organizing stuff for your pad, 2nd hand)

Keep working toward your goals and improving life daily even when you fall off the wagon. Remember, it's all a work in progress that will be lifelong. (For example, need to clean apartment my right now. Badly.) If we had it "all figured out" life would be boring. Enjoy the journey.

Any recommendations on life-improvement reading or personal tips you use to keep organized/healthy/happy/etc? Do share in the comments! Just like you, I'm always looking to improve!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Just found your blog via the Etsy Blog Team! Loving it.

    Your office is beautiful - I am currently working on purging a lot of the things in our house we don't need - closet by closet! A little organization can certainly go a long way in making life simpler!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm always in the process of decluttering and simplifying, Oops, updated to include a link to a tour of the whole office: http://www.thriftcore.com/2014/05/curated-corners-fresh-new-light-filled.html


  2. Wow, your work area is so neat. Funny, I just did a post on my work area today as well. I thought mine was neat and organized, but yours has so much more style. I really love it, but I'd have to get rid of everything and start over to get your modern look.

    1. That's what I kinda did. Purged nearly everything, then the other pieces slowly came to me and came together. : D Will check out your work space!

  3. Great advice, Van! My only addition would be to always keep an open mind and be willing to learn. I read a ton of blogs, and although I don't agree with every single thing each person writes, I have learned from each and every one of them- including yours! :)

    1. That's a good one, too. And glad you learn from it, Kim :D


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