Can I Handle Moving When I’m in Recovery?

Moving is a stressful endeavor in the best of times. Trying to get everything in order for a smooth transition into a new place can be a major ordeal. The recent pandemic adds yet another layer of stress and uncertainty to the mix.

You might be wondering how you can move or even more importantly, how you can stay sober and healthy doing the move. Thankfully, you are not alone here. There are many ways that you can educate yourself and prepare for an upcoming move, even in these unpredictable times.

Is Moving Essential?

You spend weeks, months, and maybe even years deciding on the right place to live. When you finally commit, you likely feel a huge weight lifted from your shoulders. However, with this new commitment usually comes move-out and move-in dates that are not flexible. Having dates that are set in stone is usually a good way to motivate you to make the move happen on time. Because of the pandemic, you might want to explore your options.

If you do have some flexibility on your moving date, you can choose to wait until the situation improves. If you don’t have the option to wait, then understand that moving policies vary by state. In most states, it is deemed essential, so you will have options to help you with the move. Research your state and city policies and take note of your options.

Cancel If Needed

It’s never easy to cancel something as big as a move, but if you are high-risk for COVID-19, then you need to consider canceling or at least contact your medical professional to ask. If you provided a deposit, you will want to check the contract to see if it is refundable. Due to today’s unique circumstances, some housing and moving companies are refunding deposits.

If you feel that there is no possibility to cancel, call your moving provider anyway to share your concerns. Many places of business have incorporated new measures to accommodate the inconveniences presented by the pandemic. You might discover that there is an option to postpone your move.

Find a Moving Service

Professional moving help is available. If you are worried about safety, most moving companies list their COVID-19 protocol on their websites. To be extra thorough, you can also call directly. You want to make sure that the moving service is practicing social distancing and sanitation techniques as much as possible. Do not limit yourself to calling one company — call a few and compare your options. Remember, this is about your safety, not just price or convenience.

Consider Moving Alone

The actual act of packing up and moving is never fun, but you might want to consider a DIY move — if you are capable. The thought of doing this might create a surge of anxiety. But if you prepare and give yourself enough time, then the move should be less stressful. If you have your own car or SUV, plan out what you need to pack, how many trips you expect it will take, and when you can begin moving things into your new home.

Buy all the materials you will need, including tools, tape, and boxes. If you are moving across the country, you can rent a moving truck. Moving can be a great opportunity to set goals and be successful during your recovery. The accomplishment of doing it alone can result in a lasting feeling of empowerment and being able to overcome any obstacle.

Safety First

Whether you hire movers or do it yourself, practice safety. Provide yourself with necessary coverings, face mask, and gloves, as well as cleaning and sanitizing supplies. Wipe down everything as you pack. Assume that if you rent a truck it has not been cleaned, so wipe down all the handles, the steering wheel, and the gear shifts with sanitizer.

Try to have everything packed two days before movers arrive and provide them with a plan of action. Be prepared for potential problems by having extra supplies on hand, such as moving blankets and additional boxes. Being overly prepared is perfectly fine. If nothing else, these measures will not only reinforce safety but help to ease your mind.


Certainly, the new challenges presented by these unique times can make going about your daily routines feel almost like a heist — from grocery shopping to filling your gas tank to getting cash from the ATM. Your stress might have multiplied knowing that you are going to move, leading to cravings and impulses. It’s important to take the time right now for yourself.

Practice mindfulness and look ahead of these challenges to when you can start your new chapter in your new home. Maintain contact with your therapist and talk through your stresses. You may also want to consider keeping a journal to document your challenges and how you are overcoming them. Someday when you look back, you will appreciate the strength and resiliency you had to continue living your life during uncertain times.

Although moving can be hard, it should be an exciting time. If your anxiety is too much to handle or the stress is creating negative thoughts, it’s time to get help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care that will help guide you through your stresses by putting your recovery first. We provide alternative care to give you the outlook and reassurance that you are needing during this time. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.