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Moving Toward Recovery

If you’re recovering from an addiction to alcohol or another substance, finding a new place to live might help provide the fresh start you need to make sobriety stick. Should relocation be part of your recovery plan, you’ll want to find a place that helps you create a healthy, consistent routine without throwing you into the paths of old triggers. You’ll also want a loving environment to rebuild your relationships and bond with your family, a place where you can heal and focus on your recovery.

A House-Hunting Checklist

If you have a partner, work together to establish a master list of priorities. When searching, consider looking for a home:

  • That is well away from the places where you regularly used drugs or alcohol before entering recovery. While these areas might be difficult to avoid entirely, particularly if you live in the same city or town and work at the same place, it makes sense to minimize reminders of your detrimental habits and avoid spots that might trigger a relapse.


  • With gas stations, grocery stores, and other conveniences nearby. If you use public transit, you’ll also want to check stops and schedules when evaluating neighborhoods. Essentially, you want to consider which stores and services you will need to access most often and situate yourself close to them to make your daily routine as streamlined and stress-free as possible.


  • That is the right distance from work. For some, that might mean a residence within easy walking distance. Others might use their commute time to mentally prepare themselves for the day, and wind down between home and work at the end of a shift. You might also want to consider traffic patterns or public transportation routes when mapping out the route between the two points.


  • That offers the space to suit your needs. Seek out a residence that offers enough square footage to accommodate you and your family comfortably without straining your housing budget (homes in Asheville have been selling for an average price of $332,000). Also consider looking for a home that offers you an area to focus on your recovery efforts. Depending on your preferences, that might mean finding a home with a dining room large enough to host alcohol-free family gatherings, purchasing a place with a big back yard ideal for gardening, or looking for a house with a room you could dedicate to yoga and meditation.


Home as Haven

You want to make your home a haven where you can rebuild your relationships with family, friends, and your sober self. With that in mind, make a point of getting rid of any glaring reminders of your addiction before you move into your new space. This has the added advantage of making more room for healthy hobbies, which are proven ways to reinforce your recovery efforts.

For instance, why not replace a big bar cabinet in a basement recreation room with a storage center for exercise equipment? You could also use the money you would have spent to support your substance abuse habit this year to remodel your kitchen (the average kitchen remodel in Asheville costs just over $22,000) to feed your newfound love of healthy cooking and eating.

Similarly, once you move in, establish habits to help keep your home clutter-free and clean. An organized home is about more than just appearances. Indeed, research cited by Psychology Today found people with clean homes were healthier and more physically active than counterparts in the same age and ethnic group whose homes were less tidy. Another study found women who described their living spaces as “cluttered” or “full of unfinished projects” showed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” Still another study found clutter makes it more difficult for focus on a specific undertaking, because it overwhelms the visual cortex with objects unrelated to the task at hand.

Once you are settled into your new home, you might find that you still need support each day. Willow Place for Women is a great place to find just that. Designed for women, by women, Willow Place can help you overcome your addiction and give you a safe place to continue your recovery. Outpatient counseling and regularly scheduled 12 Step meetings are available.

By seeking a space to suit your sober lifestyle and keeping your home clutter-free and clean, your new residence could be the perfect place to thrive in your new, substance-free life.