If you’re considering moving into a sober living home – or considering the option for a loved one – you probably have a few questions.
Namely, what should I (or my loved one) pack?
Well, we’ll tell you this isn’t the easiest call to make; this blog will be more about general guidelines and suggestions rather than a strict list. The reason for that is there are thousands of different sober houses available (seriously, check out our listings on this website!) and they all have their own specific rules and regulations about what residents are allowed to bring with them when they move in.
The best thing to do is to call ahead and ask what’s allowed (or not allowed) in a particular sober living home. Most home managers or company representatives are very happy to talk about their rules and regulations about what’s allowed, and if they seem unwilling or unable to give you the information you need, maybe consider another sober home for yourself or a loved one to move into.
So, let’s start with some general guidelines and suggestions that apply to most sober living homes. Then we’ll move into a list of specific items you should avoid bringing with you.
What Clothes To Pack When Moving To A Sober Home
When packing for a stay at a sober living home, there are some things that you should definitely bring with you, and other things that you should leave at home. Let’s start from the ground up with what’s on your feet.
Footwear: In general, shoes should be comfortable and versatile – you’ll likely be engaged in a lot of activity during your stay. Shower shoes, slippers, or flip-flops are a good idea, especially if there’s a pool. If you’re working, great; having a formal pair of shoes or heels is nice to have around.
Socks: You’re going to want to bring some thick socks to keep your feet warm in the colder months. Also, if you’re going to be active, make sure you have some good athletic socks to go along with those sports shoes.
Underwear/sleepwear: Bring as much underwear and sleepwear as you think you’ll need. You may want to bring different pajamas for sleeping in and lounging around the house.
Clothing: This depends on where your house is, and what kind of features it has. If you’re lucky enough to be moving into a place with access to a pool, lake or beach to swim in, by all means, pack a swimsuit. Why miss out? If you’re going to a house aimed at people who enjoy working out, staying active, or camping, pack accordingly. Again, you don’t want to miss out on group activities when you’re in a sober home. Not only will they help you in recovery, going out for fun times with your roommates is a lot of fun.
The other thing to consider is the weather. Is your sober house in an area that gets snow? Your stay is likely to last through a couple of seasons, so pack cold-weather gear like a good jacket or a scarf. Most places in the US get warm in the summer, so having a pair of shorts on hand is fine, too.
Headgear: A hat, bandana, or scarf is a great idea for hair days when you don’t want to spend time doing your hair.
Finally, a word about modesty: Maybe skip on outfits or clothing items that are a little revealing. Sober homes are shared spaces so it’s a good idea to keep that in mind and avoid situations that could be embarrassing or awkward. People are a little emotionally raw during and after rehab programs.
Everything Else: Essentials And More
Like everyone else, there’s more to you than the clothes on your back. You have interests and needs which still need to be met and encouraged during your time in a sober living home.
You’re allowed to bring some daily essentials with you. These can include:
Toiletries: Toiletries are very important in sober living because they help keep you clean and refreshed. You should bring shampoo, conditioner, soap/body wash, deodorant, and toothpaste.
Electronic Devices: Sober living homes usually have no-phone rules, but you can bring a few devices to keep yourself entertained. Bring your laptop and any books or eBooks that you might want for leisure time reading. You may also want a tablet device or an mp3 player with some music on it to help pass free time.
Bedding: You might need to ask ahead about this, but if you are allowed to bring bedding, this is a great idea. It will help make the sober home feel more like your own space. You might want to bring your favorite pillow or blanket as well.
Towels: Some sober homes provide their own, but if you don’t want to use their towels, bring your own. It’s also a good idea to pack an extra set in case one gets dirty or lost.
Reading material: Physical media is great, but books can take up space. If you want to read, but don’t have room for books, consider downloading ebooks onto a device. Speaking of devices …
Cellphones: Cellphones are a great way to keep in touch with friends and family members. If you have one, it is okay to bring your phone along to a sober home. However, you will not be allowed to use it during group meetings or therapy sessions, so put the phone away when these activities are taking place. Also, make sure your contacts are people you want to be involved in your new sober life.
Laptops: If you have a laptop, bring it along. It can be used to help you find jobs, or keep up with your education. While at the sober home, however, there will be times when electronics are not allowed in order for people to focus on their recovery. Be prepared to put away any electronic devices during these times.
As we’ve been saying, it’s a good idea to check in with your sober house first to understand their exact policies.
What Not To Bring To A Sober Home
There are some things that should not be brought to a sober living home. These items can include, but are not limited to:
Make sure you leave these items at home before coming to your sober living environment. This is a shared, communal space, so everything you can do to respect the space of others is critical to being a good roommate (not to mention keeping you from getting kicked out!).
Prescription medications are a touchy subject. Some sober living homes allow them, others do not. It is always a good idea to check in with your sober house first to understand their exact policies. If you are unsure about bringing a medication, it is probably best not to bring it at all.
Finding A Place To Call (Sober) Home
SoberLivingNearMe.com is the largest listing of sober homes on the web. Finding a home for your needs and lifestyle is as simple as browsing our thousands of listings. It’s never been easier to get the perfect living arrangement for long-lasting recovery. Start searching SoberLivingNearMe.com today!