Moving Apartments During COVID When You Have RA

I just moved apartments during a pandemic — all while having rheumatoid arthritis. And it was difficult. There was so much stuff to move and so many problems.

However, I was able to mitigate most of these problems by factoring in the effects on my rheumatoid arthritis. I wanted to take this time today to share a few of my tips and some things that I learned while moving during this tumultuous time. Hopefully, if you’re considering moving, this will be able to help you!

6 helpful tips for moving with RA

If you’re thinking of moving, consider:

1. Getting help! The more people the merrier — and who can lighten the load of all your belongings. Thankfully, my mom was able to help me move my stuff from my old apartment into my new one. Without her, I could not have completed this task.

2. Planning out your move well in advance. If you can, try to get a lease extension for a weekend (or more) so you can move into your new place over a period of time rather than on a single day. I was able to get a lease extension for my old apartment for a weekend that overlapped with my new apartment. This allowed me ample time to move my stuff. However, looking back, I would actually request more time because I wasn’t expecting the moving process to take so long since I did not have too much stuff in my old apartment.

3. Being mindful of the weather. This one might just be Florida-specific, but there was a hurricane (Hurricane Sally) that brushed by Tallahassee during the weekend I was moving. With the excess rain, moving things outside was impeded. While I’m thankful that the effects of the hurricane weren’t more disastrous — really there was just rain where I lived — the downpours slowed down our moving progress.

4. Taking a lot of breaks. You will need them. We already have enough fatigue with rheumatoid arthritis and moving just zaps more and more energy. You’ll want to incorporate breaks into your moving time (and into any lease extensions you might get, too).

5. Delegating responsibilities. People with RA can’t move heavy things (I can’t really even move my shoulders above my head much more, nevermind one end of a sofa). So, it becomes important to establish a plan and delegate who is going to move what. The more people you have, the easier this becomes; but even with just two people, make sure you are considering and taking care of your body by being aware of your limitations and how heavy your stuff is.

6. Gathering a first-aid kit. Accidents happen - you might accidentally bump into a corner, get your arm cut on something, etc. Because wounds can take longer to heal with RA, it’s important to have the essentials in your kit: bandaids, antibacterial cream, cotton pads, etc. Also, be sure to have any ice/heat packs for swollen and painful joints so that during your breaks, you can heal your body at the same time.

I hope these tips help — especially if you’re considering moving soon. Although there’s a pandemic and many of us have a chronic illness, moving is possible and can be especially beneficial.

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