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Tips for Moving In A Big City

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

I'm coming up on five years of living in Chicago, and I'm starting to truly consider myself a city girl. Whenever people ask me what one of the biggest challenges of city living is, I have one answer. Moving.

The troubles of the housing industry aside, the moving process in Chicago can be overwhelming to say the least, so I wanted to sum up some of my favorite tips & tricks along the way into one helpful post. Hopefully the next time your lease is up and you have a move on your hands, this will help sort out some of the craziness!

1. Start Early

I truly believe that when it comes to the moving process, being ahead of the curve will make your life ten times easier. Most landlords require a 60 day notice to either renew your lease or tell them you are moving out, so that gives you two whole months to come up with a plan of deciding a budget, desired neighborhoods, switch over utilities, and map out a timeline. You can also take this time to get in touch with potential leasing agents who can help you find your next place, if you decide to seek out their help.

2. Stay Organized

I can't stress enough how important it is to be extremely organized during the moving process. Between lease paperwork, packing up all your stuff, switching over utilities, and coordinating move-out & move-in dates, I really recommend having some sort of physical or digital file with everything in one place. I did this with our last move, and I promise you it really helped. It may seem over the top, but should something come up in the process to throw you off guard, you'll thank me later.

3. Hire Movers

Okay, let's be real. We are all getting too old to ask our friends to help us move in exchange for free pizza and beer. It's time to dig into your purse and hire some movers to help you. And I totally get not having the budget - trust me, when I moved into the city I had enough to cover my first month's rent and a tiny bit to spare. But as my finances have grown, I've come to realize that an investment worth making is hiring movers to help me when it's time to find a new place. It really helped cut my husband and I's stress levels in half, and I can't recommend it enough. Here is a moving company in Chicago I really love:

- JC Movers & Lumper Services. JC is really amazing because they offer a HUGE variety of services. They can move for both local & long distance (even overseas!), commercial & residential, and even large, fragile items like pianos & antiques. You can also hire movers in Chicago solely for help with packing, which I know parents with young kids really appreciate. Their reviews are glowing, and you can get a free quote from them on their website - which is always a plus to know what you're getting before you spend your money!

4. Cover You Tracks With A Few Basic Tips:

- Read through everything in the application & lease agreement paperwork. There can be a lot of fine print that can bite you in the ass if you don't take notice of it, so be sure you're paying close attention. This has happened to me in the past which caused me major stress.

- After you move in to your new place, make a list of potential items that need attention from your landlord. After I moved into my first place in the city, I quickly realized that some landlords can be less than thorough when it comes to the readiness of your living space. Some of my light bulbs were out, the tub wasn't properly draining, and I didn't have the window A/C unit installed that I was promised. Make a list of these items and be sure to send them off to your landlord & building maintenance staff.

- Take photos of any damage you notice upon moving in! This will really save your butt when you eventually decide to move out, because landlords love to slap damage and cleaning fees on tenants. Take photos on your phone in case something comes up later down the line.

- Donate & recycle your boxes! Odds are you have a friend who will be moving around the same time, so pay it forward to them. If you don't be sure to break them down properly and recycle them. Don't be that person dumping them in the landfills, we already have enough of those issues.

Once you're fully moved in, pop a bottle of prosecco to celebrate your accomplishment, and enjoy your new place! :)

This blog post is a paid partnership with JC Movers & Lumper Service, and in collaboration with MoversBoost. MoversBoost offers exclusive moving leads to its network of moving clients.

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