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A Guide to Chicago and Making the Move

You might be well-acquainted with the Windy City’s soaring skylines and rugged ambiance, but Chicago still has a few secret treasures up its sleeve. From fine dining to world-renowned architecture to top-notch sports teams, this city can transform any day from ordinary to unforgettable. One visit here can lead people to scour the Internet for available rent listings, but what do you need to consider before making The Second City your home?

What to Know before Moving to Chicago, Illinois

Chicago has no shortage of exciting activities and attractions, whether you’re just visiting or in it for the long haul.

Once the hunger hits, Chicago has you covered with its world-renowned deep-dish pizza. You can also quench that quest for cuisine with more than 22 Michelin star-awarded restaurants.

Looking to update your look? Check out Chicago’s ‘Magnificent Mile’ of shops and restaurants, including many high-end and boutique establishments.

If you’re craving some culture, spend a day strolling through the 24-acre Millennium Park, or relax by the edge of the river. Top off the evening by taking in the sights and sounds of Navy Pier.

Before you make the move, make sure you go through our guide and learn everything you need to know about Chicago.

What’s Great about Chicago?

Entertainment

Chicago is a bustling city with an array of options for those looking to spice up their evenings. Take in a show at the Chicago Broadway Theatre or risk sitting in the splash zone at a performance of the legendary Blue Man Group.

Join the award-winning architectural river cruise so you don’t miss any of Chicago’s breathtaking views. Once back on land, check out one of the many awe-inspiring museums and galleries that the city has to offer.

Employment

Due to its diverse nature, Chicago’s job market boasts many opportunities for newcomers to the city. Statistics usually show a monthly increases in employment in the city, giving Chicago locals opportunities to develop their careers.

One major factor boosting employment options is the presence of several large corporations’ headquarters in the city. Companies like Boeing, McDonald’s, and United Continental Holdings have all found their home in Chicago.

Transportation

Chicago is the home of the nation’s second-largest transportation system, making getting around town a breeze for many. Moving just outside the city limits? That’s no problem with the Metra Rail, which connects the inner city to surrounding suburban areas.

In addition to the train network, Chicago has a large taxi system for quick movement to specific areas. Now making up a part of many residents’ transit bills, apps like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular, allowing travelers to get rides quickly and to share them with others.

For people who are eco-friendly, Chicago is known for the way it accommodates cyclists. From 200 miles of bike lanes to the bike-sharing system called Divvy, Chicago is making bicycle travel an attainable option for its residents.

What is Chicago Famous For?

The city has more intriguing features than many realize, but there are a few staples that stand out in the Windy City.

What do most food-lovers think of when they hear the name Chicago? Famous for its deep-dish pizza, this city can take you on a cheesy journey you will never forget.

When it comes to landmarks, nothing compares to the big 3 in Chicago. Travelers come from all over the world to have a photo opportunity in Millennium Park next to the famous ‘Bean’ sculpture. Thrill seekers find themselves drawn to the glass lookout in the Willis Tower skyscraper, with views over the city from 94 stories high. And for families, Navy Pier is a must-see attraction with shopping, food, and an amusement park overlooking the water.

Why Move to Chicago, Illinois?

Maybe the best thing about living in Chicago is the feeling you get of living together with so many thousands of unique people. The city is broken up into around 77 specific districts that each have their own vibe, culture, and local attractions. No matter who you are, there is somewhere in Chicago with people just like you!

If you are moving with a family, there are many parks and top-notch schools throughout the city that can set your kids up for success. For the older crowd, the Windy City is famous for The Art Institute of Chicago—which houses one of the world’s most important collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings—and The University of Chicago.

Moving from school to a career is also something Chicago can help with. While the transit system makes getting around the city easier, it is also the largest employer in town with about 11,000 employees. Those schools we mentioned are also doing their part for the job market. The University of Illinois at Chicago keeps a staff of almost 10,000. To these employers can be added the airlines that operate out of Chicago O’Hare airport and the large healthcare organizations present in the city.

What Does the Moving Process to Chicago Involve?

Moving isn’t always a hassle-free process, but there are a number of resources that can make your relocation less of a headache.

Start by finding a place to rent! Location is important when finding your new home, and online resources can show you what’s available and where you will feel most comfortable.

While making your search, money is probably going to be a top priority. The average rent in Chicago is $2,007 for an average floor size of 749 sq. ft. If you have a definite budget or you need a certain amount of space for your family, make sure to bear these criteria in mind when going through locations and amenities.

Once you’ve found the perfect place, you’ll need to get your things moved in! There are a variety of 4- and 5-star moving companies that serve Chicago, but how do you find the best one? Google has a new ‘Google Guaranteed' feature that lists highly rated moving companies in the area. If you aren't satisfied, Google will pay you back! This service turns up a number of moving options like STI Moving & Storage, RMS Movers, and Elite Moving & Storage. Many of these companies offer perks like moving insurance and out-of-state moving options.

What Are the Costs of Moving to Chicago?

For local moves, the average cost is anywhere from a studio apartment at $336 to a 4-bedroom at $1,233. The size of your move with be one of the biggest factors determining price when hiring a moving company.

For out-of-state moves, the distance is a major consideration when determining a price tag. Other factors that influence the price include the types of items being moved and whether packing services are required.

Another cost many forget about when hiring a moving company is the tip for the delivery crew. For local moves, an average tip of 15% is common for great service. For long-distance moves, the amount can vary based on distance and the number of movers involved in the job. On average, exceptional service garners about $100-$200 in tips.

Don’t get overwhelmed by your move! When looking to Chicago, make sure to check out renting and storage options to get you installed in the place of your dreams.

What Are the Storage Options in Chicago, Illinois?

Given the city’s size, there is an abundance of storage options in Chicago. Many independent self-storage facilities are available throughout the city, giving new residents options no matter where they choose to put down roots in Chicago.

Finding a self-storage option that works for you can alleviate some of the stress and heavy lifting of your move! Self-storage units offer users a variety of rental durations and the flexibility to choose the unit size that is best for them. Maybe you only need to keep your items safe while you repaint a wall or change a fixture, maybe you need the freedom to move your furniture in gradually, or maybe you even need that extra space after your move. Renting self-storage offers options for all needs and at prices that are far more affordable than renting an extra bedroom in an apartment or going for expensive in-house storage rooms that may not accommodate all your things anyway.

Self-storage can also give you the peace of mind that your belongings are safe and accessible. Most units remain locked and under security whenever you aren’t around and offer you 24/7 access. Should the urge to hang those stored Christmas decorations hit you at 2am, you can head over to your rented unit and get the festivities started.

Looking for a self-storage unit to rent in Chicago? Browse 125 storage facilities in Chicago, IL, that offer clean, dry and secure self-storage units.

Self-storage unit prices in Chicago start as low as $15 per month. Reserve your self-storage unit today!