Thinking about relocating to Chicago? You’re not alone! With a vibrant culture, passionate sports scene, thriving nightlife, ample public transportation, and plenty of diversity, there really is no wondering why so many people choose to make the third-largest city in the US their home.
If you are debating a move to, have already bought a home, or signed a lease for an apartment in the Windy City, you likely already have an idea of the great features the city has to offer. Nonetheless, there are some important things to keep in mind before you pack up your things and head to the largest city in the Midwest. Below, we share some tips to help you better prepare for your move to Chicago.
Choose a Neighborhood
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to consider where you want to move in Chicago. Believe it or not, this decision can become incredibly overwhelming. Chicago has a total of 77 neighborhoods and nine districts, each with their own mix of culture, history, attractions, and personality. You’ll find that many of these neighborhoods have loyal residents — some having family in the area going back generations. If you want to have the best experience as a Chicago resident, it is important to choose a neighborhood that fits both your personality and identity. Millennials typically are attracted to northern and northwest neighborhoods, such as: Wrigleyville, home of the Chicago Cubs; River North, a nicer neighborhood closer to the Central Business District; or Bucktown, which offers an eclectic northwest downtown experience. If you have a family and desire lower housing costs as well as more space, consider living outside the city. There are plenty of beautiful family-friendly Chicago suburbs that provide a more peaceful environment and are close to schools.
Familiarize Yourself With Public Transportation
It won’t take long after your move before you realize how expensive parking can be in Chicago. Plus, when you get into the city the traffic can be dreadful. For this reason, many people choose to not drive their car as often — and sometimes sell it — and instead ride their bikes, take the train, or bus. The Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, is a great way to get to just about any corner of the city. However, maps and routes can be confusing at first glance. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the CTA map and all of the different colors for each route as well as stops where you can transfer lines. Soon enough, you’ll be an expert with the trains and can incorporate the bus routes to make commutes or getting around the city a piece of cake.
Prepare for the Cold and Windy Conditions
It’s no secret that Chicago has bone-chilling wind, snow, and freezing cold weather in the winter. Being right near a lake, Chicago winters can be cold — very, very cold. It’s hard to enjoy walking to the train in subzero temperatures and ankle-deep snow. Before you move, make sure that you have winter clothes readily available for when the temperatures begin to drop. And when winter does roll around, make the best of it. There are many activities the area offers that can make your winter bright and fun. Before you know it, winter will be over, the sun will come up, and you’ll get a taste of the glorious 80-degree weather.
Experience the Delicious Grub
Deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef — if you consider yourself a foodie, you’re going to love living in an area that has a unique selection of food for virtually any palate. Chicago is home to well over 8,000 restaurants but these famous local dishes are ‘must-haves’ for any Chicagoland resident: a beloved beef sandwich at Al’s Beef; deep-dish pizza from Giordano’s; a juicy cheezborger from Billy Goat Tavern; and a Chicago-style dog from Portillo’s. There are so many restaurants to try — you’re likely to find some ‘new favorites’ during your time living in The Windy City.
Enjoy the Festivals and Events in the City
Chicago’s event schedule is very busy. While the recent health pandemic has altered the schedule, the city is home to annual celebrations of the fine arts, culinary arts and performing arts. Lollapalooza, the famed music and culture festival, brings three days of fun and music to the city in the summer. Crowds are drawn to the city in the Fall for the various premieres and events launched at the Chicago International Film Festival. No matter what time of year, Chicago tends to always have some type of event, festival, or celebration taking place.
Go to at Least One Sports Game
Chicago is a sports town. You’ll find that many Chicago residents are loyal, passionate, and die-hard sports fans. It’s in your best interest to jump on the train and become a loyal and passionate fan — or at least pretend to be — and start rooting for Chicago’s professional sports teams. Depending on what area you live in, you may lean towards routing for the Cubs or the White Sox, but with no debate, the Bears are the favored team for the NFL, the Blackhawks for the NHL, and the Bulls for the NBA. No matter which team you root for, the Chicago sports scene is a fun and competitive way to enjoy time with friends and family.
Find Storage Solutions in Chicago
With Chicago being the third largest city in the nation, finding available and affordable storage facilities can be challenging. And if you’re living in the city, chances are you are going to need a place to store any additional belongings that your home or rental doesn’t have the space for. Luckily, Doorage offers a solution. Similar to door-to-door moving, Doorage offers door-to-door storage solutions that make moving to Chicago a breeze. It’s very simple. You start by estimating how much storage space you will need by using the Storage Calculator. Then, Doorage will send durable, eco-friendly storage containers to your home. Pack these containers up before you move and when they are ready to go, Doorage will pick them up. You choose when you want your items delivered to your new address. Until then, Doorage will keep your belongings in a secure, state-of-the-art storage facility.
You’ll be sure to enjoy everything Chicago has to offer as a new resident, especially when you follow the tips above. No matter where you’re moving from, chances are you could use some help with moving and storing your belongings. If that’s you, you can make your move to Chicago easier by utilizing the affordable moving and storage solutions offered by Doorage. Get started today or contact us to learn more!