Chicago has so much to offer, whether you are moving here because you love big cities or if you are relocating because of your occupation. Of course, it's not quite a utopia because, well, utopias simply do not exist. As with any locale there are up-sides and down-sides to living here in the Windy City. We're going to give you some pointers that will hopefully give you a bit of a buffer as you plan your move to our beautiful city!
It gets cold here... I mean, really cold! If you're not from a Northern state, you'll be in for a bit of a weather-shock once old man winter peeks around the corner. The moniker of "The Windy City" hasn't become the most well known nickname of Chicago for no reason at all. In the midst of winter, you'll not only have to deal with the bone chilling temperatures, you'll have to be prepared for the sweeping wind that blows in off of Lake Michigan and swirls around the buildings creating mini wind tunnels that can leave the most seasoned Mid-Westerner shivering. Like anywhere though, you can weather the winter storm by dressing appropriately for it. Don't worry about fashion consciousness, and layer up judiciously with breathable clothing. This will keep the heat close to you, and the cold where it belongs.
Endear yourself to the nuances of the CTA. Public transportation can get you nearly anywhere in Chicago. Which is good, because traffic on the roadways can be notoriously bad at any time of the day or night. Beyond that, good luck finding parking if and when you do arrive. The CTA is your friend in this regard. But, like any public transportation, the Chicago Transit Authority is not particularly known for being prompt. As such, when using the public transit here, plan on leaving well ahead of time to account for this. Once you're comfortable with the routes and the exchanges, you can get nearly anywhere in town incorporating the trains and the buses accordingly. Just be patient, and study the map until you're accustomed to how everything works, and where the major interchanges are.
Consider never driving anywhere. Seriously. There are many instances where walking would be quicker than driving due to the massive amounts of congestion in town. If you're living in the city itself, you really won't need a car unless you plan on going out of town on trips or, have friends/family you'd like to visit in the suburbs. Any native Chicago resident who drives daily will easily tell you that the most stressful part of their daily routine will be the daily commute.
Think about biking as an alternative to walking or driving. Especially in the non-winter months, your bicycle can be your best friend when trying to get around Chicago. The city's website even has pages of inter-city biking information to help you get around town in this manner. The city has done it's very best to encourage and accommodate those who wish to travel by bike with bike lanes and numerous bike friendly side streets which will aid in your timely and much more relaxed arrival at your destination.
Enjoy the best that Chicago has to offer! After you've settled in, be sure to take advantage of all the activities there are to enjoy. Truly, there is something for everyone! In the summer, there's the beach right in the city, rooftop bars, numerous music festivals, and a plethora of things to do every weekend. Of course, the sports scene is as raucous as they come! Fans of Chicago teams are as passionate as any, and you'll find that Chicagoans truly revel in their favorite teams... Not the least of which are the NBA's Chicago Bulls, the NFL's Chicago Bears (Da-Bears), the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, and of course two MLB teams... The Cubs and The White Sox. There's a team to enjoy all throughout the seasons here!
Eat. Lots. Of. Delicious. Food! Chicago is well known for it's cuisine. There's an innumerable number of restaurants throughout our city and, many, many of them are well worth trying. Of course, there are some things that you may have to get used to. Annexing ketchup from your hotdogs is one thing, and deep dish pizza is all the rage here. There's also many different ethnic districts with respective cuisines and melding of American and Ethnic choices that will simply make your mouth water! Get out there and try as much as you can. It's one of the most famous aspects of our city!
Know where you want to move. If you are planning on moving to the city proper, there's a bunch of different and unique neighborhoods within the city limits. Three of the four major ones are outlined geographically as the North, West, & South Side. The fourth is Downtown proper. The North side is where the Cubbies hang out, and this area is loaded with activity. Enjoy Bucktown and it's shopping district, and the smaller local establishments for you to enjoy. The South side is diverse and rich with culture. You'll find both Chinatown and Bronzeville here for example, and a very rich diversity that gives it a charm not found anywhere else. The West side is also very culturally rich, with a good amount of Mexican restaurants, Little Village, and historical monuments & churches to enrich your historical side. Finally, Downtown is not for the faint of heart. If you have the money and love action, there's no better place to be. As you can expect, downtown is the heart of the city and is filled with museums, shops, parks, bars and, of course, restaurants.
Know that Chicago is renter friendly. In moving to the City of Chicago, especially if you want to live in the downtown area, be prepared for the expense it brings. Many of the hottest spots only have rental units, and finding an actual house or condo to buy can be difficult, if not highly cost inhibitive. If you are going to rent, definitely think about finding a like-minded roommate if you don't have a significant other with the ability to chip in for rent or mortgage costs. Living in a thriving downtown area is an exciting proposition but, it can also be an expensive one. If there's any way for you to offset the cost a bit, your stress level with definitely thank you.
Do your best to find work before moving in! The corporate atmosphere in Chicago is highly competitive and even can be downright aggressive. If you don't have connections, (which is almost the only way to get the best jobs), you're going to want to be sure you have reliable work lined up before taking on a rental agreement or mortgage in town. You'll find statistics substantiating that notion that there are often up to 400 applicants for any given job opening. Knowing this, you will certainly want to cultivate some connections prior to making the jump full time into the windy city.
Be prepared to love life! Once you accept Chicago for it's highlights and minimal downsides, those who love big-city living will not be disappointed with nearly any living arrangement in this spectacularly enjoyable city. There's always something to do. Always somewhere to go and enjoy something different, and always the classy Chicago people to enjoy your time with. If you are in any stage of planning a move to Chicago, and have any questions at all about anything... Feel free to drop us a line! Our experts will be happy to help in any way possible.
We offer a wide range of moving services and will be happy to work with you to meet your needs when you hire movers from our top ranked service of best moving companies Chicago has to offer. We have packages including all your packaging supplies, moving boxes, movers blankets, furniture pads, moving straps, moving tape, bubble wrap, even dollies and fork lifts for big moves. We are true professional movers.