We're Sarah and Rachel, incase you had forgotten. We're alive (and well) and we mostly always forget to post blogposts. We'll do better - stick with us.
We moved to Chicago just about 2 months ago, back in July. We've learned SO much in the last several weeks and have realized more than anything that moving out of state is HARD. There's a reason not everyone does it. We've decided to make a plethora of blogposts (a series, perhaps) all about the experience of moving, how to move specifically to Chicago (who wouldn't want to live here?), and how to ultimately SMASH the moving game. A ton of you ask us questions all the time about moving out of your family's homes and pursuing your owns lives, so we hope this is helpful for you guys!
1. Research for as much time before move in day as possible.
There's only so much research can do, but at least it does something. Look up your city, it's perks, it's downsides, and random facts about it. BE IN THE KNOW. Chicago has 77 neighborhoods, about 3 million residents, and well over 5,000 restaurants. Educate yourself on even the smallest of details!
2. Pick a neighborhood and OWN it!
We looked in Chicago for weeks total for the perfect apartment. However, you truly can over-plan. We spread ourselves over several neighborhoods and just went off with a list of showings and no real purpose. We ended up settling in the neighborhood we liked in the beginning. Pick it, settle on it, and trust your gut. You can ALWAYS move later on if you hate it, but remember: you have to get into the city first. Especially if you live 5 hours away (you can't just drop everything and apartment shop for months).
3. Buy a piggy bank.
Ok...maybe you don't have to have an actual piggybank (cute mason jars work wonders for spare change though). One of the biggest things we've learned is how expensive it is to move and just how you can never plan for it.
Reasons to bust the piggybank on moving day: pizza for the moving crew (friends, family, and people you enlist on the street) on the big day, insurance for the moving truck, first week of barely having food, and extra funds for cleaning supplies and those random things you just NEED to make the place perfect (i.e: nails, hooks, soap, paper towels, a cute vase from Target, and an extra bag of cat treats to spoil your poor cat after they were in a moving truck for 5 hours).
4. Shop at local produce markets & aldi is your bff
Honestly guys, Aldi is so underrated. It's SO cheap to get your essentials and on top of being very close to us, it's really common throughout the whole city! We get all of our produce from the local produce markets, which means it's super fresh, super yummy, and super inexpensive. For specialty items, we go to Whole Foods and Trader Joes.
5. SCREW THE JOB HUNT AND JUST MAKE CONNECTIONS
This city is home to about 3 million people and each job posting gets around 300-400 applicants. Because of this, your chances for actually scoring the job is slim. Walk around your desired work area, walk into the places with "HIRING" signs, introduce yourself and do not give up. Call everyday, email them constantly, show you care. You'll stand out and actually get a paycheck!
6. INDULGE YOURSELF IN EACH NEIGHBORHOOD
One thing that's so cool about Chicago specifically is it's amazing neighborhoods. Each section in the city has it's own flair, shops, and vibe and it's so fun to see! We decided to go on a walk every Friday morning to a new neighborhood. Walk around, grab a coffee, and enjoy the new surroundings. It's the perfect time to have a date, snag an Instagram photo, and get some exercise!
Hopefully this helps any of you that want to move and if you're considering Chicago, DO IT! It's the greatest city in the world!
Sarah & Rachel