Relocating to Chicago: Your Ultimate Moving Checklist

If you’re in the process of relocating to Chicago, you are probably juggling a long list of things that need to get done on a very short deadline. Moving can be a very exciting time. You’re filled with anticipation as you prepare to take those next steps in your life, but it’s also an intense process that can spark a great deal of stress as you work your way through each tedious step in the process.  

Whether near or far, a first-timer or on your tenth move, it always requires extensive research, meticulous planning, and diligent organization.  Preparing to move can become overwhelming at times, from the packing to the cleaning, it can all easily turn into one big, jumbled, chaotic blur. But, it doesn’t have to.  With this simple checklist that we’ve compiled, you can get a head start on the long list of tasks before you so that you can make the process as stress-free as possible. Here’s what your pre-move checklist should look like:     

  • Give your notice.  First things first, if you’re currently a renter, you’ll need to inform your landlord of your moving plans and provide the tentative date as soon as possible.  
  • Start a moving file.  It’s important to keep track of all of your moving documents.  This includes receipts, addresses, contracts, contact information, etc.  And, be sure that this file remains easily accessible both while you move and after, as you can write off moving expenses come tax season.  
  • Decide how you plan to go about the actual move.  Will you be moving all of your belongings yourself?  Will you be hiring a professional mover?
  • Hire help.  If your move requires extra helping hands, setup your moving dates and appointments in advance with your chosen professionals.
  • Get a copy of all “essential” records.  It’s always a good idea to collect your records, but it’s especially important to do so if you’re moving out of state.  “Essentials” include medical, veterinary, financial, lawyer, school, daycare, etc.
  • Record valuables.  Take some time before you start packing to document and photograph any belongings that are considered valuable.  This way, if something happens to break or disappear during the move, you’ll have a record of it that you can use to take any necessary actions.  
  • File for a change of address.  Be sure to re-route all mailing subscriptions, and make sure that post offices, schools, child care facilities, utility companies, etc. have your new address.
  • Schedule your new utility set-up.  Once you have your moving date set in stone, make sure to contact your current utility company to inform them of your shut off date.  Then, schedule a turn-on date at your new location. If you’re staying local, you can usually just call the utility company and request a service switch.  
  • Register with your new address.  If necessary, update local institutions with your new address, and change your driver’s license (if moving to a new state).
  • Plan for moving day.  Sit down, and take the time to structure your plan for how the big day is going to go down.  And, don’t forget about the unloading process once you get to your new destination.

Moving doesn’t have to be a tedious, exhausting experience.  It’s all about planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to get things done so that you don’t burn out during the final leg of the process.  Just take your time, and don’t forget to allow time to feel the excitement of this change in your life.

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