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Moving to Chicago FAQs

October 18th, 2012 - 12:55 PM
Moving to Chicago

Do you have a lot of questions about moving to Chicago? I have the answers. This blog post will answer the most frequently asked questions so that you can move successfully to the Windy City. Take a look!

What’s Chicago’s population?

The city itself has a population of 2.7 million residents. Its metro area, however, has a population of 9.8 million.

How much does it cost to move to Chicago?

Your cost to move depends on a number of factors, like how much you’re moving, when you’re moving and where you’re moving from. Check rates with U-Pack, then compare to other Chicago moving options. Remember, U-Pack rates are comparable to truck rental, but you don’t have to drive! U-Pack brings the moving equipment direct to your door for loading and unloading. Get a U-Pack moving quote now.

How do I find a place to live in Chicago?

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to look up homes or apartments in the Chicago area. I recommend going to realtor.com or apartmentfinder.com to find a place to live.  Lots of people choose to rent first, then explore which Chicago neighborhood they should buy in for the long-term.

How much does it cost to live in Chicago?

The cost of living in Chicago is 19.9% greater than the Illinois average, and 14.4% greater than the national average. On a national average of 100, Chicago’s index is at 114, while Illinois’ index is at 95. Read more about the cost of living here.

How do I find a job in Chicago?

Just like finding a place to live, the internet can help you find a job, too! You can find many job postings on sites like careerbuilder.com or monster.com. Once you get to the area, look at the local paper for job listings, too.

What are the driving laws in Chicago?

In Illinois, cell phone use is permitted while driving except when you’re in a school zone or highway construction zone. If you are younger than 19, you cannot use a cell phone. You cannot text and drive in Chicago. An officer can pull you over for violating cell phone and texting laws (primary law).

What are the seat belt laws in Chicago?

In Illinois, all backseat passengers are required to use seat belts. Drivers and front seat passengers are also required to buckle up.

What are the child safety restraint laws in Chicago?

Children under 8 must be restrained in some type of child safety seat. Children under 12 should ride in the back seat. Children between 8 and 17 must be secured in a child safety seat. Children between the ages of 16 and 17 must wear seat belts when they are riding in vehicles driven by people under the age of 18. Remember, everyone in the vehicle is required to be buckled.

What are the motorcycle helmet laws in Chicago?

In Chicago, messengers of all ages are required to wear bicycle helmets. Motorcycle helmets are not legally required in any part of Illinois, but are highly recommended.

What is the sales tax rate in Chicago?

The sales tax rate in Chicago is 9.5%. The rate taxes all retail purchases except for groceries.

How long do I have to register my vehicle in Chicago?

If you just moved to Chicago, you have 30 days to register and title your vehicle.

What’s the weather like in Chicago?

The weather in Chicago is warm and cold. You’ll experience warm, humid summers and cold, snowy, and VERY windy winters! The average July high is around 84 F, while the average January low is around 23 F. Spring and autumn have mild temps with low humidity, so enjoy them while they last!

What’s the best neighborhood in Chicago?

Chicago has four main sections: Downtown, the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side. In the 1920s, the city was divided into 77 distinct community areas, which was further divided into more than 200 neighborhoods. So, while I can’t tell you the best one, I can show you how to research the neighborhood that fits you and your family’s lifestyle. Visit neighborhoodscout.com or streetadvisor.com.

What colleges and universities are available in Chicago?

There are plenty of colleges and universities to choose from in Chicago! The top universities include The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and University of Illinois at Chicago. There are many specialized graduate schools, seminaries, and theological schools in the area.

Is there public transportation in Chicago?

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) handles public transportation in the city along with a few more suburbs outside the city limits.

How do I move to an apartment in Chicago?

Downtown Chicago is known for its tight-spaces. That means that downtown area parking might be an issue when moving from Chicago. When parking is limited and overnight parking may not be allowed, customers consider U-Pack’s terminal-to-terminal move. You simply unload and load at the nearest ABF Service Center, rather than having a moving trailer or moving container delivered to your door. To check serviceability in your area, have your Chicago zip code ready and call 800-413-4799. Remember, the customer is responsible for checking on parking restrictions and obtaining parking permits, etc.

What are my Chicago moving options?

You have plenty of options for moving to Chicago. However, if you want the most affordable move to Chicago, then move with U-Pack®! U-Pack rates are affordable. Plus, you’ll never have to do the driving in that congested Chicago traffic—just leave that to the ABF professional drivers! Get a free moving quote to compare U-Pack to other Chicago moving companies.

When should I move to Chicago?

It’s really up to you. However, you can save some serious money off your moving cost if you move during an off-peak season or on an off-peak day. Fall and winter are the off-peak moving seasons, but it may be difficult to move in the tricky winter weather. Off-peak moving days include weekdays, the beginning of the month, and before or after a major holiday. Check U-Pack’s moving calendar to see off-peak days and seasons for your move!

What are the benefits of moving to Chicago?

There are some major benefits of moving to Chicago, like catching a game at Wrigley field, meeting new people at an art class, and tasting new food like the famous Chicago deep dish pizza! Look at more benefits of moving to Chicago here, including parks, attractions, history, and much more!

What do I need to do before moving to Chicago?

Before you move to Chicago, get familiar with U-Pack’s moving checklist. It will help you stay on task up to 8 weeks before your move! It also covers during and after your move! It’s printable, too!

Where is the ABF Service Center in Chicago?

There are three ABF Service Centers in Chicago:

  • 1900 Lincoln Highway, Sauk Village, IL 60411
  • 5300 W 74th, Chicago, IL 60638
  • 400 East Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 66018

Three service centers is a major convenience, as the majority of Chicago has parking restrictions for moving equipment. With U-Pack, you can save money and the parking stress by doing a terminal-to-terminal move. This means that you load your belongings at the terminal in your old location and unload your belongings at the terminal nearest your residence in Chicago.

How do I move to Chicago with kids?

Moving with kids to a big city like Chicago can be scary! Keep the fright away by getting your kids excited about the move. Tell them about all the fun things for kids to do in Chicago! Let them help you pack, and let them play with their favorite toy on the way there. Getting your kids excited about the move will help you (and them) stress less.

What are the Chicago utility providers?

Of course you’ll need to set up utilities once you move to Chicago. Your home’s utility providers depend on where you live in Chicago. Here are some of the top providers in the area:

  • Chicago television providers: Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T
  • Chicago internet providers: Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, RCN, Sprint
  • Chicago Electricity providers: Commonwealth Edison, Hudson Energy Services
  • Chicago Natural Gas providers: People’s Gas, Interstate Gas Supply of Illinois, Inc.
  • Chicago Water provider: City of Chicago


As I mentioned above, be sure to find out which providers service your new home’s address. You can go to websites like allconnect.com to find out which providers serve your home.

What is the best way to move to Chicago?

The best way to move to Chicago is U-Pack® Moving!

With U-Pack, you do the loading and unloading, and U-Pack does the driving! Here’s how it works:

  • ABF, U-Pack’s transportation provider, delivers a moving trailer or moving container to your home.
  • You load within three business days.
  • ABF drives your belongings to your new home in the Chicago area.
  • You unload within three business days.

Get a free moving quote and start comparing your Chicago moving options!