Moving into an apartment in Chicago can be overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or umpteenth time. There’s so much to do! For example, packing alone is just one step. There are so many other considerations when it comes to moving.
If you’re wondering where to start, look no further. Here are our tips of the things you should or shouldn’t do when moving into an apartment.
Do: Think about using a Chicago storage facility.
During your move, you might discover that you don’t have enough room for all of your belongings. As you pack and prepare for your move, think about what you really need. You may find you have items you can donate or sell in a moving sale. You may also have items you aren’t using right now but still can’t bear to part with. Those items can go into storage.
One added benefit of Chicago storage companies: many offer the free use of a truck upon move-in. You might want to take this benefit into consideration. It could save you rental fees and make your move easier.
Do: Get renter’s insurance.
Some landlords require renter’s insurance. This is a good thing because the last thing you want is to leave your assets unprotected. The good news is renter’s insurance is typically inexpensive. It costs about the same or less as a fast food meal for two people. Your insurer may even offer a bonus discount for multiple policies if you also have car insurance with the same company.
Renter’s insurance usually covers both liability and property damage. You’ll want to take a close look at the policy to be sure you have enough coverage. Replacement coverage is a good idea. It’ll pay for the replacement of your belongings in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Do: Read the lease.
Moving can be an emotional time. Don’t get too excited and skip reading the lease. You may even find you want to make changes. I have a friend who requests that management notifies her by email and phone for inspections, rather than by an easily missed door notice. And she has them put it in the lease. It’s also good to be aware of any policies the complex may have about parking, pets, maintenance, payments, and so on.
Do: Set up utilities.
Your lease should state the utilities for which you’re responsible. Once you know, find out if the apartment complex needs the utilities set up by a certain date or time. If not, schedule them to start the day before moving in if possible, to be sure your apartment is move-in ready.
Do: Ask for any repairs/improvements right away.
The first thing you should do when you get the keys to your new apartment is to walk through and look for areas that may need repair. Some Chicago landlords may even do the walk-through with you. But, it’s a good idea to do it on your own as well, to catch anything you may have missed.
Once you’ve assessed what needs repairs, submit a written request outlining the damage and request the repairs needed. Most complexes should have online portals, or at least an email address. Even if you have to call in the repair, try to get an email that you can send the request to so that you have a record of it.
The reason behind this is twofold. For one thing, you’ll have a record of any damage that took place before you moved in. This should prevent you from being liable for it upon moving out. The second reason is a little more obvious. You want your new apartment to be in tip-top shape for aesthetics and efficiency.
Don’t: Move into a neighborhood without researching it first.
There are a lot of factors to consider when moving. If you have kids, you’ll want to see which schools are in the area. Some things are more urgent than others. For example, what is the transportation like in your new neighborhood? But, it’s also good to know where the grocery stores, restaurants, salons, parks, gyms, and the other places you frequent are located.
You’ll also want to make sure you move into a safe area. Unfortunately, some areas in Chicago are more unsafe than others.
Don’t: Forget to change your address.
In the bustle of moving, don’t forget this important step! Contact USPS to change your address in the U.S.
Don’t: Leave your old place a mess.
Apart from common courtesy and respect, it’s a good idea to leave your former home in the best possible condition. Thoroughly cleaning your old place will increase your chances of getting your deposit back without a fight. Plus, you’ll leave on good terms with the landlord in case you want to work with them again.
Because moving is such a stressful thing all on its own, you may want to consider hiring a cleaning agency in the Chicago area to clean the place for you. They’ll do a thorough job and leave it looking its best. And, it’ll take the pressure off of you.
Armed with these tips, you should be ready to move into your new Chicago apartment.