Moving from NYC to Chicago

Moving from NYC to Chicago is a bittersweet transition. The city on Lake Michigan is one of the most extensive metro areas in the US and has much to offer to any newcomer who wishes to settle. Great dining, spacious city parks, bountiful museums – the Windy City has all it takes for cozy urban living. But before you make the final call to leave the beloved NYC, we advise getting some basic info on this vast Illinois city. We must state that moving to a new city is never simple and surely represents a stressful process. And moving to Chicago, with 77 different communities and neighborhoods to choose from, takes some serious planning. However, there’s no reason to bite your nails. The array of housing options, employment opportunities, and amenities make the shift worthwhile.

If you are planning on moving soon and consider Chicago a solid option, read the following text.

Housing costs and options

First, it’s essential to weigh out all of your options and decide which one suits you best. We advise putting all advantages and disadvantages on paper alongside your planned budget. This way, you’ll easily decide on the best housing options.


A brick building with exterior stairs.
Housing options range from waterfront houses to small studios in the city center

One of the best things about moving from NYC to Chicago is the significant reduction of housing costs. This is definitely a change for the better. Whereas in Chicago, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for $1,200, it is virtually impossible to do so in NYC. Housing options range from waterfront houses to small studios in the city center.

To sum up the situation, statistics show that NYC is 72.08% more expensive than Chicago! Of course, prices vary depending on the neighborhood and the housing unit’s choice, but they are still somewhat affordable concerning average annual income. And the options are endless. From Victorian-era buildings, luxury waterfront units to cheap small studio apartments, there’s something to fit every taste and pocket.

The good thing about Chicago in comparison to New York is that you will manage much faster since various housing options are frequently out there; hence there is no need for worry.

Where to live?

Mainly, the city can be divided into five major areas:

  • North Side
  • North Side – Lakefront
  • West Side
  • South Side
  • Downtown

Each of these neighborhoods has its advantages. Whereas West Side holds relatively low rents, families with children prefer North Side due to a wide range of single-family homes and a neighborly small-town feel.

The famous Chicago Theater in downtown Chicago.
Living in Downtown is great – it’s lively and walkable but the rents are higher

Living Downtown is excellent – it’s lively and walkable, but the rents are higher. The abundance of parks and outdoor activities make this area similar to some of the best Brooklyn neighborhoods for families. Students tend to flock to the South Side, a melting pot of ethnicities and the University of Chicago’s home. As for Downtown, it’s great to be in the heart of the city, but you’d better have the means! There are a bunch of neighborhoods that are suited for the younger population.


Is Chicago safe? No metro area can take pride in low crime rates. Indeed, Chicago has had a long reputation as the center of criminal activities, but luckily things have changed for the better over the past decade. Most areas are safe and well-kept, but with a population of 2,716,450, incidents are bound to happen. And with the history marked by Al Capone and John Dillinger, Chicago’s perception of US crime capitals is understandable. But that’s not Chicago of today. Local authorities have been trying hard to reduce the number of incidents, and the results are not missing out. Statistics show that the number of shooting incidents has been reduced by 30% over the past two years.

The job market

When you’re moving from NYC to Chicago, the bad news is that you are moving away from a world of opportunities. The Big Apple offers jobs that virtually fit every profile. The rich cultural scene provides jobs for musicians, art handlers, curators, designers – you name it. But the transition to the Chicago lifestyle should not concern you in that way. You’ll be lucky to find that Chicago offers an abundance of work opportunities in all kinds of industries. Finance, health care, and education are some of the most vigorous branches. However, the cultural scene is not to be underestimated either. As for tech experts, there’s never a shortage of things to do. Besides, Chicago is home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies that offer opportunities for high-flying career seekers that like to climb the corporate ladder.

Although the job market in NYC is enormous compared to Chicago, this doesn’t mean you won’t make it in a smaller city.

What can you expect after moving from NYC to Chicago?

A Popular Destination

Chicago is among the most popular destination when it comes to comedy and arts. For instance, the city mentioned above is the home to Second City theatre, where many known comedians started. Also, you can check out the IO theatre. As for festivals, visit Lollapalooza, located in Grant Park.

City of Pizza

You must have heard about Chicago is famous for its pizza tradition. Some users state that Chicago pizza is among the best dishes they have ever tried in the US. Besides pizza, Chicago is famous for its hot dog culture, so make sure you try some and share your opinion in the comment section.


The Chicago Cubs is a well-known baseball team that originated in Chicago. This team really brings a lot of life to Wrigleyville, the neighborhood they play in. We mustn’t forget Chicago Bulls, which already won 6 NBA championships. Chicago is a great place to live for those of you that appreciate sports and team spirit.

Make the transition quick and painless

Every relocation is difficult, especially when you’re moving long-distance. Moving from NYC to Chicago implies a 12-hour drive, and this is the least of your worries.

A truck moving from NYC to Chicago.
Moving from NYC to Chicago takes up to 12 hours.

As both cities are known for harsh winters and snow loads, a DIY winter relocation is out of the question. Make the move as painless as possible and leave the hard work to experienced long-distance NYC movers. You have enough planning and preparation to do already. Concentrate on adapting to the new environment and making the best use of the opportunities before you.

Planning and proper organization go a long way as long as you start on time. You will need at least a couple of days to organize and pack.
There is a bunch of packing tips online if you are not sure how to pack right.

Pack your stuff wisely

The long journey by road requires an experienced professional driver, but it also takes packing expertise. As the costs of your move will be based on the mileage and the weight of your luggage, there’s no need to overload the truck. Declutter your home before the move and get rid of all the things you keep for no reason. Pay attention to fragile items. They need extra wrapping and sturdy boxes to keep them safe from breakage.

If you plan on packing yourself, there are many online guides on how to pack fragile items. As for artsy objects, heavy and delicate items such as the piano, professional assistance is a life-saver. Should you need help in this matter, do not worry. Dorothy & Martha Moving NYC experts are your next-door neighbors.

Moving from NYC to Chicago – why not?

If you’re still worried about the significant change you are about to make, maybe you should rephrase the question that bothers you. Why not move to Chicago? In many aspects, Chicago is similar to NYC. It’s a huge and diverse city that offers a plethora of opportunities. The same goes for New York. There are some great neighborhoods for newcomers to NYC, in comparison to other pretty avoidable ones. In fact, those of you who are already used to the advantages and disadvantages of living in the big city can only benefit from the shift. Lower housing costs will leave more space in your budget to do the things you’ve never had the chance. Do not be afraid of the change. Pack up and head for the Windy City!

Take care of your mental health

According to a recent survey, moving is among the most stressful life activities alongside divorce. Make sure to prepare yourself mentally for the whole process and to blend in with the new environment. If you have kids who are struggling to adapt to the whole situation, consider visiting a psychotherapist in order to avoid unnecessary stress and help them with the new setting.

Hire professional services

Moving can present quite a hassle, especially when it comes to long-distance moves. Since the drive between NYC and Chicago can take up to 13 hours, it is advised to hire a professional moving service. Keep in mind there are many uncertified moving companies on the market, so check your options thoroughly and make sure to hire a certified company with reliable customer support service and accurate moving quotes Brooklyn.

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