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How to Select the Right Moving Company

If you’re using professional movers for your move, you want to make sure you’re using the best movers available to you. But how do you sort through the chaff to find a dependable, affordable moving company with great service?

The fact is, there are many dishonest moving companies around. They might offer you a great price at first, then tack on extra charges after the pickup is done. How can you avoid being fooled by bad moving companies? Look for warning signs and do your research!

Is The Price Too Good To Be True?

Moving is not cheap, and we all want to get the best deal possible, but consider value rather than just price. It’s beneficial for you as a customer to use a company with well-equipped trucks, trained staff and storage. A good company has the experience and the space to accommodate a variety of requests, needs, and last-minute changes. You’re paying for peace of mind, and if the price is too low, it could be a red flag. You wouldn’t choose a surgeon based solely on price, right?

Some companies will offer you estimates for a minimum job so that the price sounds appealing, knowing that your local move is likely to take much longer and cost more. An honest mover will offer you a more realistic estimate based on the hours your local move is likely to take.

Check For A Physical Location

All legitimate moving companies will have an address listed that includes an actual storage site, not just a P.O. Box or an apartment. A solid moving company must have a place for employees and for equipment. If a moving company doesn’t have a physical space that you can drive by (or at least visit on Google Maps) and check out, don’t do business with it. A moving company without land could easily disappear with your belongings.

Check For A License

As with the physical location, all legitimate moving companies will have a license, so that they can be monitored and regulated by governmental agencies. Check on the Department of Transportation’s website, and you may see a license that has been revoked or expired. Have the company’s MC or DOT number in hand so you know what you’re looking for, and check safer.fmcsa.dot.gov for safety information and more. Here are our numbers.

Check About Insurance

All licensed moving companies must provide liability coverage for your items during the move. Additional coverage can be purchased through your insurance agent. You can also visit movinginsurance.com to find a policy that works for you.

Do Your Research and Use Common Sense to Find the Best Movers in Chicagoland!

So how can you find the best Chicago movers? Get references from friends and family. Check online reviews. Google or drive by the address to make sure they are established. Get estimates from more than one company. Make sure the moving trucks are branded. Check the company’s Better Business Bureau rating. Don’t use a broker.

Naturally we’d like you to choose Elite Moving & Storage for your project, but as long as you follow these tips, you can confidently hire legitimate movers.

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Common Moving Mistakes

Moving isn’t always the most pleasant activity. It requires planning, money, effort, and the ability to juggle plenty of moving parts. You have to think about what to do at your old house, your new home, and everywhere in between, from moving big-ticket items to filling out change of address cards.

We started Elite Moving & Storage to reduce some of those headaches. If you can hire dependable local movers with a reputation for affordable and professional service, it reduces stress and makes your life easier. But we’ve also seen many mistakes in our professional moving experiences, and we have some tips for you on how to keep your move from being a total disaster.

Mistake #1 – Not Giving Yourself Enough Time

Repeat after us. Do not procrastinate. Get started early, because you are going to need all the time you can give yourself. Make a checklist, and hire movers as early as you can – especially if this is a busy time of year for moves. Make sure you have the time to take inventory, to get rid of all your furniture that you don’t want, to house-hunt, to go through the entire process. If you’re rushing at the end, you may think labeling isn’t so important, and then you won’t be able to find anything when you get to the new place. Create a timeline and stick with it.

Mistake #2 – Not Doing the Research

When you move, there are a number of areas you’ll need to research – including insurance, moving companies, real estate, where to board your pets. It might be tempting, with all the work you have to do, to skimp in one area or another. Don’t! Know how to spot a shady mover and get an accurate estimate. Find out when the best times are for moving – for your budget, and for your schedule. Don’t go with the first offer you get on anything until you’ve done some legwork on whether you’re getting a good deal. Check references.

Mistake #3 – Not Decluttering Mercilessly

What do you need? What can you toss? Sure, you’ve collected a bunch of interesting tchotchkes and knick-knacks over the years. But do you need these items? Keep things you have used in the last year, and stow sentimental items – or, even better, toss them after you’ve taken pictures of them. But donate or sell anything you don’t want to move. Not only will this make your move cheaper in terms of fuel and labor costs, it feels liberating. Let’s face it, once you complete your move, you’re going to throw away many of those items before they find a new space in your home anyway, and then you’ll kick yourself for having waited so long.

Mistake #4 – Not Creating An Appropriate Budget

Moving is expensive, and sticker shock is normal. But the financial hit can be mitigated if you do your research, estimate your costs realistically, and plan ahead of time. Thinking to cut corners? Sometimes, a DIY approach may make sense for your move, but don’t skimp on the important stuff. You may need some of the advantages a good moving company can offer – peace of mind, insurance, packing services, fewer fuel and gas headaches, and less muscle strain. And remember that if you don’t do the work beforehand, you may end up paying more – in moving costs, mortgage rates, or post-move needs. Make a comprehensive budget and update it as you go. Hint: don’t skimp on packing materials.

Mistake #5 – Not Planning for the Day of the Move

One of the pitfalls of moving is not having what you need when you need it. So, pack a bag of daily essentials for every member of your family that stores all the items that you will need on and around moving day, and as soon as you get to your new place. This prevents you from hasty unpacking of all your boxes trying to find your child’s lovey immediately after arrival at your new house. Medications, chargers, electronics, clothing, valuables, and toiletries should be included here.

Count on Elite Moving & Storage for full-service moving and relocation. 

We’ve done thousands of local and long distance moves, and we’ve seen it all. If you want the best expertise and affordable rates from the best movers in Chicagoland, call us today!

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How To Alleviate Stress During A Move

No matter how you do it, moving is a stressful process. There’s so much involved, and so many steps, and it seems overwhelming. We get it – this is, after all, what we at Elite Moving & Storage do for a living. We got into this business because we know it’s hard and we want to help with every step of the moving process – and because there’s a new start at the end, and the potential for hope and happiness. So, here are some quick tips to help keep you centered during this crazy moving process that overtakes your life.

1. Make A Plan for Your Move

Simple, but true. The more things you can plan for, the less you have to think about on a last-minute basis. If you love list-making, now’s the time to do it. If you aren’t the organized type, take a shot at it. Anything you can do ahead of time helps. Of course, plans fall through, so also make sure you can roll with those punches and be flexible.

2. Create Deadlines and Start Early

Schedule things out for the day of, the week before, the month before, and so on. Take opportunities to build yourself in some extra time if at all possible. Add big blocks of time into your day to focus on moving tasks, but do it in your bits of spare time as well. Remember, moving isn’t part of our daily routines, and doing all this new work is very tiring. If you start early and know when things will happen, it can definitely help!

3. Get Others Involved With Your Move

You may need to talk to lawyers and accountants, deal with moving companies and schools, find mortgage brokers and realtors and others. Surround yourself with dependable people, including friends that can come over and bring you wine or take those extra clothes off your hands. If you need a night off, get your pals together and blow off some steam. Asking for help when you need it is a great life skill – and this is one of the times you’ll need it.

4. Get Yourself Mentally Prepared

Sometimes, all it takes to reduce stress is to give yourself a bit of an attitude adjustment. Don’t get bogged down in details – remember the big picture. You’re going for new experiences, new people, new routines. It’s a totally new beginning in a world where change is the only constant. Don’t forget your old friends, though, and find ways of connecting to both the place you’re leaving behind and the place you’re going to. Allow yourself to feel sad, too, because that’s absolutely okay.

5. Take Time Out For Yourself

Whether it’s a bit of extra yoga or meditation, an additional Zumba class, or eating more healthy, this is a great time to pay attention to your body’s needs. Try to work in some meditation or relaxation time. Take your kids out for pizza and ice cream instead of cooking after a long day of moving tasks, walk through a nearby nature preserve – whatever works for you. Just do it. Remember, moving is an emotional upheaval as well as a physical one, so take care of those emotions too.

Elite Moving & Storage can help with the stressful parts of your move.

One sure way of alleviating stress during a move is to hire the best moving company in Chicago, Elite Moving & Storage. Feel free to check us out through the Better Business Bureau, the FMCSA, or just drive by our Skokie location. Elite Moving & Storage can help make your move easy and give you peace of mind! We know you’ll need that when you’re moving in Chicago, or out of Chicago.

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Things to Do in Chicagoland This May

Now that spring looks like it’s finally here, Chicagoans are looking forward to good-weather activities. So what’s happening here this month? Elite Moving & Storage knows! We’re the best moving company in Chicago, and we understand the Second City on a vibey level. 🙂

1. The Chicago Kids and Kites Festival

Herald the arrival of spring with this Lincoln Park-based family event on Saturday, May 5, which gives kids free paper kites to fly. Professional demonstrators will be on hand, along with plenty of other kid-friendly activities. Vendors will also be around to sell fancier flying contraptions.

2. Mother’s Day Dining

From champagne brunches to days out at the Chicago Botanic Garden, this area is full of ways to celebrate your mom on Sunday, May 13. If you’re looking for something she’ll love, look no further. Book a reservation through OpenTable and make it easy to give her a day off!

3. Wright Plus Housewalk

The annual housewalk in Oak Park on Saturday, May 19 is a fantastic event, featuring walk-through tours not only of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, but other exciting and significant houses in the area. Learn about architecture, period family life, and Wright himself through an inspirational and educational day.

4. Illinois Craft Beer Week

The whole city celebrates beer from May 18-25. During this time you can find hundreds of events, from celebrity tap takeovers to beer dinners, demos, tastings, and more unique events too. Sponsored by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, this is a great time to head over to your neighborhood bar and find out how they’re participating!

5. MB Bike the Drive

Ever wanted to bike Lake Shore Drive without any cars to get in your way? Once a year, that happens. Enjoy five hours of biking on Sunday, 5/27. There are 30 miles on LSD to ride, and a festival to finish it off. Riders of all skill levels are invited to register.

6. The Start of the Chicago Festival Season

May is the official start of the outdoor festival season here in Chicago, thanks to events such as the Lincoln Park Wine Festival, Mayfest, the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, Riverside Arts Weekend, the Andersonville Wine Walk, the Skokie Festival of Cultures, Civil War Days at Naper Settlement, Maifest Chicago, the opening of the Chicago RiverWalk, the Long Grove Chocolate Festival, town art festivals – heck, they’re too numerous to list. Summer is even better!

7. The Start of the Chicago Parade Season

The big city parade this month is the Chicago Memorial Day Parade, and it’s the first of the season. Others will follow this summer (check for downtown parades and neighborhood parades) but it all begins now. The Memorial Day Parade begins with a wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. on Daley Plaza, but the procession begins at noon with marching bands, drum and bugle corps, veterans’ groups, and active military duty marching along State Street from Lake to Van Buren.

And…the start of the busy moving season! Elite Moving & Storage is Chicago’s choice for moving.

If you’re moving, it’s very possible you’re having to do it starting this month. Beginning Memorial Day, the Elite Moving & Storage season definitely begins to heat up. So, if you’re looking for dependable, cheap movers who can help you with moving in, moving out, or any moving services, you need to contact us as soon as you can. We’re one of the Chicago moving companies with the expertise, experience, and ideas to get you where you need to go, safely and easily. Contact us today for all your moving service needs!

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How to Protect Your Vacant House When You’re Moving

Often while you’re in the moving process, you’ll run into times when your house will not be occupied – either the new one, or the old one. When you’re away, scoping out your new city. Or when you’ve already moved, but the house hasn’t sold. When you’ve bought a new house, but haven’t fully taken up residency.

Even if you have no valuables inside, people can get in, make a mess or leave damage behind, and then leave. So, you’ll need to take some precautions to make sure nothing happens while you’re gone, whether you’ve already moved or not. Here are a few tips to help you do that, while ensuring peace of mind.

1. Lock everything and don’t leave spare keys in convenient places

This seems obvious, but definitely double check that deadbolts are in place, windows are locked, doors to the garage are secure, and keys are also secure. You don’t want to leave them lying in a fake rock or under a mat when you are gone for extended absences.

2. Get a security system, or keep the old one running

A security system will help you feel more secure about an empty house, no matter how long you leave it vacant. If you know your house will be untenanted for some time, we recommend leaving your security up and running even if you’ve moved out. Also, leave up your home security sign to deter burglars, even if you choose to disable your system.

In a new home, get your security system up immediately. Some burglars target newly moved-into homes on the theory that they haven’t set up security yet. As a bonus, you’ll get a discount on homeowner’s insurance if you have one working in your new place.

3. Have someone keep an eye on the place

Hopefully, you’ve made some friends in your old neighborhood. Maybe you can hire someone to do this for you, if not. Give your house sitter a key and an alarm code, and provide contact information. If possible, have your neighbor take care of some of your outdoor chores, such as pulling trash cans to and from the curb on trash days, so it looks like someone’s still living there. Have your neighbor park in your driveway sometimes.

When moving into a new house, you’ll want to set up services and get your belongings in as soon as possible, so the place looks like someone is living there. Don’t leave it unoccupied for long if you don’t have to.

4. Continue to arrange for maintenance on your home

Make sure your mail and newspaper delivery have been forwarded in plenty of time before your move,. That way, you don’t get packages and papers that can pile up on steps or driveways, showing people that you’re not around anymore.

Make sure your lawn continues to get mowed, or snow is shoveled in good time. Have someone take the trash out if that’s necessary. Make sure you have a handyman’s number handy just in case something happens.

5. Watch what information you’re putting out on the Internet about your move

Stay low key when it comes to putting out information about your activities in regard to moving. Savvy scammers can figure out that your home is empty and target it for theft.

Count on Elite Moving & Storage, the best movers in Chicago, for expertise in the industry.

At Elite Moving & Storage, we can help you make the best moving choices for your family. Make your experience the easiest move possible with our outstanding service! We’re the moving company that works for you.

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Moving in Spring – A How To Guide from Elite Moving & Storage

Spring is a time of new beginnings, just like moving. At Elite Moving & Storage, this is one of the reasons we enjoy what we do – helping people start over. And spring is a great time to start your moving process! Our busy season takes place in the summer, but there are definite advantages to moving before Memorial Day. The weather’s not so bad, but it isn’t super hot yet. Days are getting longer. And since we’re not as busy, you can book us for a weekend that’s most ideal for you. How can you maneuver a spring move with a Chicago moving company? Let us help!

Take advantage of spring cleaning

Use your urge to spring-clean to make things look attractive for buyers, throw out and donate items you don’t need, and do an inventory of your belongings for your new home. Pack your winter items first to get them out of the way. Have a yard sale, get organized, and declutter! It’s easier to sell homes in spring, and to make them look their best.

Watch the timing of your spring move

You’ll still want to book the best moving companies in your area as soon as possible to get the best value and the best professional movers. If you can, move during the early afternoon so that you’re taking most advantage of any sunlight and warmth. If you have kids, move during spring break so they don’t miss classes and have time to make some friends before summer.

Mind the weather when you’re moving

Spring weather is mild, which is a big advantage. Although you won’t have to deal with the hazards of icy roads or heavy labor in sweltering heat, you may have to prepare for wind and rain. Make sure your movers will protect your belongings with plastic covers and shrink wrap over your furniture. This will cost you extra, but is a good investment for spring moving! Wear appropriate clothes and layer just in case of temperature changes. And keep an eye on the forecast.

Safeguard your health during a move

Wear sunblock and sunglasses when it’s sunny out. Sometimes we forget how strong the sun can be even this time of year, especially if we’re in and out all day moving items back and forth. And don’t forget the pollen! There’s plenty of stuff flying around in spring. Seal your boxes so nothing can get in. Prepare for allergies, and don’t wear open toed shoes when moving heavy objects. Also, you may feel tired because of spring fatique, so drink plenty of water, eat small amounts of food more often, take deep breaths, and stretch between moving duties.

Let the most dependable moving company in the area help you with your Chicago move!

At Elite Moving & Storage, we understand your concerns, your fears, and your hopes about moving in or out of Chicago. We can help. Utilize our moving expertise, our great service, and our responsible business practices for your move today. Get an estimate now from the best movers in Chicago!

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10 Museums in Chicago You May Not Know

If you love Chicago Chicago, you know it’s way more than the Mag Mile, the Loop, and Wrigley Field. Once you delve deep into the culture here, you’ll find so many places to explore. And we know you’re familiar with our world-class museums, such as the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History. But here are a few off-the-beaten-path museums within city limits you may not have visited yet – and you should.

National Museum of Mexican Art

You’ll get free admission to this museum in the Pilsen neighborhood, which showcases 3,000 years of creativity and connects visitors to Mexican culture through art. Right now the special exhibit is “Placemaking & Landmarks: The Creation of Mexican Spaces in la Dieciocho (Pilsen)” and “Luis Tapia: Sculpture as Sanctuary.”

Frederick C. Robie House

Although it’s currently offering limited access because of a major renovation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House is a beautiful example of the type of Prairie Style architecture that Wright pioneered. Take a tour from knowledgeable interpreters who can shed light on Wright, his work, and his Chicago roots. This is a good chance to see a restoration in progress! And if you want more Wright, you can also check out The Rookery in the Loop.

DuSable Museum of African American History

The DuSable Museum is a small but exciting institution designed to inspire understanding and appreciation for the achievements and experiences of African Americans. The featured exhibits are “Clearing A Path for Democracy: Citizen Soldiers of the Eight Illinois National Guard” and “Rewriting History: paper gowns and photographs.” Museum is closed Mondays and free on Tuesdays.

International Museum of Surgical Science

Here, you’ll find more than 7,000 medical artifacts from multiple centuries. These include tools, original x-rays, skulls, and fine art. This is North America’s only museum devoted to surgery, and it features everything from mysteries to breakthroughs. Learn about history and modern healing practices and everything in between! Open daily.

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Interested in the media? This cool space narrates a history that includes radio, television, and the Internet. Right now, you can go there and check out “Saturday Night Life: The Experience,” complete with interactive sets and props, or visit “Watching TV in the 1990s.” Sounds like fun, right? The museum is closed on Mondays.

American Writer’s Museum

This little museum on the Mag Mile is the first of its kind in the country. State-of-the-art exhibitions take you into the mind of a writer, children’s literature, and more. Special exhibits right now include “Capturing Stories: Photographs of Writers by Art Shay” and “Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page.” The museum is closed on Mondays.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This cool museum, across the street from Lincoln Park Zoo, is a perfect place for families to explore nature. There are places to climb and explore, both inside and outside, and the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is the best! Try to come during a butterfly release. You’ll see plenty of other live animals as well, and the “Birds of Paradise” current exhibit. Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

You might miss this multi-story space because it’s a bit dwarfed by the Art Institute across this street. But if you’re at all interested in military history and the intersection of politics, international relations, and people, you might enjoy a visit. The special exhibit now is “Lest We Forget: Sailors, Sammies, and Doughboys over there in World War I.”

Oriental Institute

Over at the University of Chicago, you can explore the ancient world with art and artifacts from the ancient Near East. Right now the museum is being enhanced, so some exhibitions are temporarily closed, but the collection here is really significant and exciting. The special exhibitions right now are “The Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt” and “The First 100 Years: Anatolian Studies in Chicago.” Museum is closed on Mondays.

Smart Museum of Art

Also at the University of Chicago, this art museum features 15,000 objects in collections spanning Asian art, contemporary art, European art, and more. Current exhibits are designed to show how the Museum shaes the intellectual life of the school with the public. They include “The History of Perception,” “Selections from A History of Modernism,” and “Conversation with the Collection: Building/Environments.” Museum is closed on Mondays, and is free.

Elite Moving & Storage Knows Chicago – count on us!

We’ve been here for a long time, and we’re experts not just on moving, but on the city. That’s great, when you’re maneuvering the moving process in and out of Chicago. Get an estimate today!

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How to Prevent Identity Theft During A Move

Identity theft is big business these days, and it’s also a giant hassle for victims trying to prove who they are. Moving is one of the times you’re most vulnerable to this crime. And it’s a stressful enough time already, don’t you think? Don’t add to your woes by leaving yourself open to having your information stolen.

Over the years, we at Elite Moving & Storage have learned a few tricks to help you navigate the details of a move, so count on us. Here are a few tips to stop identity theft before it happens.

Before Your Move

Moving often includes a lot of decluttering. You’ll be getting rid of papers and files, along with unneeded clothing and toys. Make sure any ones that include sensitive information are shredded. Also, make sure you submit a Change of Address form to the U.S. Postal Service at least a week before you move. If companies send your mail to the wrong address, personal information could end up in the wrong hands. You may also want to notify your bank, utility companies, schools, insurance companies, and other services about your new move.

If your home is being shown to potential buyers, keep your wills, passports, tax returns, birth certificates, financial statements, medical records, tax returns, and anything with sensitive information out of the house, or in a locked cabinet or drawer. Do the same when contractors come in for painting, carpeting, or other services. Are you hiring movers? Check their Better Business Bureau rating. Ours is an A+, and any movers you hire should have a similar rating. Make sure your moving company gets good reviews, is trustworthy, and can be responsible for sensitive items. This is important for your peace of mind, as well as your wallet.

During Your Move

If you’re taking documents and electronic devices that might reveal personal information with you, consider leaving them out of the hands of movers. If you can keep them in your line of sight, they’ll be safest. We recommend keeping these items with you if at all possible.

Stick around while the moving process happens. If you’re there supervising, there are fewer opportunities for anything bad to happen, whether it’s things going missing without your realizing it, or someone sneaking in and taking things. We can vouch for our drivers, but there are plenty of moving companies out there that may be more careless. If you can’t be there, find a trusted friend or family member who can.

After Your Move

If you haven’t already, once you’ve settled in a bit, change your address with every website you shop with. Make sure all the businesses you work with have your new information. Do your best to remember everyone. Doing this now can save you headaches later. Verify that your mail is now being forwarded, and check utilities to make sure they’ve been closed at the old address. Check your credit reports.

Even though your move is complete, and you think you’ve taken care of everything, stuff still happens. You may have missed a credit card company that sends your bill, complete with account information, to your old address. Savvy thieves might be able to use your old address for new accounts. Some credit card companies and other financial institutions may offer identity theft protection for a small fee; utilize this for a few months just to make sure.

 For peace of mind, consider moving with Elite Moving & Storage!

Elite Moving & Storage has seen it all. With your years of experience, we don’t just move you from Point A to Point B, we also advise you on how to do it right. Are you ready to move into Chicago, or out of Chicago? Let us know how we can help! Get a free quote today.

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5 Ways to Get Through A Chicago Winter 2018

The festival season in Chicago starts in May, with the opening of Chicago City Markets and the 20th annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival on May 5, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do until then. This city always has something going on, even in the dead of winter!

2018 in Chicago has been designated the Year of Creative Youth, which means we’ll see city-wide programming focusing on opportunities for youth organizations throughout the year. We’ll also have great arts programming continually during 2018. Here are a few other events to look forward to during the first three months of this year.

1. Chicago Restaurant Week, January 26-February 8

Every year, 350+ Chicago (and suburban) restaurants create prix-fixe meal deals so that it’s as easy as possible to try new places for less money. From city favorites to trendy hotspots, the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week are showcasing their best! The event begins with the First Bites Bash preview party on January 25, and continues for two weeks. You might want to make reservations now for popular places. Visit the website to see who’s on the list this year.

2. Museum Free Days, through the end of February

This time of year can be relatively slow for museums, which means they’ll be offering free days for Illinois residents through the end of February. Adler Planetarium free days include January 3, 4, 7-12, 15-19, and February 2, 5-9, 19-22. Shedd Aquarium free days include January 15, 18, 19, 22-26, and February 2 and 14. The Field Museum of Natural History, which will be retiring Sue the T-Rex from the main hall in February, offers free days on January 3, 4, 15, 27, 28, and all of February. The Museum of Science and Industry is free Mondays-Thursdays through February 15, and also from February 20-22 and February 26-27. Brookfield Zoo in the suburbs is free Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February 28. Other museums also feature regular free days throughout the year. By the way, Chicago Museum Week takes place January 18-26, in case you’re looking for special events and tours, and deals on membership.

3. Chicago Theatre Week, February 8-18

Celebrate the world-class theatre scene in Chicago with opportunities to see more than 120 local productions at a discount. Tickets for this period of time cost $15 and $30, with discounts on sale starting January 9. Participating theaters include everyone from the Apollo Theater and the Auditorium Theatre to The Second City and Writers Theatre. See the Joffrey Ballet, experience Steppenwolf or Goodman or Chicago Shakespeare – it’s all available now! The event is being hosted by the League of Chicago Theatres.

4. Celebrate the Holidays!

Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day when many restaurants offer special romantic meals, so check your favorite Chicago eatery to find out what it’s offering, whether it’s a heart-shaped pizza or a steak and wine dinner for two. Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with a parade in Chinatown on February 25. Go downtown for the Dyeing of the Chicago River on March 17, followed by the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Celebrate Easter, which this year takes place on April 1, with brunch, Easter egg hunts, and more at local parks, zoos, and attractions.

5. Public Shows

Some high-profile trade shows come to the area during this season, and this is a great time to attend them. The Chicago Auto Show takes place February 10-19 at McCormick Place, showing off the latest trends in the world of cars. Other shows you might want to look at include the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show on February 10-11 at the DES Convention Center in Rosemont, The Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden on February 10-March 25, the giant Chicago Golf Show at the DES Convention Center on February 23-25, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier on March 14-18. In April, C2E2, the giant comic book convention, comes to McCormick Place. For a calendar of shows at the DES Convention Center, click here. For a calendar of shows at McCormick Place, click here.

Elite Moving Knows Chicago!

We love this city, and we understand how it works. That makes moving in and out of this place a labor of love for us – and a breeze for you. If you want to know more about our operation and how we can help you, contact us and get an estimate today.

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How to Save on Moving Costs

There’s no way around it – moving is expensive. But hopefully, at the end of the road is a better situation, a higher quality of living, and a new start. Moving is also stressful, but you can reduce both your expenses and your anxiety by following some tips from the experts here at Elite Moving & Storage. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve seen it all! We know how to help you reduce your expenses and get the most out of the process.

Hire reasonably-priced, dependable movers

Look, we know you’re thinking, “Ha, of course they’re going to say you should hire movers because they’re a moving company.” Okay, fine. If you feel comfortable doing that, do it. But think about it carefully, and weigh the pros and cons, and calculate the costs of renting your own trucks and getting supplies yourself. Using movers can prove cheaper in the end because of their expertise and speed. Don’t forget to factor in the potential relationship outcomes of using your family as free unskilled labor.

But, do your research – contact different companies, look at reviews, and get insurance. Try to move during slow times, such as the middle of the week or the month, or winter, to reduce costs. If you need storage, see if your moving company has a deal. Remember that the more you have the moving company do, the more it will cost. So, if you can pack things on your own, do that.

Stay organized

Create a timeline that will allow you to do the tasks you need to do on a schedule you set out. Set a budget that takes every element into account. Don’t forget to count costs of packing materials. You’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and other items. This might be one of your biggest expenses, so try to get boxes free from grocery stores, big retailers, and wholesalers like Costco. Check freecycling sites, liquor stores, and mail offices. The boxes must be in good condition! Note, though, that you won’t want to pack fragile items in free boxes, since you won’t know how strong they still are. Instead, invest in double-walled china boxes or dish packs.

Know what tasks you’re going to relegate to the movers and set out what you’re going to take with you personally. Know what goes where in your new home, and whether or not everything’s going to fit. Are you going to need storage? Do you have specialty items, such as a rare and valuable piano? Keep track of your expenses; you may be able to deduct them come tax time.

Declutter

Moving is always a great time to unload those things you don’t need. It’s cheaper, and less work, to move fewer things. Your movers may actually charge you based on weight if you’re moving out of state, so this can be a significant savings. This might be a good opportunity to upgrade some of your belongings!

Measure your new place to find out if anything won’t fit – and then get rid of the items that don’t. Do you really need those old appliances or that treadmill you never use? Have a yard sale. Donate to charity and get the tax deduction. Ultimately, you need to be smart about what you put into your new home and how it gets there if you want to save yourself some dough.

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When creating your budget, don’t forget to set aside some funds for AFTER the move. You’ll need extra to get your home running at a minimum level. You’ll need to replenish your food supplies and send in deposits for utilities, at a minimum. And if your house needs repair, you’ll need to take care of that as well. You might consider selling your boxes after you’re done, at places like boxcycle.com or on Craigslist. It won’t be too much, but every little bit helps!

Want more information and advice? That’s what we’re here for! Elite Moving & Storage offers expert advice on every part of your move. Get an estimate today, and get the benefit of our years of experience moving people in and out of the Chicago area.