Smart Moves: Your Guide To A New City

So you landed the job and are making a big move. First off, that’s exciting! Second, you might be terrified. What if something happens to your stuff during the move? What if your cat freaks out and bails? What if your “cozy garden apartment” is more “dingy basement cave”? Rest assured, you’re not the first person to transplant yourself for a new gig and digs. To help, we put together this guide to cover your essential living needs once you move. We also checked in with Yelp Chicago’s Senior Community Director Alex Shebar for some firsthand advice on all aspects of moving.

Alex’s first job out of college took him to Cincinnati to work as a newspaper reporter. He went on to become Cincinnati’s first-ever Yelp Community Manager. Staying with Yelp, Alex left Cincinnati to launch Yelp London in the UK, eventually landing back in the States to take the reigns of Chicago’s Yelp community. It’s safe to say that Alex knows a thing or two about moving.

Find A Place To Live

Clearly the most important part of moving is finding a place and a neighborhood to call home. Thinking about a spacious two-bedroom apartment in that hip neighborhood close to the office? Wait, it costs how much per month? Well, let’s go ahead and keep looking.

Brooklyn, New York

“Listen, moving sucks, there’s no way around it. But there are some things you can do to make it better,” Alex said. “First, make sure you love where you’re living, both inside the place and outside. There is always another apartment, a different roommate, a new neighborhood. If you get a weird vibe from a place, do not take it.”

You’ll find a host of apartment complexes and communities on Yelp, so take a peek and see what your potential new neighbors are saying about the place. You’ll be able to seek out moving companies on Yelp too – trust us when we say request a quote is your very best friend.

Source Your Nearby Necessities

Churn in Phoenix

OK, you found a nice enough place in your price range in an area you like and you’re finally getting settled. Now, it’s high time to find nearby necessities like a salon, dentist, gym, doctor, feline boutique (kitty didn’t bail after all, phew) etc. Find all the above and more by searching for nearby businesses on Yelp. Bookmark businesses you’re interested in to check out later. Or call or make an appointment with a business right in the app. Alex said he utilized Yelp for just about everything: grocery stores, furniture stores, thrift shops, things to do, the best-hidden gems in the city, and much more.

Also, don’t forget about essentials like utilities, internet and transportation. He added: “The more research you can do into your new home, the better off. Finally, do a search for ‘stocking your first apartment.’ There are tons of things you don’t know you need that you need. And remember to check Yelp to find out the best local spots to buy them.”

Discover Your Favorite Hangouts

What are the most popular spots in and near your new neighborhood? Naturally, Yelp can help you find your new favorite local businesses like that artisanal ice cream parlor around the corner or the arcade bar a few blocks away. “Make a list of things you have to try near your new home: restaurants, museums, theater, etc. Discovering your local neighborhood will keep you excited and remind you why you moved in the first place.”

With the Yelp app, you can organize that list into a Bookmark Collection, which you’ll have easy access to when you’re out and about. Add a few new spots and share it with your friends.

“If want to go where the locals go (and of course you do, you’re a local now, aren’t you?), use Yelp.”

Yelp bookmark collections new product

Moving Is Scary – And Exciting

Saying goodbye to your family, friends and the lifetime worth of memories you’ve managed to amass up to this point is, well, overwhelming to say the least. But remember new adventures, people, and opportunities await.

“Search for groups who are interested in things you enjoy like kickball, board games, or eating at new restaurants, and join them. Be open to new experiences and say yes to everything, you have no idea what you’ll do or who you’ll meet,” Alex said. “I’ve made some of my best friends just because I took a chance checking out something I would have normally said no to in my old home. New city, new you, do it.”

As scary as it initially seems, moving is often one of the best decisions a person makes, so we hope your move is a success. Remember, you have a fast track to becoming a local expert wherever you may land thanks to Yelp. Want to meet up with like-minded people in the Yelp community? Check out Yelp events and learn about the Yelp Elite Squad.

In the US, Yelp has offices in San Francisco, Phoenix, New York, and Chicago. Interested in working for us? Check out open positions at