Start now because this process only gets harder.

The majority of articles I write on here relate to my daily life in some form or another, but boy is this one more relatable than ever. Since deciding to stay put in Chicago for the summertime, it's been quite the struggle finding a place that ticks off all the boxes on my checklist. To put this in perspective, I've been searching for roughly 2.5 months now and have still found nothing.

To begin your search, you have to find credible websites/pages that will connect you to thousands of landlords or tenants looking to sublease their room(s). You have to be able to weed through the scams and murders waiting to happen, but when you do, you'll find several resources to use. I've found Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace listings to be the most reliable, as well as Facebook pages dedicated to housing within your specific region.

Next, it's easiest to filter the important elements such as price, dates available, furnished/unfurnished, number of rooms, and neighborhood. This is where it gets tricky. One or more of these areas have to give a little during your search - for instance, I had to increase my "price max" because Chicago is freaking expensive and alter my move-in and move-out dates to widen my results. At this point, it can be extremely frustrating. Many people don't even list their place until a few weeks before move-in day, which if you're anything like me, you like to plan major events like these months in advance. So if you're not finding anything today, make sure to keep refreshing the page in the weeks to come.

Let's say you've magically found a place while browsing the interwebs and would like to know more. Well, this could go one of three ways: a) the landlord forgot to take the listing down and will NOT tell you that the room isn't available anymore, b) the landlord does not check their email frequently and your message gets found months later in their spam folder, or c) you get a response back!

Now that you've been in contact with someone, this is your chance to ask questions. Any roommates? Pets allowed? Any move-in fees or security deposits? Again, double-check for any signs of scams or creepy kidnappings. If all is good, you should probably go take a look around the area and the apartment if possible - take notes, pictures, and maybe even bring a friend for a second opinion while touring the premises. If it all checks out *wipes tear*, you've finally made it through this awful process! Go treat yourself to an ice cream cone, start your packing list, and then help me find a place too, pretty please!

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