Moving checklist: Making your move a breeze


So, you’ve signed your new tenancy agreement, and presumably you’d like to move out of your old home sooner rather than later? But before you get cracking with the move, you still need to organise and take care of a few things: handing over your old apartment in particular. Our moving checklists will help you prepare for a stress-free move.

Good preparation when it comes to handing over your old apartment helps to save a great deal of time and money. Put off handover-related tasks at your own risk: the costs can mount up very quickly. 

Once you’ve signed the new tenancy agreement, you need to plan various phases of your move. It’s easy to lose track during this chaotic time. Our moving checklists help you to plan your move down to the very last detail and prepare the individual phases of your move so you don’t forget a single thing.

Download the 'Before the move' checklist (PDF file)
Download the 'Moving phase' checklist (PDF file)
Download the 'After the move' checklist (PDF file)

Two to three months before your moving date: give notice 

Let’s start with the most important task that will enable you to move into your new apartment in the first place: ending your existing tenancy in good time. The landlord must receive your notice by the prescribed deadline. The date that the landlord receives the notice on, not the postmark date, is the critical factor in this respect, meaning that the property manager or homeowner should receive your notice by no later than the last working day before the notice period starts. 

When should I give notice? 

The date you should give notice by is stated in your tenancy agreement. The ordinary cancellation dates (which sometimes differ from one canton to the next) generally apply if your tenancy agreement does not contain dates for giving notice. In many cantons, you can give ordinary notice of termination at the end of March and the end of September. 

If you’re ending your tenancy agreement at any other time, you, as the tenant, must provide a solvent new tenant, otherwise you have to pay the rent until the ordinary notice date. 

You should also let both your old and your new landlord know your exact moving dates. Notify your employer of your ‘moving days’ as soon you know the exact dates.

To dos:  

  • Conclude your new tenancy agreement 
  • Cancel your existing tenancy agreement 
  • Request a day off from your employer: you’re usually entitled to a day off for the move.

One month before moving: clean the apartment yourself, or call in the professionals?

It’s now time to decide whether to clean the apartment yourself or use a cleaning company. Allow enough time to clean the apartment yourself if that’s what you decide to do. Our cleaning tips will make cleaning the apartment on your own a breeze.

If you’d prefer to use a cleaning company’s services, contact several cleaning companies one month before moving out and compare quotes so that you can avoid an overpriced last-minute ‘deep clean’.

Make sure that the contract with the cleaning company includes an acceptance guarantee: if there are any cleaning-related shortcomings during the apartment handover, you won’t have to pay extra for subsequent cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll face a doubly steep bill if the landlord thinks the apartment isn’t clean enough on handover. 

Make short work of those annoying administrative tasks so you can focus on time-consuming activities like cleaning and packing for the next few weeks. 

To dos: 

  • De-register your old address and register your new one with the municipality 
  • Initiate a change of address and mail forwarding order with the post office
  • Inform your bank, health insurance company, employer, etc., of your change of address in writing

Two to three weeks before moving: declutter and dispose of what you don’t need

Before you move, take the opportunity to tidy up and get rid of anything you don’t need or want. Moving to a new apartment is the perfect chance to really clear out the clutter! Don’t wait too long, though – you should have cleared out your apartment, attic and cellar at least two weeks before moving out.

Be self-critical and ask yourself what furniture, clothes, decorative items and household appliances you really need in your new home. Does it add value? Yes? Then you can keep it. No? Then get rid of it.

If you’re disposing of things you no longer use, you’ve got several options open to you: sell them, give them away, pass them on to someone else or dispose of them properly.

Make minor repairs that you, as a tenant, have to pay for yourself. Minor repairs include oiling hinges, tightening loose screws on electrical outlets and unclogging the sink.

Get plenty of cardboard, moving boxes or reusable boxes early on.

To dos:

  • Clear out your old apartment
  • Perform any necessary repairs in the apartment
  • Dispose of old furniture you no longer need, or take it to a second-hand shop
  • Hire a moving van
  • Organise moving boxes or old cardboard boxes from the supermarket

One week before the move: pack and complete administrative tasks

Now you can start packing the first few items like books and pictures. You can also pack clothes and dismantle and stow away furniture that you don’t use every day. 

Pack systematically: put heavy things on the bottom and lighter items on top. Label or number the moving boxes. This will make the allocation and clear-out process easier for you. Make sure you have most of your packing done three to four days before you move.

Remember that people often underestimate how much time they’ll need to pack. Expect one room to take you between half a day and one full day.

This is also the time to complete administrative tasks like registering with your new municipality or changing your address with your bank and insurance company. Try to have the administrative tasks done at least one week before you move so you can focus on the time-consuming activities like cleaning and packing.

To dos:  

  • Pack moving boxes  
  • De-register your old address and register your new one with the municipality
  • Initiate a change of address and mail forwarding order with the post office
  • Inform your bank, insurance company, health insurance company, employer, etc., of your change of address in writing

Up to two days before you move: do a deep clean

Not long now until you’ll be off to your new apartment! But you still need to clean the old one before you leave. Tenants are often unclear about how thoroughly they need to clean the apartment before they move out because what ‘clean’ means can vary greatly from one case to the next. 

Unless stipulated otherwise in the tenancy agreement, the apartment must be cleaned thoroughly and handed over in a clean condition. In addition to deep cleaning (including windows, window frames, shutters, etc.), pay particular attention to giving the kitchen and the bathroom a thorough clean. 

You’re on the safe side if your contract with the cleaning company includes an acceptance guarantee. If your landlord believes the apartment isn’t clean enough, you can call out the cleaning company a second time at no extra cost. 

In addition to cleaning, you also need to perform minor cosmetic repairs to the old apartment before moving out. This includes the likes of replacing light bulbs, tooth mugs or oven trays. Did you make any changes to the apartment? Did you paint a wall blue or remove the shabby carpet? If so, you’ll have to restore everything to its original state, unless agreed otherwise. 

Generally speaking, the tenant must return the apartment in the same condition as when they took it over (apart from normal wear and tear).

To dos:

  • Cancel regular deliveries (e.g. newspapers)
  • Clean the apartment
  • Perform cosmetic repairs (like replacing light bulbs or missing baking trays)

On moving day 

You’re done planning your move. Now it’s time to get down to business. You’ve handed your old apartment back over to the landlord; next, you’ve got boxes to shift. 

Don’t forget: keep calm, because the move is guaranteed to be stressful despite all your meticulous planning. Try to get up early so you can take your time with breakfast and recharge your batteries for the day ahead. Lastly, it’s important to provide enough food so there’s plenty to go round all day long for everyone helping you move.

During the apartment handover 

The tenant generally has to hand over the apartment during normal business hours on the last day of the tenancy period. Often, the following day – i.e. the first day of the following month – is even agreed as the return date in the tenancy agreement. 

The tenant and the landlord must agree on a suitable date if one is not expressly stipulated in the tenancy agreement. You should arrange a date for the handover as early as possible to avoid any confusion.


The tenant is not legally required to be present when the apartment is being inspected. However, it is advisable that acceptance is carried out in the presence of both parties, otherwise the tenant could end up being charged for damage that they might not even be responsible for.

Apartment handover report – an absolute must-have

When moving in and out, both the tenant and the landlord should agree on a handover report or takeover report. The report serves to ensure that the parties are aware of any damage to the rental property and, above all else, who is going to repair it. It’s important that any defects are noted in precise detail in the report. Even minor things (like scratches on the parquet or chipped corners) and disagreements should be recorded. This can also be done using photos.

Remember to only sign the apartment handover report if you have agreed on the apartment’s condition with the landlord. As soon as the handover report has been signed, the tenant is liable for repairing the damage – even if they are not legally required to do so.

After the move 

There are still a few things that need to be taken care of, even after you move into your new home. There might also be unfinished tasks from previous steps that you weren’t able to complete due to time constraints. 

You should submit your new address for the mail forwarding service, plus information to the authorities, your employer, etc., now at the very latest. There’s also work needing done in your new apartment, like unpacking, assembling furniture and putting it in the right place, reading the electricity and water meters and introducing yourself to your neighbours.

Then you can finally start to get settled in your new home!

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The right insurance

The right insurance

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