Checklist - Moving for seniors

If you are moving for the first time in your life – perhaps together with your first love or to a familiar student flat – the move does not usually turn into excessive stress. The situation is somewhat different for later moves. In the course of life, a lot of household effects accumulate, so the household gets bigger and bigger. Most people only notice this when they have to move house again. Suddenly, the move is no longer easy to manage on one’s own.

The situation gets even worse when it comes to moving senior citizens. In old age, you no longer have the same flexibility as you did when you were younger, and your physical strength and coordination skills also diminish with increasing age. What used to be easily accomplished in a weekend presents many seniors with a seemingly insurmountable hurdle.

Fortunately, there are professional removal companies that take care of all the formalities and tasks associated with the move. Depending on the desired scope of services, the professionals will not only dismantle your furniture, transport it to the new place of residence and reassemble it there, but they will also take care of packing all other items. So if you’re willing to spend a few francs more, you won’t have to worry about a thing when you move.

But wait: Is that really true?

Basically, yes, but there are some other formalities connected with the move that even the removal company cannot take care of for you. For example, you have to take care of submitting the new address to the pension fund yourself so that the payment of the pension benefit and the corresponding notices that you receive continue to go off without a hitch. This was just one example of many.

To make it easier for you to keep track of everything, we have compiled a checklist of all the important formalities involved in moving house. Of course, not every item may apply to your personal situation. Therefore, simply cross out the points that do not apply and you will have your personal checklist in hand!

Three months before the move

The first preparatory measures for the move should begin about three months before the big day. Here are the corresponding tasks:

Cancellation of the tenancy agreement

You probably already have your sights set on your new place at this point. Therefore, it is now time to terminate the old tenancy agreement. Most tenancy agreements have a notice period of three months. Therefore, find out the exact deadline by which the old tenancy agreement must be terminated.

Decluttering and disposal

To ensure that you have to carry as little as possible when you move, you should start decluttering at your old place of residence. If you are not able to do this yourself or do not want to, either hire your removal company or a separate decluttering service provider to do it for you.

Decide on the moving day

Consider when the perfect moving day would be. Then arrange this with the removal company. Have the moving day confirmed in writing.

Planning the furnishing of the new flat

Now it is also time to plan the furnishings of the new flat. Think about which furniture will go in which positions. If you need new furniture, you should order it now and have it delivered by the deadline. Delivery times are often quite long.

Redirection order at the post office

The post office has relatively long processing times for forwarding orders. You should therefore place your forwarding order now so that the mail is sent smoothly to your new place of residence after the move.

One month before the move

Now the move is within reach, there are just four weeks until the big day. Many seniors are already a bit excited at this point, because a change of residence is associated with profound changes in almost all areas of life. Keep calm and tackle the following points now:

Now the move is within reach, there are just four weeks until the big day. Many seniors are already a bit excited at this point, because a change of residence is associated with profound changes in almost all areas of life. Keep calm and tackle the following points now:

Inform electricity, gas and water suppliers

If your removal company does not take care of this task for you, you should now inform the responsible electricity, gas and water suppliers about your impending move.

Inform other institutions

In addition to the indispensable utility companies, there are a number of other service providers and offices to whom you should now send a notification of change of residence. These recipients are, for example:

  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Residents’ registration office
  • Churches
  • Associations
  • Doctors
  • Telephone providers
  • Subscriptions (newspapers etc.)

Organise private moving helpers

If you want to save money for your move and therefore do not want to put all the tasks in the hands of a removal company, you will certainly organise private removal helpers. Now it is time to arrange the moving date with them as well and ask them for a binding commitment.

Use up food supplies

Always remember: Anything that is no longer there on moving day cannot cause you any problems, stress or costs. Therefore, start systematically using up your food stocks now. Senior citizens in particular often keep larger quantities of food. Check your cellar and freezer and dispose of expired food or consume food that is still edible.

Pack the first moving boxes

If you are physically able, you can now calmly start packing your first moving boxes. For example, you can start packing books that you will definitely not need until moving day. The same applies to clothes that are not needed in the current season and all other things that you do not need regularly. Be sure to label all boxes with their contents so that everything can be found again quickly at the new place of residence.

Coordinate renovation work

If there is renovation work to be done at the old and possibly also at the new place of residence, you should coordinate it now. Arrange appointments with the tradesmen so that the new flat is ready for occupancy on the day of the move and you do not have to worry about renovating the old flat afterwards.

One week before the move

Now the move is imminent. Ideally, you have already worked through the checklist up to this point and are optimally prepared for the move, which will take place in a week’s time. You should now tackle the following tasks:

Pack more important things

You can now start packing things that you will need more often. These include clothes, electrical appliances and crockery. If a removal company takes over this task, you should make sure that you create an extra box for yourself in which you pack an emergency reserve. This emergency reserve should consist of clothing for about 2-3 days, some personal hygiene items and medicines, as well as the most important papers and identity cards. Such items must always be within reach. You should therefore not hand over the box, but transport it yourself.

Discuss final details with the removal company

Now discuss any details with your removal company that are still outstanding. This includes, for example, working out location plans for various items and for the removal boxes. You should have already clarified the locations of the furniture with the removal company (see previous list items).

Reading the meters in your new flat
Either read the meter readings in your new flat yourself or give them to your removal company. It is perfect if the meter readings can be taken together with the landlord. If not, you should insist that photos of the meter readings be taken. A handover protocol for the new flat can now be drawn up. You can give the meter readings to the energy supplier at the new place of residence or have your removal company give them to you.


On moving day

Now the big day has arrived! Keep calm and realise that you have already taken care of everything with our checklist. Therefore, you should not have any major problems now. On the day of your move, you should pay attention to the following points:

Get up in time and have a good breakfast

Plan a sufficiently large time cushion, get up early and have a hearty breakfast. Despite all your preparations, the day will take a lot of energy. Do not forget to take any necessary medication.

Instruct the removal company

When the removal company and their helpers have arrived, take a few moments to brief them. Tell them what is important to you and what they should pay special attention to. This is especially true if you have delicate pieces of furniture, antiques, etc. to transport.

Remove name tags

As soon as the helpers start moving and you have nothing to do at the moment, you should take a few moments to remove the name tags from the doorbell and letterbox. Otherwise this task can get lost in the stress of moving.

Sweep the flat

As soon as all the furniture and boxes from the old flat have been loaded into the removal van, you should make sure that the flat is swept clean. Most tenancy agreements require the apartment to be swept clean. Pick up a broom yourself or hire a removal agent to do it for you.

Read the meter in the old flat

The flat is now empty and swept clean, so as a rule no more energy or water will be used. Now you can read the meters in the old flat or have them read. Ideally, you should do this together with the old landlord, otherwise the meter readings should be recorded by taking photos as usual.

Handing over the keys and deposit

As soon as the meter readings have been taken and you have made sure that the old flat is really empty, you can hand over the key to your landlord. You should also use this meeting to make an appointment to hand over the deposit. You can usually meet at a branch of the bank that keeps your account.

Inspect your belongings for damage

As soon as you have arrived at your new home, you should check the household effects for damage, preferably in the presence of the removal company. Damage must be recorded and preferably photographed. Such damage is then recorded in the handover protocol that every removal company provides. Only if the damage is properly recorded there will the removal company’s insurance company compensate for it.


After the move

Finally it’s done! You have successfully completed the move and have hopefully already settled into your new home. There are still a few things you should keep in mind:

Register at your new place of residence

If you haven’t already done so, you should now register at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in your new place of residence. You can also have your identity papers changed there.

Receive your rent deposit

Do you still remember the date for handing over your rent deposit? Don’t forget it, because it’s usually a lot of money.

Re-register your car

As a motorist, you should not forget to re-register your car. This involves rewriting the registration certificates and you may also get new number plates.

Apply for social benefits

If you receive social benefits, it may be necessary to present yourself in person at the relevant offices in your new place of residence. It is best to call them first and ask how this is handled.

Label letterbox and doorbell

Don’t forget to label the letterbox and doorbell at your new place of residence so that people can find you and mail can be delivered correctly.

Meet new neighbours

When everything else is taken care of, don’t forget to introduce yourself personally to your new neighbours. This simply makes a good impression and promotes pleasant coexistence right from the start. You might even feel like throwing a little housewarming party. In this case, be sure to thank any relocation helpers for their cooperation.