The employment contract has been signed, the lease as well - there is nothing left to stand in the way of your move now. Or is there? You have a lot of things to think about. Here is a short check-list that will hopefully be of service to you.

Vier junge Menschen packen lachend Umzugskisten in einen Möbelwagen.
Ein Umzug mit guten Freunden macht Spaß - aber er sollte auch gut geplant und vorbereitet sein. ©iStockphoto.com/LifesizeImages

At least three months prior to moving

  • Cancel your old lease agreement in time. Normally, the notification period for leases without a fixed term is three months.
  • Think about which furniture you would like to take with you. If you do not wish to move all of your furniture, you can temporarily store it with a moving company. Or you can sell old furniture you no longer require.
  • Check your lease or speak with the landlord to learn which repairs you'll have to make in the old flat.
  • Plan the renovation work in the new flat.
  • Obtain price quotes from moving companies, or ask friends and acquaintances to help with the move.
  • You can also contract moving assistance. Addresses of agencies who provide helpers for short-term projects can be found on the Internet.
  • Request time off work sufficiently in advance. There is no legal right to special holiday time, but it's always worth asking.
  • If you have children, find a preschool spot or a new school in time and register your children there.
  • Cancel your cable, telephone and Internet connections, or inform your provider about your move. Sometimes, the provider is happy to make the move with you. This will often save you several weeks of waiting for a new connection.
  • Inform the public utilities companies about your move and schedule an appointment for having the metres read. If you purchase electricity from a different provider, then inform them of what the metre count is on the day your move out and of your new address.

One month prior to moving

  • Tell your new address not only to friends, acquaintances and relatives, but also to government agencies, the bank, medical and other insurance providers, newspaper and magazine publishers, land-line and mobile service providers, GEZ and associations.
  • If you aren't contracting a moving company, but want  to hire a furniture van, then obtain estimates from various car rental agencies and reserve a vehicle for the day of the move.
  • Measure the width of doors, stairwells and elevators to make sure that all furniture can be moved into the new flat.
  • Check your homeowner's and liability insurance policies and have them modified for the new flat.

Two weeks prior to moving

  • Clear up the charge for heating costs with your previous landlord. The charge can be issued up to one year after the billing period.
  • If you cannot park the moving vehicle in front of the house easily, request an exception permit or a mobile no-stopping zone. You can request this directly via the moving company or from the respective local government.
  • Schedule an appointment for the flat handover with your previous landlord.
  • Procure sufficient packaging material and moving boxes, bubble wrap, blankets and transport helpers.
  • Register address forwarding with the German postal service, Deutsche Post.

One week prior to moving

  • Pack everything that you no longer need and label boxes to indicate their contents and the room in which they should be placed.
  • Remember to defrost your freezer.
  • Confirm the dates with helpers, the moving company, craftsmen and other assistants, like babysitters.

One day prior to moving

  • Pack the final items into boxes, pack your plants so they are secured during the move and pack cleaning utensils like a hoover, broom, mop, dust pan and wiper separately so that they can be ready quickly.
  • Pack the things that you will need on the first day in your new flat in a box or a suitcase:
  • If you are organising your move yourself and have hired a furniture van, retrieve it time and make a test drive.
  • Make sure there is enough food and drink for moving helpers.
  • Pack valuable items and personal documents separately and bring them to the new apartment personally.

Moving day

  • Once everything is packed in the moving vehicle, clean the old flat before handing it over to the landlord.
  • Check that you haven't forgotten anything in the old flat.
  • Go through the entire flat with your old landlord and log any damage on the handover protocol, as well as the metre counts for gas, water, electricity and heating and make absolutely sure to have the landlord sign it. Handover the key have the handover confirmed.

Luxury version: Relocation companies

Relocation agencies handle the entire move, thereby saving you a great deal of time. They organise everything - from the housing hunt to negotiations with agents and contract conclusion, furniture transport, dealings with government agencies and even finding preschools and schools.

You will find relocation services in the telephone book and the yellow pages (websites in German) of the respective city.

Tips:

  • If moving for professional reasons, ask your new employer if they will contribute to moving costs.
  • In the event of a move for professional reasons, collect all receipts, or you can declare nearly all expenses as advertising costs on your tax declaration.