ᐅᐅ 5 tips (+ checklist) for the first own apartment

Erste Wohnung Tipps
Furnish your first own apartment cheaply

Leaving Hotel Mama and moving into your own four walls - at some point most people are faced with this step. Do you also want to move out of your parents' house? From administrative questions to inexpensive furnishings - here are the most important tips for a good start in your first own apartment. At the very bottom we have listed everything in a short checklist.

❯ Checklist for your first own apartment

Taking over the apartment - what you should pay attention to

Before you sign the rental agreement for your own apartment, you should check it carefully. What is the regulation regarding service charges? Could you sublet the apartment if necessary? Is animal keeping allowed? How much is the deposit? On the website of the tenants' association you will find a detailed list of all relevant points in German.

When taking over the apartment, it is recommended to check it carefully and to record all defects in a take-over protocol.

Furnish your first own apartment at a reasonable price

Think carefully about what you really need from the beginning. In the first week your apartment does not have to be perfectly furnished. A checklist with all the necessities for survival will help you. This probably includes the following basics: a bed, a few chairs, a table, dishes and cutlery. And not to forget: lamps! You don't want to spend the first hours in your new home in the dark, do you?

For other furniture and the decorative details you can take your time. This way you have the opportunity to find original and inexpensive furnishings. Here are a few places to go to keep the costs of your first own apartment under control:

The family

Perhaps pieces of furniture have accumulated in the parental home over the years, which are gladly handed over to the younger generation for the first apartment.

Bargains from the second hand store

In thrift shops you can often find a large selection of inexpensive furniture and dishes. If you like to browse, this is the right place. From time to time you will find original decoration utensils among many superfluous items. But also at second hand stores comparing prices is part of it! Because not everything that comes second hand is automatically cheap. Sometimes you can still negotiate the price, for example when you buy a table and chairs together.

Restaurant or business liquidations

In liquidations there are often good quality goods for little money. However, they are very popular and sold out. Therefore it is important to be on site in time. Indications of imminent liquidations are usually in the daily press or on the Internet. An extra tip for those who got hold of the first bargains long before the planned move: at placeB you can easily rent a storage room and store your things temporarily. There, your things are kept safe and dry until you officially move into your own apartment.

Treasure trove in the furniture store

Many large furniture stores have something like a treasure trove. There are exhibition models or slightly defective furnishings for little money. Slightly defective objects can possibly be repaired with little effort.


You can find cheap decorations for your first apartment in the Brockenhaus, for example.

Share your apartment and save money

You can reduce the cost of your first home by sharing it with someone. But beware: the financial aspect should not be the only incentive. If you choose the " shared flat" model, the chemistry between the roommates must be right. Talk to potential roommates about ideas about cleanliness and housework, noise, pets, smoking habits, parties at home, etc. And clarify the financial issues in a diplomatic way! Does the person have a regular income to pay his rent for the apartment?

Organize a move

If you bring only a few belongings to your first own apartment, the move is probably quickly organized. Nevertheless, it is worth briefly studying our checklist for the move to ensure that the move into your new home goes smoothly.

Wohnung teilen - die Chemie muss stimmen

The chemistry must be right for a shared apartment.

Administrative stuff

There is probably no way around this: if you move into your own apartment, there are some administrative issues to consider:

Register at your new place of residence

First you have to register at your new place of residence. Depending on the municipality you have 8 to 14 days to do this. In most cases, you will have to go to the municipal office in person and bring various documents with you, such as an official identity card, the family booklet (for married couples with children), the AHV card, birth certificates of children of unmarried people, etc. In addition, your certificate of residence, which was issued by the civil registry office of your hometown, must always be deposited at the current place of residence. Often the previous community of residence sends this document directly to the new one. It is best to find out about the necessary papers in advance by telephone or on the website of the new community. It costs between 20 and 40 Swiss francs to transfer the documents. Attention: Even if you move within your community, you must notify the change of address to the Residents' Registration Office in due time.

Notify changes of address at other places

There are several places that will send you mail from time to time and need to know your address: your bank, your health insurance, your employer or school, the telephone company, the traffic office, the dentist and other doctors, possibly the telephone book etc. Make a list and have your mail redirected so that all letters are guaranteed to arrive at your new home. If you have a delivery address with Zalando, Galaxus and Co., don't forget to change it with your next order.

TV and radio fees

Every household must pay radio and television licence fees. If you move into your own apartment, you must therefore register with Serafe. Only if you move into an existing household (e.g. a shared room) that is already registered with Serafe, you can save yourself this step.


It is not obligatory, but maybe you will be glad about it at some point: a household insurance pays in case of theft, water damage or fire. Also consider whether you want to take out liability insurance at the same time. This will cover any self caused damage to your apartment, such as water damage to the parquet floor or loss of keys.

Introduce to the neighbors

Even if it is not obligatory and by no means common practice everywhere: introducing yourself personally paves the way for good neighborliness. Perhaps you would even like to invite them to a first-time apéro? I'm sure they'll be happy to meet you and perhaps other neighbors as well.

Has the move into your new home gone smoothly? Welcome to your first own apartment! Below is a checklist of the most important points for you: ❯ Checklist for your first own apartment

Einstandsapero - bei den Nachbarn vorstellen

Welcome drink with the neighbors of the new apartment

Summary: Checklist for the first own apartment

Apartment takeover

  • Check the rental agreement before signing: Regulation of service charges, subletting and animal husbandry
  • Check the condition of the new apartment and record all defects in the takeover protocol
  • Pay a deposit

Obtain items necessary for survival

  • Bed
  • Chairs
  • Table
  • Dishes
  • Cutlery
  • Lamps

Organize a move

  • Means of transport
  • Removal assistants
  • Parking for loading in the old apartment and unloading in the new apartment
  • For larger removals we recommend our detailed checklist for the move


  • Radio and TV levy Serafe
  • Register with the Residents' Registration Office (observe deadline)
  • Household contents and liability insurance

Announce change of address

  • Bank / Postfinance
  • Doctor/Dentist
  • Work place
  • School or school
  • Road Traffic Office
  • Vehicle registration card / driver's license (please note the deadline)
  • Health insurance and insurances
  • Tax office
  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions
  • Mail forwarding request