Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Swiss-Red Tape: Deregistration, Pet Relocation, and Furniture Donation

Photo by hans s'.
Ever seen a chicken running around with its' head chop off. Well, that's me at this point! Maybe it's worse because my husband is the calmest person alive, while I am always the stressed out one with every little detail continuously circling inside my head. Just maybe that's why I get so nuts every time we move. But, with that said, things are progressing along.

Let me start by saying some very good things have happened since the last post. We have approved renters for our apartment! Woo-hoo! And, that means tickets for Barcelona have been purchased. Double woo-hoo! We have also picked our shipping company and we learned they basically do anything and everything you need when moving out of the country. Interdean not only packs and ships all your valuables, but they will also clean the apartment with a handover guarantee and take care of any waste disposal needed. All at a price of course, but at least that's less work for me having to find another company.

And, don't get me started on what's expected in terms of cleaning the apartment. It is beyond what you can imagine. Let's just say that one of the first words I learned over here was "sauber" (clean). Hiring a cleaning company costs around CHF 1,000. Now you can do this on your own and I have helped a friend do this, but I am just not strong enough for what this undertaking involves and I would rather spend our time seeing as much of Europe as possible before we go.

So...on that note...

I have been dreading this step for some reason. Maybe it's because of the horror stories I have read on other blogs or maybe it's because of my utter hatred for the Kreisburo here. Either way, this step was surprisingly pretty painless. Our one mistake was going to the Kreisburo to get this paperwork taken care of. We were instructed to go to the Stadthaus, right next to Fraumunster. Ok. No problem. We go there, find the room for international people, and of course the first guy we talk to doesn't speak English. I love that. He works where people from other countries come to ask questions and he doesn't speak English. I ask politely in German if anyone else speaks English there and he points to another guy and tells us to wait. Ok.

We tell the man we are moving back to the States and need to deregister. Simple as that. We fill out some paperwork and then are told to go to the tax office just around the corner. Ok. Trade some paperwork there and then are told to go to another office just down the hall. Ok. Still waiting for the hiccup in this process. Again, we swap paperwork, but this time we are asked for contact information for someone living in Switzerland that can be our Power of Attorney. Crappers. I wasn't expecting this. We put a friend's info down, but I felt a little bad not being able to ask their permission before doing this. So, be aware this is coming. Next, we go back to the first office, pay our CHF 30 a piece for a copy of our deregistration and then we go on our merry way. Bing, bang, boom. Love that.

Step 6 (optional): PET RELOCATION

Wait. That's not Stella...just looks very similar.

You should just know our pup is spoiled, plus I don't want to deal with her on a long flight over the Atlantic. When we moved to Switzerland she got the VIP treatment when we hired a pet relocation company to see her through each step of the journey. They pick her up, check her in, sit with her while she waits, make sure she gets boarded on the plane, deal with her during her layover in Newark, transfer her to the next plane, wait with her, pick her up, take her through customs, etc., and then drop her off at our door. Maybe we are really the ones that are spoiled.

I read somewhere on English Forum that the Salvation Army here will turn down donated items from IKEA since they aren't antiques and since IKEA is cheap enough for people to buy here. How nuts is that? How can a place turn away donations? I would have boughten used IKEA furniture. Needless to say, this made me a little stressed (of course...because I am a stress ball). I started freaking out wondering who is going to take all our stuff if we can't sell it and am I really going to sell our laundry basket for CHF 2 or worse just throw it away just to avoid this headache.

I ended up contacting the Brockenhaus (similar to the Salvation Army) and they were overly helpful. We scheduled a time for them to come out and see exactly what we have for them to take, so they can gage how long it will take to pick up everything and we also scheduled a pick up time a few days later. I did ask them if they would take everything because it was in good condition and she just told me that they would take a look at it all on the first date and give me an estimate for anything they wouldn't sell and would need to be disposed of. My hopes are high. Either way, things are sure to be out of the apartment before the shippers come to pack us up.

And, if you are looking for any furniture or household items for cheap or possibly free, please let us know. I think we could hook you up.

Check. Check. Check. Always more to come!


  1. Thanks for posting this move out series. Very helpful, although I hope not to need it for a while :) I dread moving.

  2. Right now it is killing me. I hate this process, but at least it will help people out in the future.

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