Moving Day (July 1) is fast approaching, a day typically celebrated in Quebec when many people plan to move out of their homes and into new ones. That’s prime time for getting rid of junk, and perhaps even upgrading outdated items. It’s also a great time to consider adopting or expanding the smart tech in your home. This isn’t just for the sake of shaking things up. Creating a well-connected smart home from the get-go can make mundane tasks in daily life more convenient and effortless. It can also make working from home easier. And let’s not forget it can also potentially save you money, and even benefit the environment.
Get fast and robust Wi-Fi up and running reliably
Moving Day is the perfect day to invest in a new wireless router with faster speeds, greater range, and better overall connectivity to accommodate multiple devices in the home. This is especially important if you plan to add more smart home devices to the mix. But this is also essential if anyone will be working from home or needs to tap into the web for homework or even virtual schooling. If multiple people are in the home at the same time looking to stream TV, play video games, listen to music, access the Internet for work or school, and more, it’s worth the investment and will save you a lot of frustration. Home Wi-Fi has always been essential, but nowadays, more than ever, ultra-fast and reliable home Wi-Fi with no lag or downtime is critical.
Consider that the router you had in your old home might not be as effective in your new one. The size of the home could play a role (if you’re upgrading to a larger house, for example). There could also be different buildings or just a different overall layout in the home that affects the strength of the network. If the router will be in the basement, for example, you might have to consider wireless extenders or pods within a whole-home mesh Wi-Fi network placed throughout the home to ensure fast and reliable connectivity, no matter where you are. This will allow you to set up your home office or workspace in any room of the new home. It will also provide reassurance that if you decide you want to work in the dining room one day, or even in the back yard, you can do it with ease. And you won’t worry that your Zoom video call will become choppy the second you step into a different room.
Turn your new home into a smart home
Now is the perfect time to get started with a smart home, choosing the platform you want to support, like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Siri and HomeKit, and looking for devices that you can install and/or set up to start fresh with an automated home. Aside from the cool factor and convenience, smart homes also help reduce electricity and energy waste, save you money, and add security and peace-of-mind.
You don’t need to get everything at once, but you can start with a few items on Moving Day, then slowly expand your system over time as you get comfortable with and settled into your new home.
Smart security cameras
Smart security cameras are devices you’ll want to get set up first so the house is secure from day one. They can help you keep an eye on your new home while you are away and detect motion within a geofenced area outside, like on or by your driveway. You can see footage from your smart phone or computer, and with some cameras, record live footage, scroll back to see archived footage, or talk to someone at the door to let the delivery person know to leave the package on the porch, for example, or the solicitor know that you aren’t interested.
Set up whole-home music
Before we even officially moved into our house six years ago (but after we took possession, of course), we started to get it ready for whole-home music, installing speakers in every room, including outside. You might not want to get everything wired up like we did, but you can set up a wireless whole-home audio system by getting the speakers you want in each room along with the hub or smart speaker if one is needed, connecting it to Wi-Fi, setting up your accounts, and being ready to go. Then you can have the music playing as you unpack and set everything up, being able to listen seamlessly as you move from room-to-room instead. This will be a much more enjoyable experience than having music play from a small Bluetooth speaker you quickly plug into the first outlet you can find and bring with you from room to room.
Make things even easier by including smart speakers into the mix that you can use to control music by voice. Queue up a playlist while making dinner (even if your hands are dirty), get a party started in the back yard when guests are over, or have a favourite playlist begin when you’re getting ready to do your at-home workout routine. While you’re setting up the new house, switch playlists to match the task at hand, whether it’s energetic tunes while stocking the kitchen cupboards or smooth jazz while reassembling your bed.
Smart speakers, by the way, are great for purposes beyond just music. Ones from Amazon, Google, Sonos, Bose, and other manufacturers, can be used to control a multitude of smart devices in your home, from speakers to lighting, security cameras, and more. Ask questions, set up calendar reminders, check the weather and traffic, and more. Getting this ready right when you move in will make your new home feel like a step into the future.
Go a step further and consider a smart display that adds a screen to the experience. One like the Amazon Echo Show 10, in particular, would be nice for Moving Day, allowing you to virtually tour family members and friends around a room of the home while the screen follows you, or allowing you to keep on top of a video conversation while you multitask and unpack.
Smart locks and doorbells
Smart locks and doorbells can add convenience by allowing you to remotely lock and unlock a door if you need to let the dog walker or cleaning person in, for example. And with smart doorbells, you can see who’s at the front door while you’re at your office or away on vacation. In some cases, you’re even able to speak to them. You can also check who’s at the door from your TV with certain smart doorbells, so you can ignore it if it’s a salesperson, or let the delivery person know you’ll be down in a minute, or that he can leave the package on the porch.
Get rid of your old, energy-hogging light bulbs and opt for smart LED bulbs that use less energy and last longer. You can control smart lights from your phone—turning them on at night while you’re on vacation, for example, so that people think someone is home. You can also set them to trigger automatically on timers, or set them up as part of smart home Scenes. Use a platform like HomeKit to set up a Night Scene, for example, whereby the door locks, the inside lights go off, exterior lights come on until midnight, the thermostat drops a few degrees, and the security camera outside turns on.
A smart thermostat is a great addition to a new home, allowing you to control the temperature, heat, and air conditioning remotely from your smart phone. Many of them from brands like Google Nest and ecobee intelligently learn your habits over time, so the heat might go off after 8 a.m. each weekday morning when it knows you’re at work. Some regions provide discounts for customers who use smart thermostats (as they save on energy). Plus, you might also notice a reduction in your energy bills, which will be a welcome surprise (particularly if you’re moving from a smaller home to a much larger one).
Upgrade your energy-sucking appliances for Moving Day
Now is the time to take a look at that ratty old refrigerator you’ve been hanging onto because, well, it still works. Maybe you didn’t want to bother going to the trouble of having it removed and getting a new one installed. But now that you’re moving out anyway, use the opportunity to upgrade to a new, much more energy efficient refrigerator.
Old refrigerators use (and waste) a lot of electricity. Not only are new models more energy efficient, but they also include features that further help you save energy (and even potentially reduce food wastage). For example, with LG’s InstaView refrigerators, you can knock on the door to trigger the interior light and see what’s inside instead of opening it up and letting the cold air out.
Energy-sucking appliances, by the way, aren’t only refrigerators. This could also be an old range or oven, television, stereo system, or microwave. So look at what you have throughout your home and decide what’s worth keeping for the new one and what you should let go of and replace with something new. For the kitchen, you might even want to consider getting built-in appliances that will allow for a seamless look in a colour-scheme of your choice.
Consider a Geek Squad Home Membership for Moving Day
The whole idea of moving is daunting and stressful when you think about having to pack up boxes, hire movers, then set everything up when you get to your new home. You can ease some of that pressure with a Geek Squad Home Membership, which gives you access to Geek Squad agents who can provide help 24/7, 365 days a year over the phone, online, in-store, and even in your home. This includes not only support for devices you buy at Best Buy, but for any electronic devices you might have purchased elsewhere as well.
In addition to providing support like connecting your smart home devices to your home’s new Wi-Fi network, Geek Squad agents can also do things like install and connect your new (or old) TV (or even mount it on the wall and calibrate it to ensure an optimal viewing experience) and set up your home theatre (including a new surround sound system). If you need help setting up your home network first, they can help with that too, and then ensure that all of your smart devices are ready to go.
Don’t forget to recycle your old electronics before Moving Day
It’s worth noting that if you’re getting rid of old electronic devices, whether it’s small gadgets that were tucked away in a drawer for years, or large appliances, make sure to dispose of them responsibly. Help divert electronic waste from landfills by bringing your old electronics to a Best Buy store, where they will be disposed of properly.
Best Buy accepts a wide range of electronic devices, whether they were purchased at Best Buy or not, including broken phones, dead batteries, old stereo systems, and more. All recycling is done locally as well, so you’re helping your own community.
In some cases, depending on the device and its condition, you might even be able to get a trade-in credit to use towards new purchases. This will give you a head start toward setting up the new home of your dreams.
Best Buy Online has tons of great options to get you started as you refresh your tech for Moving Day, getting rid of old, energy-hogging devices; upgrading to new tech for the living room, kitchen, and more; and preparing to set up your brand new home just the way you want it.