Whether you’re a student leaving your school year rental, a family changing addresses during summer vacation, or just someone moving into a newer/bigger/better place, we’re approaching that time of year when moving trucks are overbooked, cardboard boxes from the local liquor store are in short supply, and you can almost guarantee major wait times on your building’s elevator. It’s Moving Season! Fear not, however, because we’ve got some tips for making the transition easier, safer, and even smarter—because moving is a great time to add some fancy features to your new home.


For Sellers

Selling a home is a complicated process. Yes, you probably have a realtor to help you, but you may also need to get repairs done, have carpet or house cleaners in to spruce up the home before open houses, or even allow appraisers in to estimate your moving costs. You could rush home for each of those appointments, or you could give those folks secure remote access.


Granting Remote Access

Showing your home to potential buyers is a pain—you’ll either need to get some extra keys cut and leave them in a lockbox or rush home and unlock the door for realtors if you’re less trusting. Fortunately, now there’s some high tech options that allow you to grant access to those who need it, like a cleaning crew before that open house or a repairman to fix the leaky sink before a second showing.

One of the easiest ways to grant access is a remote lock system like August smart locks. This system allows you to lock and unlock your door with your Bluetooth enabled smartphone, and it supports both iPhone and Android. You don’t need to install a whole new deadbolt system either.


Keeping an Eye on the Open House

Who doesn’t dislike the thought of strangers traipsing through your house when you’re not there? Open houses are an invitation for both legitimate buyers and neighbourhood looky-loos to come into your home and peruse all your stuff. It’s also not unheard of for thieves to come in during an open house to case your stuff, only to return when the house is packed up and unoccupied and help themselves to your electronics and valuables, all neatly labelled for them. For peace of mind you could look at installing one of the many great smart camera options available at Best Buy.


Security Upgrades

When you’re doing your walk through of your new home, take note of how many access points you have (and by that I mean count the doors and windows). Now’s a good time to look at installing one of the easy do it yourself security systems that are available. With options from simple door sensors to motion sensors to more complex multi-camera systems, you can keep your new home safe and sound. There are plenty of security options to choose from: Shelly and I both have the Ring Security system in our homes. It’s easy to use, and easy to set up.

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Not the do-it-yourself type? Not to worry—you can pick out a system that works for you and have Geek Squad install it for you.

In fact, there are so many options it’ll serve you well to first narrow down what your preference is: Do you want a security alarm? Home monitoring on your smartphone so you can just know when the kids get home? Do you need full camera surveillance? And if you do want cameras, do you want to record video with a DVR too? All these packages are available at Best Buy, and they’ll help you to feel more comfortable in that new home.


Smart Home Ahead!

Before moving into a new home is the perfect time to have Geek Squad do a free inspection and suggest the best ways to upgrade your home into a ‘smart’ home that’s loaded with automated features. You can then decide if you want to get your home smartened up all at once or do it piece by piece following the priorities that Geek Squad have suggested. In the meantime, though, here are some ideas for making your new home work for you.


Consider Automation

Nest Thermostat.pngMoving into a new house is a great opportunity to add a new Nest Learning Thermostat to adjust temperatures while you’re away and get the home warm or cool just ahead of your arrival. Nest is the best of the best when it comes to smart thermostats and climate control, but there are certainly other picks out there too. The great thing about Nest is it keeps you from wasting energy by learning your family’s routines and adjusting your heating/cooling to match. That’s not only good for the environment—it’s a money saving endeavour too.


Smarten Up Your Lights

Systems like Philips Hue and WeMo (both systems I’ve personally tested and really like for their simplicity and smarts!) offer automated lighting, allowing you to turn lights on or off remotely and automatically, change the colour of the bulbs, and monitor power consumption. Moving into a new home is a great time to look at installing new lighting that (when properly set up and optimized) can save you money in power bills in the long run.

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Here are my quick “Smart Home” moving tips :

  • Start saving boxes from work (or picking up free ones from liquor/grocery stores who usually give them away with pleasure)
  • Plan the location of new smart home devices for the new house; consider getting Geek Squad to do the installation the day you move in
  • Use masking tape to label cables before you unplug them. Pair that with snapping a photo of the backside of components so you’ll remember what went where!
  • Look at purchasing smart home devices like thermostats and lights for the new house to save on power/energy costs
  • Give electronics a good wipe down with a dry cloth so they’re ready to shine in their new home
  • Think about getting a smart lock that installs over your existing deadbolt (and is removable when you move) to grant realtors, cleaners, and tradespeople access to the house
  • As your mail comes every day, make a list of all the people and businesses sending you stuff so you can notify them of your impending address change
  • Purge old stuff—particularly old electronics. Look up an electronics recycling depot to take them to.


Final 411

One final thought on moving: For years I enlisted friends and coworkers, who I bribed with beer and pizza to help me move. Stop doing this if you can. I never felt more grown up than the day I hired movers to cart all my worldly possessions across town. Hiring movers may cost money, but it saves time, aggravation, begging, and hurt feelings (when pals are no-shows, or when someone drops granny’s dishes). Reputable movers are absolutely worth the price.

What’s your moving tip or horror story?  Share your pain (and wisdom) in the comments.


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog TechGadgetsCanada.com