If you’ve got spring cleaning fever like we do, then you know that there’s just something about the change of weather that makes us want to get things clean and organized so we can enjoy our homes and families.
Turns out, there are a bunch of cool gadgets that can help with that too, not to mention make your life a easier and less stressful, which is something our newest sponsor The Genie Company knows all about. Their new SilentMax Connect garage door opener with built-in wi-fi technology allows you to monitor and operate your garage door from your mobile device. So no more worrying about whether you left the door open or not after you’re halfway to work. Awesome!
On their behalf, we’re sharing 6 smart home tech upgrades that we think are totally worth the money. So as you’re clearing out your home, consider adding in these gadgets.
We can’t emphasize how helpful gadgets like the Amazon Echo or Google Home can be for busy parents. Sure, it’s nice to be able to ask them the weather, or the answer to a homework question that has you all stumped, but there are a ton of truly helpful tasks that help make them even more functional. How about organizing your grocery list for you, then syncing it with an app on your phone so it’s all where you need it to be when you’re at the grocery store? Or, giving you calendar reminders so you won’t, yet again, miss another Reading Olympics practice? (Is that just us?)
Smart vacuums and floor cleaners
There’s a reason why everyone you talk to who owns a smart vacuum, like the Roomba or Neato, can’t stop gushing about it, probably because it eliminates one of the most annoying chores. Just schedule it, and the smart vacuum or floor cleaner does the rest. And while it can’t get to every single nook and cranny (nor can it climb steps — well, not yet anyway), it’s tough for humans with a handheld vacuum cleaner or mop to do that too, and our guess it will save you a whole of time every week that you’d much rather have back to do other things.
Smart garage door openers
We’re pretty excited about smart garage door opener technology because it’s such a simple way to add smart tech to your home without a huge investment. Take the new SilentMax Connect from our sponsor The Genie Company, which allows you to monitor and operate your garage door from a compatible smart device with their free downloadable app. That means no worrying about who has the garage door opener, or which car you left it in.
And we love that the set-up is super easy, which we busy parents can appreciate.
You can check to see whether you did, in fact, close the garage door, schedule it to close at a certain time, even grant temporary or permanent access to friends or family who might need it, which is perfect for babysitters, pet sitters, or anyone you don’t want to have to worry about getting a key to (and back from). For us, that’s slightly forgetful tweens and teens.
And this model in particular is ridiculously quiet, which has us wishing we had had the SilentMax Connect when our kids were babies, though it’s still so handy with sleepy teens and tweens too, who can now get in and out of the house on their own.
If you’ve looked at your energy bill lately, then the idea of saving money might pique your interest. With a smart thermostat, like the popular Nest or EcoBee, you’re getting a much more accurate reading overall, not to mention the ability to set temperatures for times of day, and then leave it alone, allowing it to adjust automatically for when you’re out of the home, or asleep at night. Because if you’re like us, you inevitably forget to change them manually. And hey, if you want to do that, you can, right from your smart device.
In recent years, they’ve gotten even more sophisticated, with the option to add sensors in other rooms so you can get a better sense of each room’s temperature versus the entire house, even learning your habits and adjusting accordingly. And while the price tag on these gadgets is definitely on the higher side, there’s a good chance you’ll see a return on your bill every month.
We’ve sung the praises of smart bulbs, like LIFX and Philips Hue, over on Cool Mom Tech, and not just because we don’t have to keep telling our kids to turn off the lights over and over again because we can do it (or they can) with our smartphone. They’re great for when you need a visual cue that it’s homework time, or bedtime, not to mention when you’re out of town and want to make it look like someone’s home. No more having to set timers or ask a neighbor to come over to turn lights on and off for you.
With a smart lock installed, like Kwikset, you can say goodbye to house keys, something that we tend to lose more often than we’d like to admit. Don’t even get us started on how often our teens misplace them. By controlling your lock with a smartphone or gadget, you’re able to let people in when you’re not around, like a babysitter or petsitter. Depending on how much you can spend, smart locks can be voice activated, and can even assign privileges for certain people.
Thanks so much to our sponsor The Genie Company and their new SilentMax Connect garage door opener that really does help make life easier and less stressful for parents so we can enjoy more time with the people we love.