Written by Jacob Sigala
Much like us, you’ve probably been hoping that technology would catch up to the likes of the Jetsons– especially the part about the house that essentially does the living for you. How enticing does it sound to have a robot that does chores for you, a shower that showers you, and a closet that dresses you to the nines every day? Admittedly, we’re still a few years away from perfecting this technology, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that our homes can’t be improved with what is currently available. In the words of The Six Million Dollar Man, “we have the technology,” we can build a better home. We asked our friend, Erin Vaughan, over at Modernize.com to give us tips on bringing your apartment into the 21st century.
Install a Charging Station
Your iPhone, your iPad, your computer, your work laptop—all those cords can really get in the way sometimes. Modern furniture makers, like IKEA, feel your pain, and have developed snazzy side tables and floor lamps with wireless chargers built right in. Since all of them support the Qi wireless charging standard, you should be covered, no matter your preferred OS.
Buy a Better Coffee Maker
Have trouble doing virtually anything before you’ve swilled your first cup of joe? You’re not alone—that’s why buying a device that can make you a hot, fresh pot on a dime is key. For a high-tech cup, the Smarter Coffeemaker connects to your phone to get a brew going without you ever having to leave the bed (well, besides to get up and drink it, that is).
Install a Smarter AC Unit
Nobody knows the pain of a feeble AC unit like apartment dwellers. Thankfully, now you don’t have to stick your head in the freezer to cool down. The Quirky Smart Window Unit learns your cooling habits and turns the air up automatically when you tend to use it most. It can also connect to the GPS on your phone and turn off when you’re gone to help you keep your energy bills reasonable.
Unlock Your Door With Your Finger
Nothing sucks like locking your keys in your apartment—and not all of us have neighbors that are trustworthy enough to hold a spare set. The Kwikset Kevo lock eliminates that problem altogether, by allowing you to open your door with a touch of your finger. Of course, your apartment manager might not like you switching locks on them, so make sure to talk them first before you install.
Protect Yourself from Bugs
If you’ve lived in an apartment for any length of time you’ve probably encountered—or know someone else who’s been affected by—a bed bug infestation. These hard-to-beat insects are practically an epidemic in some places and can live in your mattress or upholstery undetected. A mattress pad will keep your bed bug-free, but they’re not always the most comfortable. However, Luna’s smart pads are warming, and they’ll keep you sleeping longer and deeper.
Purchase a Portable Light
Dark, dim apartments are more than just a nuisance. There’s solid evidence that too little light can have a huge effect on our mood and overall outlook. Unfortunately, they’re all too common on the rental market. But you can drive out the darkness with the Hue Go portable light that’s a lot easier to move around than a clunky lamp, and can be controlled with a tap on your smartphone.
Ditch Your TV—Use an LED Projector Instead
Everything looks better on a big screen. But when you change apartments frequently, lugging and remounting an awkward flat screen can get old. An LED projector is a lot cheaper and can go anywhere—from your friend’s house on movie night, to even outside on the courtyard for an impromptu showing of the latest Game of Thrones. Most models can connect directly to your laptop, which will keep you up to date on your favorites, no matter how many times you move.
Forget About Your Standup Vacuum
Those off-white, ubiquitous carpets so notorious in apartments can get dirty fast. But standup vacuums are tiring, hard to maneuver, and represent just one more task on your to-do list. That’s why purchasing an automated vacuum for your apartment is such a good idea. Cheaper models will run you less than $100, which is a small price to pay to knock one of your weekly cleanup jobs off your list.
Invest in a Countertop Dishwasher
If you live in an apartment with a working and effective dishwasher, consider yourself lucky. If not, then a countertop dishwasher is a godsend. Most hook up to your sink, so you don’t have to worry about a laborious installation process. Just set them on the countertop, and banish hand washing from your life.
Purchase a Portable Washer
Another common apartment complaint is that your complex won’t invest in a washer or dryer—or that the public washers are outdated, require you to scrounge for quarters, or subject your favorite shirts to petty theft. Luckily, we live in the best century ever, washing-machine-wise—now there’s even a portable model. Use it in place of community washers and get your laundry done from the comfort of your own unit.
With these intelligent tech integrations, apartment living can be cozier, more convenient, and most of all, smarter!