It’s a balmy Friday night after a long, hard day of school, snacks, racing scooters with my sister in the driveway, and family dinner.
Finally, FINALLY, I could sit down, kick my feet up, and wrap my arms around a bowl of sour cream and onion chips as I watched the Disney Channel Original Movie from 1999, Smart House. A classic.
In this riveting tale, a family who recently lost their mother moves into a, well, smart house after being shown a compelling dog and pony show that included walls transforming into ocean landscapes, smoothie making on demand, and floors that can suck up any spill.
Long story short, they buy the house, the house becomes a hover-copter mother to try and take over their lives, and all hell breaks loose- warning my impressionable mind of the Black Mirror-esq perils of home automation, but also establishing a deeply rooted dream of having a smart home of my own in the ~*future*~.
20 years later, and here I am, owner of a smart home. A childhood dream come true. I love it, I love everything about it.
I love being able to say, “Hey Google! Good night!” and go through my own self-care night time routine while my Google Home turns off my TV, turns off the lights in my living room, turns my security system on, sets the thermostat to 65 degrees, tells me what’s on the calendar for the next day, what the weather will be the next day, locks the front door, turns the lamp on next to my bed for 15 minutes, and plays soft rain sounds as I get ready for bed.
I love cracking my eyes open in the morning and saying, “Okay Google, Good morning!” and opening the curtains, making the bed, doing my morning stretches. and brewing my espresso as my Google Home takes care of bumping the heat up to 72 and turning the lights on in the kitchen, tells me about the weather, starts the Roomba, and plays the latest podcast download in my library.
You see, one of the most important steps in The YLIYP Lifestyle Design Framework is to detox your life to create the space, time, and energy you need to integrate what’s truly important to you into your lifestyle.
For example, boring, repetitive tasks slow you down, suck your time, and waste your energy so one way to detox redundant, but essential, tasks that you can’t eliminate, by finding ways to AUTOMATE them. Automating tasks means setting up a system or process that requires little to no action from you.
Often, it requires the use of technology to make this happen and thankfully for us, we live in the AGE of technological advances so it’s just going to keep getting easier to automate your life.
The goal is to have everything flowing and moving productively in your life without you having to manually do anything- it’s all automatic.
That’s why I love the smart home we are creating, It’s fun learning new ways to enhance our ecosystem.
Cool part is it’s nothing crazy fancy or hard to set up, and it’s not outrageously expensive to do this yourself. In fact, you probably already have a lot of the tools you need to put together a smart home.
Making your home “smart” is a very doable way to add luxury and elevation to your lifestyle no matter where you live, and gives you the feeling that you’re being served by a robot butler because something else is completing a series of tasks that you would otherwise do.
Simply using your voice to control so much in your home is also convenient if you’re hands are occupied. What’s also neat is that you can use the Google Home app on your phone when you’re on the go or away from home to control all the synced devices in your home.
MAKE YOUR HOME A “SMART HOME”
I recommend a Google device over something like an Amazon Echo, Google’s rival here, because the Google devices offer more flexibility and compatibility in it’s features.
With any one of those Google Home devices, you can set up a domino effect to begin with just one phrase- this is what Google calls a “Routine” . Talk about automation!
Listed below are the items that you will need to control various items and routines in your home using the individual apps on your phone, or by telling your Google Home to do it for you.
Everything below can be controlled with your voice, for example, you could say “Hey Google! Turn the hallway lights off” or “Turn the house alarm on!” or “Hey Google! Clean my house!” and it happily will do it all!
These are all the products that I personally use and love.
ChromeCast- You can connect this to an existing TV with any HDMI port and it will enable hands free control of your TV with Google Home voice commands
Smart TV – Some Smart TV’s already have the Google Home capability built in and will work with any compatible Google Home device. The TV will use the Google Home device as a microphone to listen to your commands to turn on/off the TV, change the channel or turn up the volume. Just say “Ok Google, turn on TV” or “Turn the volume up to 36” or “Open Netflix” and it will respond to your commands
.Garage Door- Open and close your garage door with your phone (still working on integrating this easily with Google Home, but it really isn’t too much to just control via the myQ app)Light Bulbs– Turn your lamps and lights, anything that uses a light bulb, on and off (ex. Hey Google! Turn the bathroom lights on!)
The Light Switch- This is especially beneficial if you have overhead lighting that can’t use a smart bulb, a ceiling fan, outdoor lighting, or anything else that you control with a regular light switch. (ex. *From Bed* Hey Google! Turn the light off!)
The Outlet– Control anything plugged into the wall with the smart outlet (ex. Hey Google! Turn my curling iron on! or Hey Google! Turn the outdoor Christmas lights off!)
Security System- Use your voice to arm the house. (ex. Hey Google! I’m heading out! *Google Sets Alarm to Away Mode*)
Security Camera + Security Camera Doorbell– These are both nice to have to add onto your security system. The peace of mind to just look at your phone to see what’s going on in a different room or outside your front door is priceless. Once, I even used my SimpliSafe doorbell to provide helpful information to a police officer at my door while I was in the Target parking lot
Thermostat- Ask Google what the temperature is inside, adjust the temperature, and set up a routine that automatically adjusts it for you. For example, we have Google automatically set our indoor temp to 65 when we say, “Hey Google! Good night!”
Vacuum Cleaner- Tell Google to clean your house and it will start your robot vacuum! You can also tell it to send your vacuum back to it’s charging base. Even just having a Roomba without syncing it with Google is SO unbelievably worth it, it’s incredible. Our Roomba vacuums our home twice a day and every time we empty it’s tank it is completely FULL of hair, dust, dirt, and crumbs. And we live in a new house with just two of us! Could you imagine if we only vacuumed once a month? Nasty. Having a Roomba saves hours and hours of time. If you get nothing else on this list, simply get this. Clearly, I am very passionate about this for a reason. It’s amazing.
Door Lock- Never forget to lock the door ever again- this door lock locks automatically, can be locked using your voice, and also can be added to a Routine that’s set up in your Google Home
Overall, the convenience is amazing. Being able to keep all this technology in your home connected through Google Home is a massive step forward for both home and time management. The future is now, home automation is here, and it’s completely accessible!
If you’re looking to upgrade your lifestyle for a little more luxury and time-saving, making your home a smart home is a must. Enjoy!
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