How to move with your smart home devices

Our safety expert, Rebecca Edwards, moved her smart home full of gadgets. So we’re sharing our secrets for taking your smart home with you.

Rebecca Edwards
Security Expert, Safety & Tech Reporter
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Published on October 25, 2021

Setting up your smart home gadgets takes time and experimentation. And now that you’re comfortable with your smart home routine, you have to move to a new place. If that makes you feel like you might have a heart attack, take a deep breath.

Our safety expert, Rebecca Edwards, recently moved all of her smart home devices from her old home to a new one and was pleasantly surprised that it was not the nightmare that she expected.

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1. Keep your router and network name (if possible)

You might be dreading boxing up all your smart plugs, smart speakers, smart light bulbs, and cameras for your move. But if you can keep your router and network name, the process will be much easier.

When Rebecca got into her new home and started breaking into those boxes and plugging her devices back in, she was thrilled to see that they all recognized the network and automatically reconnected themselves.

You can use the same router, network name, and passwords for your old devices at your new home. But make sure your collection of smart devices are secured.

Notepad
For stuff you can't take
If you can’t take your router with you, or you’re going with a new internet service provider, keep your old network name and passwords while setting up your new place. For devices like smart locks or thermostats built into the home, give them a factory reset and cancel your monitoring (if you pay for it) before moving. This will make the devices ready for whoever moves in next.

Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

2. Add labels and make a list

If you've got your setup where you want it now, the easiest way to replicate it in your new digs is to get yourself organized.

Whether it's a smart hub or just simply the home network, make a list of all your smart home devices, including their names, passwords, locations, and what else they're connected to.

SafeWise How To Move Your Smart Home list

Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

This gives you an inventory list and map of your smart home stuff, making it easy to recreate in your new space.

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What do we mean by "device name"?
When we talk about device names, we don’t mean the name on the box. We mean the name you gave it when you set it up. So, if you called it, “Bedroom light,” make sure that's what you name it in your inventory list.

Disconnect your devices

Now that you have your inventory and map, it's time to plan. We recommend making a checklist so you don’t miss any important steps.

You might need to unpair and reset your devices.

If you need to connect the devices to a brand new smart hub, a security system hub, or a home network, you're going to need to unpair them from the old network—especially if you're taking that same router.

Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

So, this defeats the purpose of doing it the easy way, but it's still an important step. Some devices might also require you to reset the device to the factory settings before you're able to pair it to a new hub or network.

This is getting more and more rare, so hopefully, if your smart devices are new enough and your firmware and everything is updated, you won't need to take this extra step.

Box and label by room

Boxing and labeling everything will make setup at the new place much simpler.

Getting the right smart plug in the right room on the right floor means that you won't have to rename or repair anything if you connect them all to a smart hub or speaker.

3. Install smart hubs first

Once everything is ready to be reconnected, you're going to save yourself a lot of headaches by setting up any hub-type devices first.

Setting that up first means all your plugs, lights, and everything else can automatically connect to the hub or smart speaker instead of setting them each up individually, and then going back and setting it all up again.

4. Go room by room

After you've set up your hub, set up the rest of your devices and go room by room. You can use your handy-dandy map to help in the process.

It's easy to know which devices go where and make sure that each item is in the room and on the floor that it belongs to.

“I have two floors and two Google Homes, so I made sure that I set up the Google Home that runs each floor first and then went room by room and set up those devices.”

—Rebecca Edwards, Safety Expert, Product Tester
Smart home devices in boxes

Rebecca Edwards, SafeWise

Final word

With a little planning and preparation, you can replicate your old smart home setup at a brand new address. Your smart devices only need a stable Wi-Fi connection to work on their own. When matched with a smart hub or speaker, you can create automations that will make your new place feel familiar.

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