Perfect Housewarming Gift Guide: Home Automation

Smart gifts for a smart new home

gift wrapped with pink ribbon

Image source: Unsplash

You go to your mailbox, virtual or snail, and there’s a new announcement from your friends: “We’ve MOVED!” They are now emptynesters, and have even shared a pic of their fabulous new home. You want to get them a gift, but you’re in a quandary. They already had everything, and they sold half of it when they downsized in their “everything must go” estate sale. Do they really need more stuff?  The answer is a resounding YES. Having something new as a way to celebrate a new home is always appropriate and appreciated. 

Make Your Move
If you’re a “practical things only” gift giver, go rogue and get your friends something whimsical! If you’re the type to always give a “not useful, but funny” gift, there are great options that combine slightly hysterical with amazingly handy. And if you’re stuck somewhere between the two, and have no idea what to get, trust me: you’ll find something in the list below that’s right. You’ll know it when you see it. All of a sudden you’ll smile and say, “YES. There it is. They’ll love it.” 

This article is the first in a new series. First up: A few home automation essentials to make your friend’s new life less-cluttered, more controlled, and tastier.

Smart Home Gifts 

1. USB outlet plug

USB outlet plug for smart phone
Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

It’s a hassle to keep track of every USB charge cable and its corresponding “cube” that plugs into the wall.  Hit your local home improvement retailer and head for the electrical aisle. These handy outlets combine standard electrical power with two USB chargers. You can get them in a range of colors, for well under fifty dollars a pop. Your electrician can install them in ten minutes flat, but they are also relatively easy to install for an experienced home-tinkerer.

2. WiFi-controlled appliance plugs

Wi-Fi-controlled appliance plug
Photo courtesy of Home Depot

In that same electrical aisle, you’ll find appliance plugs that are Wi-Fi controlled. They don’t require a hub, or tools to install.  You simply tie them into your existing Wi-Fi network, and download the app. If something plugs into the wall, and has an on/off switch, you can control it from anywhere. Buy one for every lamp, and when night falls, turn them all on with one tap, from the kitchen or a restaurant. Make sure the iron is off from the convenience of your car. It’s a gift of reduced stressed and saved energy!

3. App-connected grill thermometer

Smart phone app-connected grill thermometer

Photo courtesy of Weber

Chances are there will be lots of entertaining in your friends’ new home. Head over to the outdoor section of the store, in the gas grills aisle, for the next thing they shouldn’t live without: an app-connected thermometer! This single-probe meat thermometer monitors food as it cooks. When it’s reached that perfect point of doneness, the app will alert you that it’s time to pull the meat off the grill and get it on the table. 

Traveling, gardening, cooking, tinkering in the garage, even cleaning – there are so many gifts out there that are perfect as housewarming presents for friends and family. We’ll be featuring new ideas regularly, so check back often — you’ll find inspiration soon!

Louise Gallup-Roholt has been a corporate project manager, room designer, remodeling contractor, award-winning television writer/producer, chef and author. She now writes about all those subjects that intrigue her and more. 

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