Moving your smart home: What you should (and shouldn’t) do

Alex Sheehan
Alex Sheehan
Jul 23, 2019

Remember when smart homes were creepy, futuristic dreams? Now it seems like everyone has some sort of connected device running their household.

But when it comes time to move, it’s not as easy as throwing it all into a box. You have a lot more prep to think about than that. And not all of your home automation devices come with you (sorry!). Here are some smart home ideas and tips for your upcoming move.

Think about what to take and what to leave behind

Smart home tech isn’t always easy to pack up and take with you. Some devices become a permanent part of the home. This is because they’re too expensive (or intensive) to disassemble. For example, you probably shouldn’t go through the trouble of removing a Nest thermostat.

Smart home automation actually adds value to the home and makes it more attractive to buyers. A survey by CNET and Coldwell Banker found that 66% of homeowners would leave behind smart home devices if it meant they’d sell their home faster. This makes sense considering 81% of smart device owners are more willing to buy a home that already has automation tech installed.

Smart home tech you might leave behind could include:

  • Security
  • Lighting
  • Keyless entry
  • Motorized blinds
  • Smart thermostat
  • Automated irrigation

Make a game plan for success with your smart home move

Start by making a list of every smart home product you own. Include important information like receipts, purchase date, serial numbers and other ID numbers. From there, the smart home ideas for your move can be placed in four phases:

  • Disconnecting
  • Packing
  • Moving
  • Storing


Use your list to go through and back up any data or files you have stored on each device. Remove loose media (memory cards, for example) and put that aside.

For devices moving with you

  • Detach cables, wires, accessories and any other “add-ons” so you can pack those separately — you don’t want a wire port to be destroyed in transit
  • Disconnect from power source
  • Remove batteries to avoid corrosion

For devices staying behind

  • Disable your administrative access — schedule it for your move-out date
  • Log out of all your user accounts
  • Reset devices to factory settings

Whether they’re staying or going, let the manufacturer know about your moving plans and any affected devices. You can usually do this by simply logging in to your user account. Remember to leave user manuals and other important documentation for devices left behind.

Disconnect all devices from the internet prior to your move. It’s also a good idea to move your internet services to your new home. Our experts can help move your services for you — all it takes is a single phone call.


Many manufacturers will have recommendations on how best to pack their products. Check user manuals and manufacturer websites first. And if you have it, use the original packaging to bundle up your tech. They typically have inserts specifically fitted to safeguard your exact device.

Keep any important documents and information with each device — things like receipts, user manuals, customer support phone numbers, service and repair documentation, etc.

For anything extra that won’t fit in your boxes, create a separate dedicated box for that. This can include things like cables, cases, plugs, etc.

If you want to go the extra mile for protection against moisture, throw packages of silica gel into the boxes as well.


It’s important to protect your stuff when moving. This means using soft packing materials (especially if you don’t have original packaging) and lots of tape (you don’t want any dust sneaking into ports). You can also use moving blankets or pads.

Consider the climate, too. If it’s hot and humid, silica gel is a must. And if it’s extremely hot (or cold), make sure you properly insulate boxes so they’re protected from harsh temperatures.

Got lots of high-ticket items? You can use a tracker like Tile, Chipolo or TrackR to keep tabs on your stuff wherever it goes. You can also purchase insurance to protect items from both damage and theft.


There are two main considerations for electronics storage:

  • Climate control – Find a storage option that has climate control, especially if you’re storing devices in a location that sees high and/or low temperatures. Cold can cause metal to contract, which weakens any soldering. LCD screens can also freeze and crack. Heat makes metal expand, which also stresses soldering. It can also lead to humidity, which damages electronics.
  • Security – You want to make sure the storage facility has proper security. Is there a key code to get in? Are there cameras? What about on-site security employees? Beyond that, purchase a heavy-duty metal lock that can’t easily be cut. Only give access to the storage unit to those who really need it and you can trust.

Beyond that, be sure to check online reviews of storage companies before signing a contract. This will help you detect any red flags you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Looking for more smart home ideas or ways to get connected after your move? Stay informed on our resource center and get the latest insights from our experts!