The last year has been extremely challenging, to say the least. As an understandable result, you feel more tired than usual and you are looking for ways to save time and cut back on some of the work you do around the house.

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One great way to do this is by investing in some home automation devices. Basically, these products can be activated and monitored through a smartphone, tablet or computer that is connected to the internet. For instance, when you had coffee last week with your friend on her patio and she used an app on her phone to turn off the light in the kitchen, that was home automation at work.

Now that you know you want to automate your home, it’s important to choose the perfect setup for your own house and lifestyle. As for tips on how to do this, consider the following words of advice:

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Think About Your Lifestyle

Before you buy any smart home devices, walk through your home both inside and out and jot down what you’d love to automate and/or the tasks with which you’d like some assistance. For instance, if you are tired of constantly circling the block to see if you remembered to close your garage door, a smart garage door that you can monitor and control from anywhere—and get alerts if it’s been left open—would be a perfect place to start. Or if you are tired of manually turning on the sprinklers, automating the landscaping is a logical choice. For those times when you are at the store and you cannot recall if you are out of eggs and cheese, you might love a smart refrigerator that you can actually see the interior of from your phone—how cool is that? Other ideas include a home security system, smart thermostat and smart lighting.

DIY or Professional Installation

Another thing to consider when choosing home automation products is if you want to do the smart home installation yourself, or have professionals take care of it for you. While many homeowners would like to take a DIY approach vs professional smart home installation option, you do have to be careful that you are doing everything correctly. For instance, in the list of pros and cons of a DIY smart home, a definite con is that your smart devices may not be fully compatible. Double-checking with a professional when you are shopping for home automation products can help ensure that you are not only getting the correct items, but can help you decide if it’s worth doing the work on your own or not.

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Know and Respect Your Budget

There are so many amazing home automation products that are available, it can be easy to go a bit overboard purchasing a variety of devices all at once. While this may make your home incredibly smart, it may be a less-than-intelligent decision for your bank account and credit card balance. Prior to shopping, prioritize which devices you want to buy first and set a strict budget. Remember too that some systems, like home security, may require monthly service charges. Also, keep in mind that you are not in a race to make your home automated; there is nothing wrong with buying a new device as the budget allows, and then saving up for the next one.

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Enjoy Your Smarter Home

There are a number of solid reasons to invest in home automation devices, including saving time, money and stress. By considering your own needs and talents in the DIY realm and then taking an honest look at your budget, your home will become smarter, in a really smart way.