Welcome to your new apartment! Your smart phone probably helped you find it, schedule the showings, tour it, and look for nearby restaurants. You sent pictures to your friends and family and bragged about it on social media. On the day you moved in, you used your phone to find that nearby pizzeria for your first meal, the nearest grocery store to stock the empty refrigerator, and the utility companies so you can get your cable installed. That analog world is long gone, baby!
From the search, to the packing, to the lugging; moving is daunting. Luckily that next phase, settling in, is much more fun. Once again, your smart phone can deliver a few great apps to turn your apartment into your domain.
Before you splurge on a television big enough to have its own zip code, you probably need to recalibrate your finances. Your rent isn’t the same, your utilities aren’t the same, your commute changed; it can be unclear whether life life became more affordable or more expensive.
Mint is a free personal finance app that will help you forecast and manage your bank account’s ebbs and flows. From the makers of Quickbooks and Turbotax, you can do more than just budget. You can schedule alerts for your bills, check your credit and even learn how to boost it.
Upload your information into the app, squint at it, and see what you can do to your apartment with that treasure chest. Once you’re informed, it’s on to the best part of having a new home; making it yours. Now that you established how big of a television you can fit into your budget, let’s see if there is an app that can help you find the right spot for it in your apartment for it.
You have an empty place. Scratch that. You have a place filled with boxes and random stuff piled up in your living room. You look around and you have a vision. A sofa here. A queen-sized bed there (maybe a king). A coffee table there. It looks good in your head but you’re not really sure what you’re going to find at the store and, when you do see that couch that wants to come home with you, whether it will fit where you hope.
Enter Magicplan. Stand in the middle of your room, slowly turn in a circle snapping a picture every time a corner of the room comes into focus on the app and 360 degrees later you have a floorplan with accurate measurements. You can even convert it into a 3-D floorplan. Then block images of tables, beds, lamps and dressers of different dimensions into your floorplan so you know what will fit and when you’ll need to ask your new landlord to demolish a wall. Now it’s time to shop.
Houzz is a must have app for your new apartment. Browse furniture you can add to your cart and purchase. But if you’re unsure how that bookshelf will look in that second bedroom, tap your screen to open your camera and voila, the bookshelf appears in the camera shot. You can move it, turn it, reorient it; see it every way you can through your phone before settling on an expensive, time-consuming mistake.
Does something require a ton of assembly or heavy lifting? Maybe you need to update your address at the DMV but you know the line is 90 minutes long. And you’re hungry! Because with a new apartment there are new projects, we have another app for you. TaskRabbit is an app that will pair you with a person who will assemble, lift or even stand in line for you at the DMV for a small fee.
Art.com (the App)
You need to do something about those bare walls. Again, we have an app for your new apartment. Browse hangable art you can buy through the Art.com app, but see what it looks like on the wall first. You don’t want to get a picture of dogs playing poker if the shade of brown in the beagle clashes with your curtains!
Speaking of beagle, our final must have app for your new apartment is for the dogs. After you have settled in to your new apartment, have your furniture and décor the way you want it, and your Mint app is not prompting you to sell your collection of antique fax machines, it is time for a break. You found a nice house on the coast to rent for a weekender, but Poochy Magee is not allowed to come with and your old standby dog walker is no longer an option in your new location.
Enter Wag! The exclamation point is part of the name, but why not be enthusiastic? After a few taps on your phone, you are just minutes away from meeting your new dog walker. Poochy Magee will get her exercise, a chance to bark at plenty of cars, and someone different to pick up her business.
If you have any apps you would like to tell us about that make your apartment experience a little easier, please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.