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Tags: apps | evernote | nextdoor | taskrabbit | unpakt

New Tech Could End the Moving Nightmare

New Tech Could End the Moving Nightmare
(Laura Ballard/Dreamstime)

Larry Alton By Wednesday, 20 June 2018 03:22 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Moving is rarely fun, but it might get easier in the future, thanks to the assistance of some up-and-coming technology. Given that the average person moves 11.4 times in his or her lifetime, the odds are that you have another move in your future.

Moving requires planning and coordination well before the heavy lifting of belongings from one location to another. It often interferes with your daily responsibilities, from your job to your family obligations.

But here’s the good news: a fleet of apps, tools, and even transportation equipment has the potential to solve those issues.

Areas of Development

Here are some of the biggest developments that promise to reshape the traditional headache of moving to a new residence:

  • Finding help. You probably don’t want to handle the entire operation by yourself. Multiple services have cropped up to help homeowners find the appropriate solution for coordinating and tackling the eventual move.

    For example, there’s Unpakt, an app that helps you book your move with a moving company online; it connects customers to local moving companies and allows them to comparison shop.

    There are also apps like TaskRabbit, which can connect you with amateurs who are willing to help you move for a reasonable hourly rate.
  • Move-in Support. Apps like InMyArea attempt to help homeowners with the logistics that come to the fore once the move is completed. In many areas, you’ll have your choice of Internet, cable TV, utilities, and even home security.

    InMyArea organizes these options and shows homeowners the best deals so they can easily decide which providers to go with. Other apps focus on the social element of moving in. Introducing yourself to the neighbors and getting a feel for the neighborhood can take lots of time, but Nextdoor tries to make that process much smoother.
  • Online Coordination. It’s also worth discussing the sheer power of online documentation and communication, for coordinating multiple issues that can arise during the moving process. For example, you can use a note-taking app like Evernote to keep tabs on the companies you’re using and maintain a strict schedule so your move doesn’t get delayed.

    Or you can keep a laptop handy during the week leading up to moving day, so you can keep working while you also keep an eye on the house.
  • Autonomous moving trucks. Autonomous moving trucks may sound like an image from the distant future, but this technology could be closer than you think. Already, entirely automated trucks have been running refrigerator deliveries between Texas and California, thus proving the capabilities of self-driving technology when it’s applied to heavy transport.

    Many issues still need to be resolved before autonomous vehicle technology is apt to made publicly available, not the least of which is navigating the legal hurdles, but once they hit the roads for good, your move could become far less expensive.

The Limitations

To be honest, however, some moving processes are unlikely to be fixed with technology any time soon. For example:

  • Costs. No matter which app or service you select to coordinate your efforts, moving will inevitably remain expensive. The fuel costs of moving heavy things, especially across substantial distances, always add up quickly.

  • Decluttering. Apps probably won’t ever be able to help you make the subjective and inherently personal decisions that lead to decluttering the house and reduce the quantity of belongings you’ll have to move. Future apps may be able to offer guidelines that identify the likeliest items you can part with, or guide a homeowner through the basics of the decluttering process, but they will never do the work for you.

  • Sorting and organizing. Apps and automation also can’t swiftly or easily categorize many of your items. Near-future gadgets and apps may be able to tell the difference between silverware and books, for example, but they won’t tell you which items you’ll need to have readily available at your new digs, and which ones might be packed in long-term storage.

  • Physical relocation. Already, there are robots available to consumers that can hold simple luggage items or personal belongings and follow you around. They’re designed to assist shoppers get the materials they need without bogging them down.

The problem is, so far such robots don’t have the ability to tackle large items, or even to move small containers efficiently. Large-scale industrial machines can shift heavy items with relative ease, on the other hand, but they are too simple in their operational capacities to be useful for a house move.

New tech is making the moving process more efficient, but some significant challenges remain to be overcome if we can proceed on that trajectory. Automation and organizational apps can only take us so far before robotics will have to be able to replace the human element.

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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New tech is making moving more efficient. Some significant challenges remain to be overcome if we can proceed. Automation and organizational apps can only take us so far before robotics will have to be able to replace the human element.
apps, evernote, nextdoor, taskrabbit, unpakt
Wednesday, 20 June 2018 03:22 PM
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