Moving Apps Can Do Some of the Heavy Lifting
Moving to a new apartment or home can bring an untold amount of stress. After all, there’s lots more to it than throwing your stuff in boxes and loading it on a truck. According to Movers N More, 10 percent of people moving to a new home suffer from hair loss because of the stress; 14 percent have short-term memory loss; and 19 percent exhibit anxiety symptoms during the move. Moving apps and other technology can’t do the work for you, but they can ease some of the stress.
“Today we have a proliferation of smartphones that allows people in real time to choose and book a service,” said Alex Levin, vice president of expansion at startup Handy. “The second change (for the moving industry) is a consumer base that is now very used to paying for services or products online. Twenty years ago, there weren’t an Amazon or the Internet where you can get the exact price you pay for something.”
From moving apps that keep you organized to services that unpack everything for you, here’s a look at four startups that are using technology to alleviate some of the pain points of moving.
Sortly lets you sort your stuff
Unless you’re organized, moving can quickly get out control, particularly if you don’t label the boxes or don’t track the contents. That’s where Sortly, the self-proclaimed “ultimate organizer app” comes in.
The brainchild of Dhanush Balachandran, the founder and chief executive of the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup, Sortly helps you organize your belongings with QR enabled labels you stick on your boxes, giving you a digital record of what’s is inside. There’s also a checklist built into the app so users can make sure their moving bases are covered.
“With the QR labels you don’t need to write on the outside of the box. Take a photo of the contents, put the label on the box and scan it with your mobile phone to see what’s inside,” says Balachandran. “Once the labels are created they can be uploaded into Excel or PDF so you have a photo record of the contents.”
Sortly has been around since June 2012, focusing on the moving side of things because of the headaches that come with relocating, Balachandran says. “Moving is one of the most stressful times and if you are a little bit unorganized it creates a lot of it,” he says.
Moving apps: Handy gets you move-in ready
Whether you’re an old hand at moving or it’s your first experience, chances are your new place or old one is going to need some repairs. Time-crunched people and the home improvement challenged have a new way to get their last minute fixes done: Handy.
With a few taps of your smartphone, you can hire a handyman to unpack and organize your things, mount the flat panel television and a host of other chores. The by-appointment service costs $60 an hour. New York city-based Handy also has a move-in home cleaning service that costs $25 an hour and a New York City only storage service that starts at $49 a month. Handy will even get you mail forwarded for a $1. “With Handy you don’t have to coordinate six different schedules with six different people,” Levin says. “Everything is one service that is available on the Web or on the app.”
Dolly lifts things when you can’t
For first-time movers, there won’t be a lot to cart away, but there could be one or two heavy items that can’t be moved. That’s where Dolly comes in. Seattle-based Dolly lets you hire someone to move things for you. Using the mobile app or Internet site, users tell Dolly what they need moved, where it’s going and then pick a time for the move to happen.
Dolly relies on an in-house built algorithm to give real time price quotes based on the uniqueness of the move. The service is currently available in five cities, but Chief Executive Mike Howell says Dolly has national and international ambitions. “We started Dolly as consumers that were frustrated by the lack of innovation and technology” in the moving industry, Howell says.
Letgo helps you get rid of old things
The upside of a move is the opportunity to get rid of old stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. Instead of trashing it what not make money off it? Letgo helps you do just that with its mobile local buying and selling app. What may be your unwanted goods is someone else’s treasure.
Selling stuff on moving apps such as letgo means more cash for the move and less boxes to haul. “letgo is an easy way to sell the coffee table that doesn’t match your new place or the TV you want to upgrade,” says Jonathan Lowe, a spokesman for the New York and Barcelona-based startup. “It only takes a few seconds to post something for sale with the app. Just take a picture and letgo’s technology does the rest.” According to Lowe, the average home in the U.S. has 52 items worth $3,100 that go unused.