By Dahna M. Chandler
Environmental sustainability, less stressful living, and lower costs are just a few of the many advantages that come with maintaining a mobile lifestyle. These days, more and more things are becoming “swappable” to accommodate mobile living. It’s even possible to cut back on living expenses and the stress of purchasing and lugging around heavy furniture or appliances every time you move.
Furniture rental offers flexible, lifestyle-friendly options exactly when you need them. Choose your items, and they arrive on move-in day. When you decide to move on, send the items back with zero fuss.
Start Your Mobile Lifestyle Right
A mobile lifestyle offers a lot of fun possibilities if you get off to a good start. Think about where you’re going and where you want to live. Organization is crucial to ensure you don’t lose property or miss opportunities, but being systematic in your approach to mobile living doesn’t have to be a drag.
“Keep in mind you’re trading space for lifestyle, which is one reason furniture rental works so well for a mobile lifestyle,” says certified professional organizer Deborah Gussoff of In Order, Inc. “There are many ways to get mobile, stay organized, and safely keep your important documents, property, and memories with you,” she explains.
Making your mementos, music, videos, and documents portable is simple with Gussoff’s suggestions. “Scan albums, audio tapes, and video to MP3 or MP4, and store them in the cloud or on a USB stick,” she advises. “Take pictures of mementos or collections, and put those into a coffee table book or store them digitally,” she continues. “Scan anything from recipes to paperwork to Evernote, Dropbox, or Google Drive, but carry any documents with a seal, like a birth certificate, with you,” she adds. For important papers, portable accordion files and plastic envelopes and sleeves work well.
Gussoff says to get off to a strong start you need to plan your move carefully. “When you’re paring down so you can be mobile, time is your biggest friend, and more time is better,” she explains. If you wait until the last minute, you might have to sell or leave behind items you wanted to keep.
For things you just can’t part with immediately, Gussoff suggests, “Get a temporary storage unit, put them there, and whatever you haven’t accessed in a year, purge.”
Fun and Mobility Are Just an App Away
You don’t need to own your own car anymore, especially if you live near great public transit systems. Great apps like xBus, Transit, and Maps make planning travel by public transportation a breeze.
In most places, you also have access to ride sharing options, including Zipcar, where you rent a car by the hour with gas and insurance included in the price. Ride sharing services like Lyft and Uber are available on an as-needed basis if you don’t want the responsibility of a rental car. These services have easy-to-use smartphone apps to make reservations.
If you don’t require a large screen to watch TV, then cut the cable cord. TV shows, music, and videos are all available in portable forms with apps like Netflix, Hulu, Voodoo, Amazon Prime Video, Pandora, iHeart, and YouTube. In some cases, content is free, and the apps that charge subscription fees are far less expensive than cable. Do the same with magazine subscriptions, and use Kindle or a similar app to download copies to your mobile device.
Accessing content without burning through smartphone data is also an option. “Using a SanDisk ConnectTM Wireless Stick that holds gigabytes of data, you can store files and connect it wirelessly to your phone or tablet for streaming,” Gussoff says. “There also are portable WiFi devices like Skyroam where you pay for the plan you want and get unlimited data for up to five devices,” she continues.
Stay Digitally Safe While Mobile
Safety and security are as important as organization for a mobile lifestyle, especially when it comes to using cloud storage. Protecting your person, physical possessions, and mobile devices is a priority. Smart mobile living means knowing what’s safe digitally and what could go wrong.
For personal security, use apps like LiveSafe and SafeTrek to alert police if you feel threatened. Other apps like Bugle, HikerAlert, and Samsung Galaxy’s Safety Assistance notify loved ones if you need help. Installing a wireless security system with cameras is also an option.
“You want to purchase digital products based on security, not just price, though,” says Derek Kerton of The Kerton Group, a tech consulting firm. “That way, you won’t end up with a hacked wireless camera streaming your private moments online.” Avoid using devices that aren’t password protected, like most internet of things (IoT) electronics. “Anything you connect to your WiFi modem without security jeopardizes everything else connected,” explains Kelton. “When you get any new device, immediately change the default password,” he adds.
Additionally, install digital apps carefully. “Make sure they have great reviews and are from reputable developers and trusted sources like your device’s default app downloader,” asserts Kelton.
Fashion and Furnishing for a Mobile Lifestyle
Carrying and acquiring clothing for your mobile lifestyle is also simple. “Use the 33-Item or Capsule Wardrobe systems to pare down clothes, and rent your formal wear and even your handbags,” Gussoff says. Subscription services like Le Tote and Bombfell for women offer clothing and accessories you can try before buying.
Furnishings are easy too. “Rent furniture that includes storage like shelving and drawers,” says Gussoff. CORT Furniture Rental allows you to choose exactly what you want and return it when you’re done. It’s like a subscription service for your furniture that goes almost anywhere you go.