The greatest gift you can give yourself is time and new tech is often the best way to achieve it.
You don't have to invest much to begin turning your house into a smart home and once you start, you'll probably kick yourself for not starting sooner.
Saving yourself a little bit of time on loads of little things around home quickly adds up, ultimately giving you countless more hours to put your feet up and concentrate on what matters most - relaxing with your loved ones.
Newshub has put together a simple list of eight items you could get from Noel Leeming in whatever order you like to start smartening up your home and allowing yourself extra free time.
No matter what decade your home was built in, buying a few of these will make it feel futuristic. Once they're set up, anything plugged into them can be operated via your mobile phone from anywhere you are, or voice-operated via a virtual assistant. Want the lounge nice and cool when you get up after a long summer sleep-in? No worries: just tell Alexa to turn the fan or air-con on, without getting out of bed, while dozing at the other end of the house. Bliss!
New Zealand is lucky enough to have a very speedy internet, with ultrafast broadband fibre available in much of the country. But having ultrafast internet all around your home is crucial and can save you a lot of frustration. If Wi-Fi is patchy at your place, invest in a mesh system to boost it to every area and you'll be amazed at how much it improves home life.
Give yourself a good night's sleep and make yourself a morning person with a smart light - an alarm that knows how to wake you up the right way. These can be programmed via an app or assistant to turn on and off at set times or on demand, or be dimmed, or even change colour. Once you're used to waking up to a gradual, sun-like light in your room, you'll never go back to a shrieking alarm.
They're also great for slowly winding down in the evenings with a calming amber glow.
Who wants to hunt around for a phone charger, plug it in and then wait for ages to do its job? Having a few Qi fast charging pads set up around the house means you can just pop your phone onto one and continue doing whatever you want to be doing. Of course, you can continue to use your phone while it's charging - so having one in the kitchen means you can hands-free chat or watch YouTube while your phone is charging as you're cooking and cleaning up.
At the press of a button, the Remington Adjustable Waver will heat up in just 30 seconds and offers a range of salon style options. It has five different temperature settings and allows you to achieve multiple styles of wave simply by taking a section of your hair and placing it between the barrels. It also shuts itself off automatically if you forget, so you never again have to turn the car around and race back inside through fear of the house burning down.
Camera tech has come a long way in recent years and is getting increasingly affordable. Kiwis are finding loads of ways to use smart cameras to make their lives easier and more productive, beyond just security. Sticking a few up in different rooms, outdoor areas or around the farm is an easy way of keeping an eye on children, crops, stock or anything you want. Some even have communication features so you can use them to quickly chat with people around your property.
If you do get an outdoor smart camera, investing in getting it solar-powered is a very wise move. This makes it truly wireless and means you'll never spend another cent on powering the thing. Solar panels are clean, quiet and easy to use. You simply mount it, plug it into the camera and that's it - you never have to think about charging that battery again.
If you need to upgrade your fridge, you might not know about just how advanced the options are today. Smart fridges allow you to examine their contents via your phone from anywhere, so you can see exactly how much you have left of everything. Combine it with a smart camera in the pantry and you'll never be left wondering at the supermarket - or annoying someone with a phone call, getting them to run around and see if you have enough milk or bread.
"Kiwis are embracing smart enabled products" says Jason Bell GM Merchandise Noel Leeming. "The growth of smart home appliances means more and more products are in people's homes and businesses. This growth is a sure sign kiwis are enjoying these types of products. People are using the products to do more and get more time back for themselves, and that's a great thing."
If you simply can't decide what to get first, you could let an expert pop over and lend their advice. As a free service, a Noel Leeming Tech Solutions Specialist can visit you at home, discuss with you your budget and needs, then advise on the best way forward.
To give you even more time, the tech specialists can arrange an installation and training session at your place afterwards for a small fee, so you get the new tech set up right and know how to get the best out of it.
This article was created for Noel Leeming.