Moving in a pandemic has unique challenges — especially if your new place is across the country and you can’t make repeated visits to gradually set things up. And shopping for furniture in crowded stores may make some people uneasy while the Covid-19 vaccines are still being distributed.
If you’re planning a move, you can do a lot of prep work to make the eventual unpacking and decorating go more smoothly. (And if you’ve already made a visit to your new home to take photos and measurements, use that information.) With 3-D models and augmented reality apps, you can lay out your rooms, select a color scheme and even sample virtual furniture, and here’s a guide.
If you don’t have detailed floor plans from the real estate agent or broker, and you have an opportunity to visit your new home, make your own. A tape measure and notebook are efficient and inexpensive, but you should get approximate numbers with your smartphone.
Apple’s Measure app for iOS and Google’s Measure tool for Android use the phone’s camera and augmented-reality technology to calculate distance, so grab the numbers on your room dimensions, ceiling heights, windows, and doors. (Low light and other factors affect accuracy, but you can often get a general idea of the space.)
Google’s Measure app for Android, left, and Apple’s Measure app for iOS use augmented reality to digitally approximate the distance between two points on the screen.Credit…Google; Apple
Room-scanning apps, sometimes used by contractors, are another option. Just follow the onscreen instructions and move your device around to capture the room’s dimensions and create a floor plan. AR Plan 3D, for Android and iOS ($8 to use it ad-free), is one such app, as is the $10-a-month Magicplan. The $8.50 RoomScan Pro for iPhone and iPad is a similar program.
Magicplan is among the scanning apps that use augmented reality to capture a room’s dimensions. Credit…Magicplan If you’re moving into an apartment, take additional measurements of the building’s staircases, hallways, elevator cars, and main doors. You don’t want to find out on moving day that your extra-long couch or snooker table can’t make the turn on the stairs or fit through the door.