Suggestions for 'useful' starting setups?

So one of the questions I keep asking myself is what should I use this for? What I currently have is the hub, 2 motion sensors, open/close sensor, two outlets and an amazon echo and minmote. Looking to maybe expand but really trying hard to think of good ideas where we would actually use the system other then just novelty.

Currently the echo is downstairs and one outlet near the fireplace. The only ‘useful’ thing really I have going on right now is I can have Alexa turn on/off the Christmas tree lights. The only real other practical one I can think of is monitoring the garage door and closing it if both wife and my phone go out of range. What are some other useful starter routines or what not folks have used? I was even having trouble wracking my brain on use for a switch and motion sensor since it is not hard to just turn off a light when I leave a room.

So I guess just trying to brainstorm for good useful things I can do with it that make sense to the wife as helpful and not just ‘cute’.

edit Also forgot we have harmony ultimate home remotes for upstairs and down.

It’s not exactly what you are looking for but I look to this page for inspiration when I attempt to brave another layer of the HA arena.

It has cost me more money then I would like to admit, each visit I make to the page nets about 30-50 bucks on average and takes countless hours of my time. Nevertheless my imagination is grateful for its existence.

Happy Hunting

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Different people approach this differently. There’s no one right way. Here’s how I did mine. :sunglasses:

The thing that helped me was to look at things that I/we were doing manually on a daily basis, and see how our life could be improved by automating it. So now, we have the door unlock when any of us arrive home, turn on the inside light for 5 minutes if anyone arrives after sunset, overhead stair lighting comes on at 40% at sunset, ceiling fan turns on when the heat comes on in the morning (unless no one is home) and goes off when temp is within 1 degree of thermostat setpoint, two HVAC vents close at bedtime and open when temp reaches within 1 degree of heating/cooling setpoint, etc. Also, with many people setting up holiday lighting this time of year, a portable Zigbee or Z-wave switched outlet can allow you to do many clever things.

Be creative and have fun!