The Best Gift for Mom? A Clean Home

Husband and sons cleaning

Many moms will want a big brunch, cards, jewelry and a bouquet of flowers on Mother’s Day. But some would rather have a little bit of quiet time or an hour of extra shut-eye than a big celebration. And a break from everyday chores is a gift that moms young and older will always appreciate.

Money magazine talked to a number of bloggers who write about motherhood, and found that the best Mother’s Day gift is basically a day off—meaning zero time spent in the kitchen, and some space to relax. Simple outings can also be good, but only if mom doesn’t have to lift a finger to help out.

One of the most-wanted “gifts” the moms mentioned is a clean house. “My ideal Mother’s Day gift would be my family all pitching in together to clean up the house, do the dishes, fold and put away the laundry, and make me something yummy to eat while I took a bubble bath or read a good book,” moneysavingmom.com’s Crystal Paine told Money.

That comes as no surprise to this writer, who cleans, sweeps, vacuums and organizes some area of the home every time he visits his longtime neat freak of a mother. Since she’s getting older and downsizing, we often declutter and give the extra stuff to ClothingDonations.org, which makes it easy for us to keep the house tidy while contributing to a good cause.

If your mother has allergies, consider a “real” spring cleaning that cleans up the indoor air after a long winter, Huffington Post writer Amy Ziff says. Open the windows and give her potted plants instead of cut stems; they’ll help keep the indoor air clean. Clean under the sinks and replace the toxic chemicals you may find there with natural alternatives.

“Our homes need to become healthy-air oases,” Ziff says. “By conducting a health check-up this (and every) Mother’s Day, we can help our moms, ourselves and all of our loved ones breathe easier.”

Cleaning and decluttering cost very little, and the effort is sure to be one that Mom treasures. Once the place is neat, spotless and fresh-smelling (and you’ve worked up an appetite), you can take her out to brunch or dinner, too!

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