Inner Peace Through Outer Order

Musings from the Zen Organizer

A Dozen Tips for an Organized Mother's Day Celebration

Think outside the box and create a special memory for mom.

A Dozen Creative Ways to Honor Mom

My mother died just weeks after I turned 25.  It used to be a form of torture to look at Mothers Day cards in stores because I no longer had a mom. You may not believe that time heals all wounds but it does give you an opportunity to look at a situation differently. I’ve learned to celebrate all the women in my life who have nurtured me.  I honor those who stayed by my side eleven years ago when I was battling cancer.  My books are read mostly by women and I embrace the task of helping them create nurturing environments for themselves and their families.  Working full time and raising children is no easy task.  I’m honored to help and delighted to think of all those children who will grow up with the skill of organizing as much a part of them as their DNA.  They will help others in school, in the dorm, roommates and ultimately have children of their own.  Organizing is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

Creative Ways to Honor Mom

I am sure your family has time-honored traditions that include brunch, flowers, candy and gifts.  For those who are stuck or wish to add something new to that mix here are twelve ways to honor mom with a little creativity. I’ve tried to think of moms of all ages and stages of life.  I’d be so grateful if you added your ideas to the mix. You never know who will adopt your suggestion and make it a Mother’s Day tradition.

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  1. Does mom nag you about the state of your room or the lax way you approach your chores?  Why not give her a week of cooperation? Perhaps one week will extend into forever?

     

  2. Plant a literal tree in the yard for her or have one planted in her honor. Check out www.arborday.org and get a certificate for mom.  Trees contribute to the health of our planet and live long lives.  What a great way to be honored especially if mom is environmentally conscious.

     

  3. Speaking of the environment when you compost you cut down on your trash output.  If your family isn’t composting as yet why not give mom a ‘starter kit?’ You will find all the details at: www.howtocompost.org. It’s the ultimate in recycling.

     

  4. You can learn a lot about a person by the way she expresses her love.  Is mom always buying cards for you?  Does she plan family adventures? Is she a big believer in gifts?  Take a minute to consider how she loves you and then do something in kind.  Write her a special note telling her all the ways you assume she knows you love her.  Buy her something she would never buy for herself like a beautiful cashmere sweater. You get the idea.  People teach us how they wish to be loved through their actions.  We’re usually so busy enjoying the gesture we don’t stop to realize what’s being taught us.

     

  5. Sneak a peak at the state of mom’s personal care products.  Is she buying the cheapest body lotion to save money?  Is her mascara so old it’s glued shut? Is her nail polish dried up and ready to be tossed? Do a bit of sleuthing and create a kit of fresh items that are top of the line.

     

  6. There is no end to shows that give moms a makeover.  When was the last time your mother had a hair cut in a salon? Does she have regular manicures? Has she ever had a massage? Remind her how much fun those ‘girlie’ activities.  After all one day you’re going to be an adult on your own and you want mom to look beautiful rather than be wandering around wondering when she lost herself. (Beauty schools and massage schools very often have deals if you allow a student to work on you.  They are supervised and ready for the public so check out a school near you).

     

  7. Plan an adventure! Community colleges and sites like Groupon will have fun classes for mom.  From ballroom dancing and a paintball war to hang gliding adventures and zip lines you’ll find something fun for her to do. And if the deal is really good you might even share the adventure with her.

     

  8. Listen to mom.  What does she complain about?  Is she sleep deprived? Does she lack the time to cook? Is she always late? Is the house a wreck? Give her a copy of my book “One Year to an Organized Life.” Tell her you don’t want her  to have to work so hard.  You’ll read the book as a family and everyone will help in the organizing process.

     

  9. If you know a new mom give her the gift of a date night with her husband. Tell her you’ll watch the baby (or the toddlers) while she and her partner kick up their heels.  If you’re flush with bucks send them to a nice restaurant and pay for the meal and the movie that follows. If you want to go crazy give them a night at a hotel!

     

  10. There are mothers all over the world who struggle to create a decent life for their children.  For example check out the incredible work being done by the folks at www.heifer.org. If I were a mom I’d rather get a certificate that tells me my children bought some chickens or an ox that will give a mom in poverty a chance to create a better life than to receive anything you could wrap in a box. It won’t be the right gift for every mom but some will be delirious with pride. Is your mom one of them?

     

  11. Is mom a technological dropout? Get her something fun like a Kindle, smart phone or i Pad. Not being connected today is like saying you don’t need a car because your horse is a fine means of transportation. Make it fun for her to join in. But don’t blame me if she gets addicted to social media!

     

  12. Last but not least forgive her.  Every mom is doing her best and while it’s true sometimes what we receive is less than we deserve it is the best she could/can do under the circumstances.  She is after all the daughter of a mom who may have had no clue how to parent her.  It’s hard to give what you have never received. Maybe the best present of all if you’re older is to share a few therapy sessions with mom.  Clear the air. You’ve got the rest of your lives to create a new and better story.

Tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing remind us that life can change in the blink of an eye.  Making a big deal out of the official Mother’s Day is wonderful but living every day with gratitude for the woman who gave you life and all the women who have sustained you over the years is an even richer idea.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Regina Leeds is a professional organizer and a New York Times best-selling author with eight books to her credit.

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