This is part of my Decluttering Toolbox.
Here in the United States, Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 9, 2021. While this is a fantastic time to celebrate our mothers and all they do for us, it’s challenging to find clutter-free gifts.
Here are seven gift ideas for Mom.
Gift idea 1: Lend a hand
Acts of service are a wonderful gift. You could do home maintenance, bring her dinner, or scan photos & important documents. You might help with her garden or digitize old films.
If you’re not sure what she needs, ask her. Say, “Mom, I want to help you for a couple of hours on Sunday. What can I help you with?”
Just remember that this is about her and what she wants. Don’t try to persuade her to declutter. If she asks you to rearrange her boxes of newspaper clippings, then, by all means, do it. And do it with a happy heart.
Gift idea 2: Create experiences
Take Mom out to dinner at her favorite spot. Or take her to a museum she’s always wanted to visit.
If you can’t be with her, get her tickets to something she’d love. Maybe that’s a local play, a favorite restaurant, or a monster truck rally. It could even be a book by her favorite author or an audiobook subscription.
If you’re not sure what she’d like, ask her. You’re not a mind reader, and there’s no shame in asking Mom for suggestions.
Gift idea 3: Share memories
Sharing memories is one of the best gifts. But few people do it.
Send Mom a letter and share a favorite memory. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. A paragraph or two will suffice.
Now emails are easy to send, but don’t send her an email. Handwrite a letter and send it via snail mail. Use stationery if you have some. Handwritten letters mean much more.
Gift idea 4: Record stories
Use your smartphone to record Mom telling stories from her life. Ask her about her childhood and her parents. Ask her about what you were like growing up. Parents always have unique perspectives.
Transcribe the recordings and give a copy to everyone in the family. Consider printing them out and creating a small book.
Gift idea 5: Send photos
Thanks to smartphones and social media, we share numerous photos online. But there’s something special about physical photos that sit on a mantle, perch on a bookcase, or rest on a nightstand. Maybe it’s because physical space is limited, and we only display pictures that mean the most. Perhaps it’s because they catch our eye at unexpected moments.
This Mother’s Day, send Mom a recent photo with a short note written on the back. You might put it in a nice frame, although that’s not necessary, especially if it’ll turn into clutter.
Gift idea 6: Give consumables
Consumables make good gifts because their stay in our homes is only temporary.
- Hand soaps
- Coffee, tea, or wine
- Lotion, flowers, and candles
- Chocolate, cheese, candy, or bread
- Bath supplies for a spa day at home
Just make sure you get Mom something she’ll use. Don’t get her a candle if a dozen unused candles litter her pantry. And if you’re not sure what to get her, ask her for ideas.
Gift idea 7: Support hobbies
My Mom loves to cook and bake. So I might get her a springform pan insert for her Instant Pot. But before I do, I’ll call her and verify she’s excited to use this. I don’t want to send her cooking gadgets that will sit in their original packaging and clutter her pantry.
How does your Mom spend her free time? What tools or supplies would bring her joy? As always, if you’re not sure, just ask her.
So there you have it, seven clutter-free gift ideas for Mom.
Is this list helpful? Is it missing anything?
Shoot me an email at email@example.com with your thoughts.
Thanks to Britton Broderick and Thomas W. for reading a draft of this post.