This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day that provides all of us the opportunity to express appreciation towards our moms. As you’ve undoubtedly been told at one point or another, the best gifts are those that cannot be bought. Using your abilities and knowledge to create and provide something personal can go much further than a store-bought necklace and bouquet.
Here are some ideas that will not only wow your mother, but also help provide her safety and peace of mind.
Tidy Up the Yard
Your mom is a busy woman with a long “To Do” list. Doing something as simple as lawn and property maintenance means she has one less thing to worry about. It also means you are providing for her safety by removing potential hazards and deterring possible criminal activity.
Start by mowing the yard. Research suggests that a tidy yard can deter intruders as it suggests human activity and that someone in the home is capable, able, and pays attention.
As you complete your mowing duties, check for other safety or security hazards. Is the shrubbery so tall that it prevent a clear view of the premises from the street? Trim it back. Are there branches that look as though they may fall during a storm or high winds? Cut them down. Are there dips or holes in the yard that are difficult to see? Fill them in.
Not only will you mom appreciate that her safety is at the top of your mind, she will also enjoy the appearance of a tidy and properly maintained yard.
Clean the Gutters
Gutters are not a decorative asset, they serve an essential purpose to property and help rain disperse water in an efficient and effective manner. When they become dirty or clogged, it can lead to flooding around a property’s foundation, flooded basements, yard and landscaping damage, and even insect infestations.
Now, are you really going to make your mom climb up a ladder and deal with all that muck and dirt herself? Of course not! That said, if you have never cleaned gutters, it is a lot easier that television sitcoms would have you believe. Simply put on a pair of gloves and start grabbing debris. If you see any moss, you can make a homemade mix of 5 parts water, 1 part bleach, and a tablespoon of trisodium phosphate to kill it.
Want to go above and beyond this Mother’s Day? Consider installing gutter guards. These are readily available at every home improvement store and typically come with some pretty simple directions.
Help Protect Your Mom’s Identity
Take a looks at your mom’s home internet. Is her Wi-Fi encrypted? If not, give her a hand and set it up! Encrypted Wi-Fi is one of the most important barriers between your personal information and hackers. If it is already encrypted, check that the password is strong enough that it cannot be easily bypassed. Internet security is similar to home security in that while it may never be perfect, simply being better than the average home is usually enough.
Lights, Locks, and Cameras
Speaking of home security, a great mother’s day gift is setting up your mom with a complete home security solution. Step one is lights. If you’re a burglar, are you going to go for the house that is well lit or the one that is shrouded in shadows. Lights are not expense, and LED lights provide an excellent out door solutions. Installing a time on the lights can also be a great way of automating one of the most essential steps of home security.
You can also check that all the doors on you mothers house have locks that are in good, functioning condition. If your mother has a habit of not locking up, consider an key pad system. These have become relatively inexpensive and are very easy to install and set up. They will automatically lock after a few seconds of the door being close, and can only be unlocked with those who have the key code.
Another home security product that is becoming increasing popular is video doorbells. Products like the Nest Hello, Ring Video Doorbell, SkyBell offer smart, wireless, solution to more complex home security camera systems.
Check for Fire Hazards
Home fires are more common than you may suspect. On average, there are 355,400 home fires in the U.S. every year resulting in 11,670 injuries and 2,560 deaths.
This Mother’s Day, take a moment to check that your mom’s smoke detectors are in good, working condition and that they have fresh batteries. Also take a moment to clean some kitchen and laundry appliances. Dirty stoves, ovens, and dryers all carry an increased risk of fire. For ovens, check for charred food and grease that can ignite. Similarly, check for grease on the stove top or any ignitable items like paper towels or cloth that is a little to close to heat sources. Finally, take some time to clean your mom’s dryer. A lint brush is great for cleaning dyer vents and ducts where lent can build up.
Not only will you be removing a potential hazard, you will also be prolonging the life of the dryer.