Good houseguest presents?

The 5/7 of us have been living with my mother-in-law for the last two months while we were remodeling our house. It’s gone surprisingly well ( I only made her cry once. (That I know of.))

Besides restocking all of the general items that we’ve used, and some minor upgrades (new shower curtain, etc.) does anyone have any suggestions to show her our appreciation?

We are really thankful, and I am sure you guys can come up with some great ideas.

Money? Gift cards? Something on her Amazon wish list?

Well, the first recommendation I would make is something returnable or re-giftable, because, well, you might be wrong. But that’s no fun, is it?

Stock her freezer, if she has one, with fancy cuts from a butcher.
Buy her a farm share, if she can pick it up and likes to cook and can.
Fill her oil tank - again, if she has one, very important in this case.
A night at a charming B&B, or elegant in-town hotel, what ever she likes.
Wine or coffee of the month club.
Really high quality sheet set (which is NOT the same as the most expensive)

Leave her vehicle(s) spotless and full of gas.

Offer to have one of her rooms repainted for her. (Of course, you could do it yourself!) Make it clear you’ll also do all the prep, furniture removal/re installation, (under her supervision!) cover the flooring, get the drapes cleaned etc.

I think most everyone would love such a gesture, fresh paint, with no muss, fuss or exertion for homeowner. Older folks often put it off because of the work involved in prepping and reinstalling everything is just too much bother.

She’ll probably enjoy it for a really long time, too!

As far as I’m concerned, nothing says “thank you” like tons and tons of BOOZE.

I like this one; 5 - 7 people for two months probably put a lot of wear on the house.

In five to seven months did you notice anything she needs? (other than the shower curtain) Around here, you’d notice that I haven’t bothered to replace my non-stick cookwear and could use a new set. And my dishes are starting to chip up. Being cheap, I haven’t done either of these things yet, but both will need to be done.

I like the idea of repainting a room or having repairs done (fisha, you are a general contractor aren’t you?)

I like the freezer full of food idea. But… How about a full house carpet cleaning? As long as she would not take offense (your house is dirty) or feel it was intrusive.

Two months of 5 - 7 additional people? Her house, or at least her carpet, IS dirty. Very good idea.
(Again, it’s very important to verify she actually has carpet first.)

My idea; go around and replace all of the existing incandescent and CFL bulbs with LED ones. A couple of hundred dollars will replace at least a couple dozen bulbs. If she currently has incandescent bulbs, she’ll probably see a drop in her electric bill, and if she has CFL bulbs, she’ll probably like the light quality better.

These are some great suggestions, I knew you guys would have some good ideas.

She already has a cleaning lady, but the carpet cleaning is good.

Painting is pretty decent as well. Maybe we could update her guest bathroom. (Yes, I am a contractor.) Only problem with painting is she is from that generation that must wallpaper all walls, so it’'s a pain in the ass.

You have given me something to think about.

Since you’re a contractor, make any repairs to her house that you can. Is her plumbing ok? Electrical? Porch or deck problems? What’s old and needs replacing? For someone who lives alone, especially if she’s older, the peace-of-mind is priceless.

I am very territorial, and if a houseguest replaced all my lightbulbs, I think it would upset me. Make sure to clear any changes with her if you think that might be an issue. (or make changes you can undo, like don’t throw away the old light bulbs until she approves of the change.)

“It’s a pain in the ass!”

Time an like having house guests underfoot for several months?

Also, she should get to choose which room, not you! In my opinion, anyway!

Take her out to lunch or dinner.

Cash. Assuming you haven’t been paying the bills like water, sewer, electric, food, etc… (which I hope you have).

Having extra people in the house not only puts wear and tear on the house, but the utility bills are insane. Hallgirl2 and the SIL and grandkids stayed with me over the summer until they could find a house–about two months–and during that time, my water and electricity bill were through the roof. Even after they moved out, I got the bills that were more than double what I usually spend. Let me tell you, that was not in the budget. Even though they bought the food when they were here, those utility bills…

Move out as soon as humanly possible. No greater gift can a houseguest give.