Sometimes, Mother knows best.

My mom, prior to becoming a pilot, was a schoolteacher. Until she recently retired, she owned and operated a flight safety consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland, and truly has found her calling. She stayed true to teaching and trained international corporate flight crews how to be safer in the air, providing manuals and on-site programs.

Growing up, my working mother always had a plan. A plan for her day, her week, and the days beyond. She is the oldest girl of a 16-kid family, and had early practice at running a tight ship, and she taught my sister and me to do the same. Here is a list of what stayed with me as I grew up, straight from the boss lady herself:

  1. Find a home for everything, and leave it there until you need it again.
  2. Once you are done with something, put it back. No exceptions!
  3. Don’t put anything on the floor… ever! Except furniture and pets. They’re okay.
  4. When you start a new activity, clean up the old one first.
  5. Label everything you store. Everything!
  6. Write dates on the back of your photos before storing them. Even if you think you’ll remember the date, chances are you won’t, so take a few seconds and just do it.
  7. Clear plastic bags are a great way to store everything small. (My mom loves these.)
  8. Don’t dilly-dally. Do quick tasks now, and get it done.
  9. Set up chore lists for your kids and make sure they are done. Teach your kids responsibility, good habits and consistency now and they will thank you for it later.
  10. Did I mention not to leave anything on the floor?

There you have it. If your mother also taught you some or all of these things and you didn’t quite listen, give her a call and say, “Thanks, and… can you come over soon? I need a refresher.” If she’s anything like my mom, she’ll appreciate the chance. Just don’t take it personally if when she goes home, you discover the furniture isn’t where you placed it originally. Hey, it probably looks better this way, anyway.

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