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The key to solving family nagging is easier than you think

mother and son sweet noting

How Tiny Tweaks Can Make Big Changes, Solving Family Nagging

Have you ever had a situation where your kid (or partner) has done something and you end up saying something along the lines of  “How many times have I told you to not to…”

Or have you ever mutter profanities because when you open the cupboard door it starts a Tupperware avalanche?

Or maybe every morning you go through the same routine and it always ends up with you stressed, the kids in a strop and general bad feeling all round?

Have you noticed that you do the same thing over and over?

Madness isn’t it?

And we all do it at some stage.

I believe that there are two types of people…

The Doers and The Don’ters.

The Doers are those who take stock of a situation, realize it’s not working for whatever reason and try something new.

The Don’ters are those who proclaim that there is no way to change and keep repeating the same cycle, never changing and so staying stuck. Don’ters can often be heard muttering things like “That won’t work for me” or “But my situation is different” or similar. They don’t try and figure out how to change things.

Doers on the other hand sometimes just forget that they can change things up, they just need a nudge, they are willing to mix things up or swap things around.

Which are you? I’m betting you’re a Doer right?

We often grumble about big issues to our friends and family and on social media and sometimes we will get a tip that actually works and sometimes we just need to stop and look at the situation a little more closely.

Here are some examples of small tweaks which some of my clients who are “Doers” made that resulted in a big change, no more family nagging!

pile of dishes and cups

The Fighting Saucepan

The Issue: Anne had to fight with the cupboard every time she needed to use a saucepan, she had them in one of those corner cupboards that are supposed to spin on a lazy Susan type of system but the reality was that it was more of a broken Susan. Every time Anne needed to cook she would end up in a bad mood but the penny hadn’t dropped on why that was.

The Solution: Move the saucepans to a different cupboard

What Anna Said: It was so obvious when you mentioned it! When we moved into the house 10 years ago, we just unpacked and didn’t put much thought into where we put everything. The saucepans stayed there because… they had always been there! Now I’m kicking myself for not seeing the obvious and moving them sooner! And you know what? I’m actually enjoying cooking again, I had no idea that the battle of the saucepans was the trigger for my hate of the kitchen!

The Morning Scramble

The Issue: Getting the girls out the door for 6.30am for school with everything they need! Reduce family nagging to have a nicer home environment.

The Solution: It was just a matter of changing the routine a bit and making sure the girls had everything ready for school before they went to bed to prevent the morning scramble.

What Heather Said: Mornings are great now! We even have time to do things together as a family, like play badminton, some days the girls even take the neighbours dog for a walk. I even managed to finish my coffee before leaving the house!

More tips on dealing with chaotic mornings here

The Dumped Laundry

The Issue: Kids clothes never making it to the laundry basket

The Solution: Leave the lid off the laundry basket

What Jane said: It drove me insane because my son would leave his clothes in a pile close to the laundry basket but not put them in. When Jo suggested I ask him why he told me it was too difficult to lift the lid and get his clothes in at the same time. Major A-ha moment! Now we leave the lid off and the clothes always (well almost) get put in to be washed. I can’t believe how many times I shouted at him for it when all I had to do was ask!

dirty clothes in the laundry basket

The Homeless Schoolbag

The Issue: The boy never put its school bag in its cubby

The Solution: Move the desk

What Claire said: This was one of those idiotic eureka moments! My sons’ desk has a special cubby for keeping his school bag in but he never used it, needless to say, this led to me going off on one on too many occasions. Then I asked him why, and now I feel like a terrible mama, the way we had positioned the desk meant that it was really difficult, in fact, almost impossible to get the bag in and out. We had moved his desk before he had started school, that’s when the problem started. We moved the desk back to where it was originally and just like that, the school bag got put away every day.

If school papers are the issue, check out this post

bundle of keys

The Lost Keys

The Issue: Keys were never where they needed to be

The Solution: Key Hooks

What May said: It was a bit of standing joke in our house that every day at least one of us would misplace our keys,  it wasn’t until I started the Clear The Clutter course and Jo talked about everything needing a home and that it takes 7 minutes to find a misplaced item that I decided to do something about it.

I bought a key rack from Amazon, put it up the next day and the lost key issue has disappeared. Almost, sometimes we still forget that they have a home but most of the time we have it handled. It has really reduced the stress levels too, although we joked about it, there were times when it wasn’t funny, like when we needed to get to the hospital or when my partner had an important meeting he was running late for.

Five very different situations, five very simple tweaks and five very happy outcomes. Trouble is, it sometimes takes someone looking in from the outside to spot the obvious.

picture of happy family

Your Challenge:

What is an issue that drives you crazy? Maybe something the kids or your partner does, what are the family nagging pain points that drive you nuts? Or maybe something it’s like Anne where the problem is how the house is set up? Get clear what the actual issue is.

The Solution: Brainstorm some tweaks that you could make, it might mean doing something physical, like putting up a new shelf or hook, it may be something you need to look at in your schedule, how can you do things differently? It might mean asking your kids for a solution – don’t knock this method, if they can talk they can have an input!

Let me know over in Moms That Rock (our free community) what tweaks you have made and how they worked out. Sometimes they don’t, not to worry, just tweak again! It took 5 tweaks before we found the perfect solution to my sons’ desk chaos! In fact, every time you get that Aghhh not again feeling – take a step back and see what tweaks you can make, once you get into the habit you will be surprised what a massive difference it makes.

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6 Responses to "The key to solving family nagging is easier than you think"
  1. Ursula says:

    I totally love this approach.
    Can not tell you how many times I got seriously worked up about stuff that with little tweaks was easily solved.

    When my daughter was little she had a phase where she started drawing on the wall in her room. No matter how often we told her not to do it – must have been too tempting. (We lived in a rented apartment so just letting her do it unfortunately was not an option.) At some point we bought a huge roll of paper – the ones Ikea sells – and covered a big piece of the wall with that. (Adhered with thumbnails.) Worked like a charm!!! 🙂
    She could happily draw and we did not have to worry about the wall.

    • jo ebisujima says:

      Brilliant solution to the drawing on the wall problem!

  2. Jo Ebisujima says:

    Jacqui Miyabayashi yeah, I think there is a time and place – lads playing outside, yep, plastic it is but sitting down to dinner, then that is a different matter. 🙂

  3. Jacqui Miyabayashi says:

    Jo Ebisujima, one of the big issues here is the indoor/outdoor flow of our home. I often have ten kids sitting on the deck drinking water. And in my defence they were not just brightly coloured Ikea plastic cups!!

  4. Jo Ebisujima says:

    My inner Montessorian was smiling through this, I love they told you that they didn't like using the plastic glasses and that you made the switch. We have never used plastic, except for picnics or when we have little friends around that are not used to handling glass (more for their moms piece of mind!)

  5. Jacqui Miyabayashi says:

    My kids were driving me crazy reaching up to the top shelf for glass cups when all the plastic ones were in reach. They kept telling me they hated the plastic cups and were old enough for glass. Tonight I thought, you know what? Of course you are! (7 and 12 years) As of this evening all the glasses have been moved down a few shelves and the plastic ones (which are very nice ones actually) have been moved to our BBQ / Picnic basket. I can't wait to hear what they say in the morning.

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