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When you have teenage kids and are getting ready to sell your home, there’s a good chance, to say the least, that their rooms will need some extra attention during the home staging process.

Teens can be messy and have tastes that don’t work with staging a home — their walls can be painted a funky color and cluttered with posters. Plus, lots of teen rooms are crammed with stuff they don’t need that probably should have been removed long ago, like old toys that date back to their younger days.

However, to help sell your home, the room needs to be addressed. Preferably, however, without a lot of drama and arguments. Here’s how you can work with teenagers to get them involved in the staging process without starting a war.

Be Collaborative

Don’t barge into the room laying down the law and ordering them to rip down their posters and throw away their belongings. Sit down and have a discussion about how the entire house needs to be staged, not just their room, and seek their input.

Clear the Walls

Some kids load their walls up with posters, cut-out pictures from magazines, pictures of friends and all sorts of stuff. Anything that’s torn or old needs to be taken down. After repainting the room – which you will almost certainly need to – let your teen choose and hang a few neutral, appropriate framed images. Doing so looks better for staging and the new pictures will make for a nice extra decor touch in your kid’s future room.

Clear ‘Stuff’ Out

Go through their clothes, toys, games, books and other belongings, and figure out what to keep, throw away and donate. Keep in mind, it’s not always the kid’s fault that they have an abundance of stuff, parents can be sentimental about their children’s old clothes and toys too.

It’s very important that your teen be involved in this process. You will have to get tough, especially if they have a reason for keeping almost everything, but just listening to their opinion will help them feel better about the process, and actively participating in it even more so. Most teens are very socially conscious, so, for example, by suggesting they donate things that they no longer need you’ll be putting a positive spin on the project, and they may get rather excited about helping others and doing good.

Discuss the Future

In all the upheaval and planning that comes along with staging and selling a home it’s easy to forget that even though they are growing up and becoming more and more independent most teens have some serious trepidation about moving to a new home. Stripping their room of its ‘character’ and replacing everything with neutrals has to be done, but it may make them feel even worse.

One way to help ease these feelings is to have a proper conversation with your teen about what they might like in their new room in your (eventual) new home. Look for inspirations together, making an evening of it. Not only will this help your teen feel at least a little better about the situation but it’s a great way to spend a little quality time together before the busy work of moving really begins.