When people think about the stresses of moving house, they often think of the unpredictable nature of the property market, the time it takes to move, and the cost involved. What they often don’t think about is the challenge of getting a teenager to get on-board with the move. This is no reflection on my own children, but teenagers are not known for their tidy bedrooms, so getting your property ready to sell when you have teenagers at home can be a challenge. My top tips will address some of the most common questions around moving house with teenagers and help you to navigate some of the challenges.
- How can I get my teenager to keep their bedroom tidy long enough to find a buyer?
There are, I’m sure, many teenagers who defy the stereotype and keep their bedroom tidy and organised. If, however, you aren’t blessed with one of those, the key here is storage! When it comes to selling a house, you need your buyers to get a feel for the space your property offers. To help them do this, you need effective storage solutions that allow you to ‘chuck it in a box’ and clear clutter away quickly. Underbed storage and cube storage units are a great addition to any teenager’s room. Once the clutter is stored away, you (or your teenager!) will find it much easier to clean.
If you’re really struggling with making your home ‘marketable’ and don’t want the stress of preparing for endless property viewings, you could consider other ways to sell. There are companies that can buy houses directly, without the need for lots of house viewings. You will achieve less by selling this way than you would via an estate agent, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of selling the usual way, it could be a good option.
- My teenager isn’t loving the idea of moving – how can I get them on-board?
Communication can be challenging during the teenage years. One of the biggest difficulties can be helping your teenager to feel heard and understood, so it’s important that you give your child time and space to express how they’re feeling. Perhaps open the conversation by asking about something you know they like to talk about – friends or a hobby can be a good starting place. Show them that you are genuinely interested in things that are important to them.
Consider the practical and emotional implications of the move for your teenager. Try asking a combination of open and closed questions, depending on how your child is responding, to get them engaged in the conversation. Make it clear that you care about how they’re feeling and want to listen to them. Even if they’re not forthcoming with their feelings on the first attempt, make sure they know your door is always open to talk about it.
If your move is likely to have a big impact on your teenager, make sure you talk about your motivations for the move and why you feel it’s the best decision for everyone, including them. ‘Sell’ them the dream of what your new life in your new home will look like.
- My teenager’s room needs packing ready to move, but they’re refusing to do it. Is it invading their privacy if I do it for them when they’re at school?
If your teenager isn’t playing ball with packing their room up, but you’re worried about invading their privacy if you do it yourself, give them plenty of notice before you undertake the task yourself. I say ‘notice’ rather than ‘warning’ because you helping shouldn’t be a threat that’s held over them if they don’t do it. It might be that they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Give them a deadline for when packing needs to have started by and give them three options:
- Doing it themselves
- Doing it with your help
- You doing it whilst they’re at school
By offering these choices, you are giving your teenager some power in the situation. It’s easy for all of us to feel a little out of control and overwhelmed when it comes to moving house, so affording them the courtesy of offering them a choice in the situation should go a long way in keeping channels of communication open.
If finances allow, you could also consider using a professional packing company. Your teenager might feel happier about a stranger packing up their room, or it might motivate them to pack their most personal/precious possessions before the date the professional packers come to the property.