Hi. I’m Steph. I have 3 girls (ages 9, 7 and 5) and 2 bedrooms in which they all reside. Like all moms, I am constantly thinking about ways to foster deeper relationships between them while also desiring to nurture each of their unique individuality at the same time. One of the ways we do this is through an Annual Room Swap on July 1st every year.
The idea is simple really – every year the girls rotate beds/rooms on July 1st. Why? Here are three reasons why we love room swapping.
3 Reasons Why We Love Room Swapping
- Room Swapping strengthens sibling relationships.
- Room Swapping is a great excuse to thoroughly clean each room.
- Room Swapping encourages both extrovert and introvert children to be able to share a room with someone and to also be content with having a room to themselves.
Before getting into the details of our family room swap, won’t you humor me for a quick second and imagine the date being July 1st (any year…pick a year)? Our family is getting ready for swapping rooms. I’m decked out in yoga pants, a tshirt and to complete the look I tie a bandana on my head. I pull out our bluetooth speaker and crank the volume up to a slightly obnoxious volume and push play. Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do it” begins but instead of his killer 1995 version, I bust into the room swap version that goes like this (to the tune of This Is How We Do It naturally)…
This is how we room swap
This is how we room swap
La ra ra ra ra ra
This is how we room swap
It’s a performance like none other and my husband and kids are left staring at me with their heads tilted a bit to the side in confusion and perplexed looks on their faces.
Now that I’ve set the stage (and yes, you’re welcome for that little pick me up), let’s get to the details.
This Is How We Room Swap
- Determine the Rotation. For us, we waited to start our room swap tradition until our youngest was sleeping in a big girl bed. After she was out of her crib for a year, we began our room swap tradition by moving our oldest into her own room and our two youngest into the shared room. Then the following year our middle child moved into her own room and the oldest and youngest shared a room. And so on and so forth the rotation continues where each child has a room to themselves for a year and then they share a room for two years with their roommate swapping out half way through.
- Pick a Date. There’s nothing magical about July 1st. We simply selected a date that made sense for our family. You’ll want to be sure you have at least a half day to upwards of a full day blocked off for the room swap.
- Prepare your children ahead of time to prep for when the room swap will happen. Some people love change. Others hate change. It’s the same with kids. Prepare your kids for the room swap well in advance so those who resist change are prepared mentally for the change and can join in the fun rather than feeling caught off guard by the abrupt change in their home environment.
- Choose Beds that Work for Your Family. The type of beds you use for your rooms is largely dependent on the size of your rooms and personal preferences. We have a queen bed in one room and because the shared room is fairly small, we have a bunk bed in that room. (Looking for kids beds? Even better – looking to possibly WIN one for your own home? Read on to hear more about how you can enter for your chance to win a daybed + trundle, a metal bed frame perfect for a kids room or a bunk bed from our friends at DHP Furniture.)
- The day of the room swap…
- Move Out. Okay, brace yourself for a little bit of chaos, but it will be so much better on the other side of the transformation. Set aside one day for the room swap. We start by moving everything out of both rooms. Each child grabs their clothes, individual decor, books, lovies, etc. I’ve made decor fairly simple and easy to move into a new room with very little fuss.
- Clean up. Before moving in, we do a deep clean of each room. Clean out the desk drawers. The side tables. Go through all of the clothes to make sure everything still fits and is the appropriate season. This is your time to deep clean. Have three piles – donate, toss or keep. After it’s all said and done you will be so glad you did this.
- Have Fun. Turn up the music (I’d strongly suggest “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan) and make the whole process fun. If mama is having fun, everyone is having fun.
Note: We have kept bedding and decor similar in both rooms, making our annual room swap fairly easy each year. Each of our girls have a custom poster with their names on it, a personalized pillow, a large framed picture of themselves, a large cardboard letter of the first letter of their name and a cork board with pics of their own choosing displayed. When it comes time to swap rooms, those specific items travel with each of the girls so they always have items that are only theirs that make their room personal to them, regardless of the fact that they swap rooms regularly.
And that’s it! That’s how we room swap.
While I realize that room swapping doesn’t work for every family (for us it’s great because we have three children of the same gender who are all close in age), it’s been a great gift to our family and is single handedly one of my most favorite parenting wins.]