How-To: Host a Clothing Swap

We had a Clothing Swap at Stormie’s house this weekend, and it was fun!  Here’s how it works:

Invite a group of your friends to come to your house and bring all of their clothes, shoes, and accessories that they don’t want anymore (and that they would be getting rid of anyway).  Sort and organize all of the items and then tell everyone to choose items to take home….for FREE.  It’s a win-win for everyone involved because they get to clean out their closets, and also refresh it with new pieces without having to spend money!

Here’s how you can do your own swap:

Send out an invitation a couple weeks in advance.  This could be an email, Facebook event, Evite, ect…  Keep in mind the amount of space that you have, and how many women you can accomodate (we invited about 20 women).

Ask the invitees to give their items to you before the swap (depending on how many people, you may need up to a week to sort everything).  This step is very important, and will create a relaxed morning instead of a chaotic one.  You will also be able to make everything super-duper organized and cute before your friends arrive!

Stormie let us use her {cute} house for the swap.  We helped her get some of the bags sorted and folded and she did a great job of setting up, and organizing the rest.

You will need a few tables to put everything on.  You really can’t have too much space for this.  We organized items by category, and then size.

Make the items look attractive and put-together (think boutique!).  Lay out and arrange everything in a cute and fashionable way.  It’s fun to pair up bright colors and find unique ways to hang jewelry or hats.

In the spare bedroom we set up 3 tables for shirts, pants and skirts.  Shirts seem to be the highest quantity item when we do these, so they needed the most space.  It was a lot of work to sort and fold all of these, but as you can see, it is much easier to go through and find what you want!

Oh!  I almost forgot the most important part – food!  You should definitely have snacks and drinks at the swap.  We had ours in the morning, and asked each of our friends to bring a small breakfast item to share.  The food was delish, and gave us energy to do all of that hard shopping;)

After eating and drinking lots of coffee – it’s time to shop (oh, and that brings up a good point – have everyone start looking through the clothes at the same time – no cheaters!)…

It was so fun to watch everyone go through the clothes and take lots of new stuff home.  Nobody walked away empty-handed, and it was a fun morning to get together to chat, eat, and swap!

More thoughts on hosting a swap:

Everyone that wants to take part in the swap MUST donate items.  It’s the same principle of “Take a penny, leave a penny”

We chose to do ours in the morning so that it wouldn’t cut into other activities.  You could very easily do this in the afternoon or evening – whatever works best for your group.

Ask for help!  Don’t try to take on the duty of sorting and organizing all by yourself.  Ask a few friends to come over and help a few days before and it will save you a lot of time.

Don’t “pre-select” any clothing while sorting.  This may be hard, but don’t allow yourself or your helpers to pick items out before the swap.  Part of the fun is getting to experience the swap as a group, and if you’ve already taken everything you want, you’ll just be standing around with nothing to do while everyone else is having fun.

*Hush Hush.  It can be very easy to giggle and scoff when finding a hot pink moo-moo in the pile, but try to remember that you never know who it belonged too (like maybe the person that’s standing right next to you).  I do think it’s totally find to giggle and scoff in your head though, or to your sister after everyone has left;)

Give shopping bags out  to carry loot home.

Have a designated “Dressing Room” available for trying on the clothes they aren’t sure of.

Donate the leftovers.  You will for SURE have items left at the end of the swap – bag them up and take them to the thrift store.  It’s a great way to give back, and can be your good deed for the day:)

Thanks to all of our friend for coming to the swap!  We hope that this will inspire you to have one of your own!