Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Host a Clothing Swap

The women's clothing table at my swap

I hosted a clothing swap at my house last weekend. It was easy, fun, and a success! There are lots of different rules and guidelines you can follow when hosting a swap but this one was simple in that there really weren't any rules. Here is the information I sent out in the invitation:

I’m hosting a clothing swap at my house! I would love for you all to come. Here are the swap rules:
  • What do I swap? Bring clean clothes and accessories in good condition (not perfect, just wearable). Clean out your closet and your kids’ closets (even your husband’s closet) and bring what you no longer need. Clothes can be for any size, age, or gender! Clothes with a small tear or stain are okay if you think they are still wearable. Everything should be clean and folded, though. We will sort into piles by age/size and clothing type (jeans, shorts, skirts, etc). Feel free to also bring accessories such as bags, backpacks, caps, mittens, etc.
  • What can I take home? Anything you can use! You are welcome to take any items you need/want. Bring a big bag to take things home in (or I’ll send you home with your loot in a trash bag). I guarantee there will be enough stuff for everyone.
  • What happens to the leftover clothes? I will offer leftovers to friends and neighbors who weren’t able to attend the swap. After that all leftovers will be donated to charity.
  • When should I arrive? The swap starts at 1 pm. Each person can sort the items they bring into the appropriate piles when they arrive. We will start swapping as soon as folks arrive and the piles start growing! If you can’t get here right at 1:00, don’t worry. Just show up when you can between 1 and 4 pm and we will be here.
  • What else do I need to know? I’ll have some snack food and drinks for everyone to enjoy. I’ll bring out the full-length mirrors and we can use the bathrooms and bedrooms as fitting rooms. This is not a fancy event- it will be an easygoing affair!
  • Can I bring my kids? Yes. We have a huge yard and they can all play outside if it is not raining. Sturdy shoes recommended.
Baby clothes for swapping

The Little Girls and Little Boys table (signs decorated by 3 yr old)
I invited my friends, neighbors, and all of the families from my kids' preschool. In the end I only had maybe 7 different families show up but that was enough for a good swap. I think everyone went home with at least one grocery bag of clothes. After the swap was over I sorted through what was left and picked out items for my extended family members and a neighbor who wasn't able to attend. I also had another friend come by and pick out a few things. I will take the rest of the leftovers to Goodwill.

The big girl clothes table was on the patio

The living room was a hub of activity during the swap
My new favorite summer clothes have come from two recent swaps. Mr. Chanclas informed me that I would never let our children wear the same clothes four days in a row so maybe I should give my new dress a break. Hee hee. At least I washed it after day two.

My favorite summer dress, which I got at the clothing swap at the Mini Maker Faire last week.

I got this T-shirt and skirt at my swap
The swap was really pretty easy (the only unpleasant part was cleaning my house beforehand) so I'll definitely host another. I plan to host a swap twice a year- once in spring and once in fall. I'm also considering hosting a separate toy and book swap at some point.


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