Gather a Group for a Clothing Swap
We all have those items in our closet we haven’t worn in ages but we’re hanging on to just in case. Maybe it’s a beloved pair of jeans that became a bit too small circa five years ago but you know you’ll fit into them again one day or maybe it’s something nostalgic (hello prom dress). Sometimes you need a little push to clean out your closet (and we mean in the literal sense, not in the metaphorical Eminem sense ft. Dido).
Well, we’ve got that push: host a clothing swap. If this concept is new to you don’t worry, it’s simple. Gather all your pals on a certain date and time and instruct them to bring all the items in their closet they’re ready to purge. Clothing, jewelry, shoes, you name it. Once these items are combined and laid out, everyone has the chance to go through it, pick out what they want and the rest can be donated to a shelter. The saying “one (wo)man’s trash is another one’s treasure” has never rang more true.
There’s a number of reasons a clothing swap is a good idea:
- It encourages you along with your nearest and dearest to purge – and the finite date means you can’t put it off.
- You walk away with some great new finds. If your wardrobe getting smaller after a good purge made you anxious, you can now replenish it with pieces you’ll actually wear.
- It’s a ton of fun. You’ll laugh with each other about the items you’ve been hanging on to. Plus, every item of clothing has a story that’s just waiting to be told – bust it out!
- You’ll feel good. We donated bags upon bags of clothes to a local woman’s shelter.
- It’s easy to host, all you need are a couple of key items!
- Reusable shopping bags
- White fabric ribbon (something you can write on, so nothing shiny)
- Glue Gun
- Fabric markers
- A big table or surface you can use to lay out clothing items
- Clothing rack, whether it’s real or makeshift, but something you can use to hang items like dresses and skirts. This will help make it easy for people to go through everything.
- Jewelry stand
- Shoe rack
- Food and drink. More on this in a bit.
There’s no right or wrong way to host a clothing swap, but we’ve been through a couple so we’ve got some expert tips in our back pocket.
- The more people you invite, the more clothing you’ll have collected, so go wide with the invite and encourage friends to bring friends.
- You’ll want to create a couple different clothing stations. Unpack dresses and skirts in one place, sweaters in another, pants in another, etc. The more clothing you’ve got the more specific stations you’ll want to create (i.e workout pants, trousers, jeans etc.). This works especially well if you’ve got a small space and a lot of people as it will help spread everyone out.
- Isolate a space that’s a swap-free zone for people to put their purses, jackets, etc.
- Provide reusable shopping bags so that people can easily collect the items they’re interested in taking home. These bags are also serve a second purpose: swaps can get competitive if there’s some hot ticket items. This will avoid any cut eye from across the room. Make personalized bags by taking the ribbon and gluing as strip across each bag. Each person can then take a fabric marker and write their name directly on the bag.
- Designate a change room, and ideally this wouldn’t be the bathroom (because people gotta pee too).
Now, you never get a group of ladies together without providing some food and drink. Our clothing swap deserved an equally badass drink station, so we created a mimosa bar. It was hands down the most popular station. Get the lowdown on how to set one of these up for yourself here.
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