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Swap Till You Drop!

By Molly Kaye

clothes swapPicture it: you’ve decided to sort through your clothes, and get rid of the ones you don’t wear.

You start thinking things like: “I can’t get rid of this – I wore it to my birthday dinner” and “Seriously, I lose 7 more pounds, and this will look great” and of course, “But, I spent so much money on that!”.

And then you don’t get rid of any clothes, and one morning, your closet explodes and you are buried under the wreckage of clothes you haven't worn since 2003. Okay, maybe the last part hasn’t happened – yet!

There is a fabulous way to rid yourself of the clothes you never wear – and pick up some new threads at the same time. Clothing swaps!

Once you host a swap party – you’ll be addicted. It’s all the best parts of a fashion show, a flea market, and a girls night out, all in one package.

As a practiced swapper, let me give you some basic tips for getting the most out of your swap party:

   • All clothes must be clean and in good condition. Having access to great clothes for free is the heart of the clothes swap.

   • Take the time before your guests arrive to prepare your space. Set up at least two full length mirrors. I like to use a clothes rack for coats and dresses. Designate areas for pants, shirts, skirts, etc.

   • Remember that some people may be a little shy about changing in front of others, so set up a fun “dressing room” in another room – or consider a screen.

   • At a clothes swap, you don’t just trade one shirt for another shirt. It’s sort of a free-for-all. Which isn’t as chaotic as it may sound - I’ve never been to a clothes swap where people fought over items.

Usually, if two people have their eye on the same thing it’s settled with a coin toss. There may have been times when a clothing dispute has been settled by a ‘walk off’, to see who could ‘make it work’ the best….did I mention that a bottle of wine is fun at these clothes swaps?

   • Don’t limit your swap parties to ‘clothes only’. Accessories, nail polish, even books have made welcome appearances to swap parties.


   • Clothes swaps are good way to cut down on back-to-school expenses.

   • At the end of your swap party, box up any leftover clothes, and donate them to charity. Everybody wins!

If you don’t have the time or the space for a swap party, don't fret. You can swap online at Swapstyle or at Clothing Swap.

Oh internet, is there anything you can’t do?

Posted August 17, 2007, filed in Clutter Control Products, Where to give it away, Living Simply

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6 Comments

From Sharon Kreighbaum - Staged Makeovers, August 17 2007

Such great advice I passed it along to my daughter who is getting ready to go to college. I even left the line in there about including wine to keep it fun. (I know what college is really like.) I'll read your other blogs about organizing. You can check out my blog, MyStagedLife.com as I often have design and staging suggestions which are right up your alley.

From BL Ochman, August 17 2007

This is such a great idea! And thank you for introducing me to a world I didn't know even existed.

Can't wait to try this.

From Eva Wallace, August 17 2007

I love these! I've done them before and they are even better that thriftstore shopping (a favorite passtime). We should plan one, Maire! :)

From Marcia Francois, August 17 2007

I LOVE this idea. I wonder if this will go down well in South Africa - I should put out feelers and test anyway :)

From Marcia Francois, August 17 2007

Oooh, Eva and Maire - can I join in??

From Maire Kennedy, August 17 2007

Marcia, of course! We can have a Clutter Control Freak convention/clothes swap! It'll be a jawl (which better mean 'party', like my SA friend said it did!)!

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