When was the last time you stood in front of your closet and declared that you had nothing to wear? Despite having a closet stuffed with clothes, many of us always feel like we don’t have enough or simply get tired of wearing the same pieces over and over again.
Unless you have an unlimited clothing budget, buying new clothes every season isn’t an option and then there’s the question of what to do with all those things we never wear.
If you’ve never considered the idea of throwing a clothing swap this could just be the solution you’re looking for and, in addition to replacing your old clothes with something new, a swap is a great way to reconnect with friends who are likely longing for some new gear too! Throwing a great swap is easier than you think if you follow a few simple rules.
- Pick your place – If your swap is simply going to consist of a handful of besties, you can probably get away with holding it at your home. If, however, you’re planning something on a large scale, you might want to consider renting a room at your local church or community centre.
These venues usually cost very little to rent for an hour or two and asking your guests to contribute a couple of bucks each to cover the cost is perfectly reasonable.
- Plan ahead – The secret to a great clothing swap involves some strategic planning when it comes to the guest list. While it might be tempting to invite every gal in your social circle, you’ll want to make sure you have a good mix of shapes and sizes.
You don’t want anyone to feel left out by not having a selection of clothes to choose from in their size so if most of your friends are plus-sized and one isn’t, try to invite at least one other person with their body type.
- Quality control – It goes without saying that the clothing you bring to a swap should be freshly laundered and not in need of repair. Set a limit on the number of pieces each person can bring (especially if space is at a premium) and let people what items are eligible and what aren’t such as shoes, sleepwear and – yes, some people need to be told – used lingerie!
- Avoid a fashion frenzy – While clothing swaps are meant to be fun, you still need to have some rules in place to ensure everyone gets a fair shot at swapping successfully. If your event is on a larger scale, provide an amount of tokens equal to the number of clothes contributed which can then be exchanged during the swap. For smaller groups, having everyone pick a number and then an allotted time to hunt for treasures works well.
- All the extras – If your swap is more of an informal affair, give it a party vibe by adding some tunes and refreshments. Either supply the nibbles and drinks yourself or ask your guests to bring along a bottle and snack to share. Make sure you set aside a separate space for food and drink though to cut down on the chances of spills, because the last thing you want is a red wine stain on those fabulous white jeans you managed to grab!
- Pitch in – The last thing you want is to be left with cleaning up so plan what to do with any leftover items ahead of time. Either have your guests take them home again or, even better, donate them to a charity. If there are a lot of pieces left, look for a charitable organization that will pick up, ensuring that your used clothing goes where it’s needed rather than landfill.
Now you know how to throw a great clothing swap, open up your closet and start sorting! You’ll end up with some great ‘new-to-you’ pieces that haven’t cost a cent while having a fun, frugal time with your best gal pals!