Cleaning out your closet shouldn’t only be left for one time in the spring. Every season, there should be a reassessment of your closet and a chance to declutter where you can. A clothing swap gives you and your friends the opportunity to trade and donate your clothing, so that what remains in your own wardrobe are clothes, shoes and accessories that you’ll actually wear.
Hosting a clothing swap can be a lot of fun. Planning and organization will help your swap be a success. The first thing to do is set a date that leaves you enough time to get organized and gives your friends enough time to look through their closets. Try not to plan your event near major holidays when people will be out of town. For a fall edition clothes swap, try for a date in October, before the first flurries of November and holiday engagements start. Remember: it doesn’t necessarily have to be a weekend.
Now that a date has been picked, it’s time to choose a place. If your home is big enough and you’d like to host it in your living room, that could be ideal, as you wouldn’t have to transport your items or other things necessary for the swap. You could arrange different stations in separate rooms of your home to make it feel less cluttered. For example, dresses and skirts can set up in the kitchen, shirts and jackets could be set up in the living room and so on. A backyard or a community building at your church, apartment complex or neighborhood are also good places to host a group of gals.
After you’ve chosen the date and time, you’re ready to send out the invites. The easiest way to keep track of all pertinent information and the list of who’s attending is to send out an Evite or similar version of an electronic invitation. Encourage your guests to bring a friend, sister, niece, aunt or mom. The more the merrier!
Make sure it includes the what, where and when of the event and any other details or rules to the swap you’d like your guests to know. Make swapping more social by asking all guests to bring a snack or sweet treat to share. Mix up a batch of punch for everyone who participates or hand out small champagne bottles, so ladies can sip while they swap. Keep the food and beverages in the kitchen or somewhere out of the way where it won’t be spilled on the clothing.
The day of the event, organize the tables or areas you’ll have for the different items that the ladies will bring. For example, if you have a miscellaneous table, guests who bring unused makeup, bags, scarves, or belts can place those items all in the same place.
Maintain order as new guests come in and continually straighten piles so that everyone can see what is being offered more easily. A good idea is to wait until all guests have arrived before starting the swap. This gives everyone a fair chance to leave with what they want. When it comes to a clothing swap, each person should bring items that do not have holes, rips or stains.
Set up a few full-length mirrors and have a separate closed-off area or bathroom that can be used for women who want to see if something fits. Invite women who vary in shape and size so you don’t end up with items mainly in one size only.
Give your guests the option to either take home what wasn’t picked up by someone else or leave behind for you to donate. Many charitable organizations will schedule a pickup for donated goods. Coordinate ahead of time for anything left over from the swap.
Many of us have items in our closet that simply don’t fit anymore, aren’t part of our current style, or haven’t been worn for years. It’s easier to give away these items if you know they’ll be going to a good home. A style swap is the perfect way to gather up your girlfriends for two things that everyone can get on board with: clothes and cocktails! The cleaning out the closet part is a bonus.