Tuesday, 8 January 2013

How to Host a Clothing Swap

I don't know about ya'll, but I'm not much for New Years Resolutions.  I set myself up for failure, never seeming to go through with my supposed "plan."  However, our family has decided to tighten up the finances.  Get on a strict budget and see where we can cut back to really start saving.  We really want some land so we can have chickens and grow a garden (and have some horses if you ask Hadley).  In order to achieve this goal, we have to be radical and different.  We're going to be "weird" like Dave Ramsey says.

So my big cutback is to not spend family money on myself for clothing this year.  I know...crazy.  My sister says I'm aiming too high and I should maybe just shoot for doing this for a month.  But I need to be radical.  And oops...I just told you all about it, so I guess it's for real now and I have to stick to it.  I do have the rule for myself that I can spend money given to me for Christmas or Birthday...trust me...I'll be holding onto that money for when I REALLY want something.

This fall, I hosted a clothing swap, and I really think that doing another one of these in the spring will help me with my goal.  I usually find myself only wanting/needing a few items to freshen up my wardrobe each season, and if I'm smart, I can do this for little to no money.

Here are the steps to take if you'd like to host a clothing swap yourselves:

1)  Send invitation:  I sent an email inviting friends to clean out their closets and bring them over earlier in the day, or the day before for me to organize.  Be sure to invite people of all shapes and sizes so you have plenty of options.  And if people are self conscious about their size, encourage them to clean out their accessories drawer and shoes.  Make all feel welcome!!!

2)  Set a time that works for you:  Once organized, I set a time.  I did a few hour span (like 5-7:30 pm). People could come and go as they pleased.  However, the "early birds got the worms."

3)  Set Rules:  I set rules, like if you brought ten items, you went home with ten items.  But by the end of the night, I wanted people to take as much as they wanted!   Also encourage folks to bring things that are not dated, stained, or ripped.  You are looking for good closet items that may just not fit anymore, or you are tired of wearing.  Also, decide if you are going to just do one season, or all types of clothes.  We decided to stick to fall clothes, but some brought spring.  Either way is fine.  Just decide and tell your guests.

4)  Decide on a place to donate items:  Make sure nobody there is too attached to their items and will freely let it go!   I had a few items left over when all was said and done.  I took the name brand stuff to a consignment shop (where I have a store credit waiting for me....whoop, whoop!), and we donated the rest of the items to our church.

Once I got all of the clothes, I got to organizing.  I didn't have hanging racks, so I just made piles on my furniture.  One couch for Smalls, one for mediums, one for larges.  My dining room table housed accessories and shoes and some wine and cheese :)  I planned it last minute, so I only had 6 participants.  But all had a great time and went home with clean closets and a few new items each.  Here are some pics of what I came away with.  I even got some spring things that will be new to me when the weather warms up!  Also, (not pictured) scored a pair of peep toe black heels, a scarf and a handful of jewelry.

 Two blazers.  One fitted one for spring and a gray H&M boyfriend blazer.
 Two spring tops.
 Brand new Anthropologie sweater!  This was my favorite find.  I wore it to Christmas eve mass with a black pencil skirt and gray textured tights and gray heels.  Have also worn to dinner with friends with skinny jeans and boots.  LOVE THIS SWEATER!!!
Few more spring items.  JCrew t-shirt, pink pants (perfect length on me...shocker!) and a mint green and white diagonal striped skirt!
 Crop sweater
 Cozy Sweater with toggle buttons.
Basic cardigan.

Have you ever hosted a clothing swap?  If so, I'd love to hear about it.  If you are local and want to be invited to my spring one, let me know and I'll include you for sure!  


mmsmith said...

I recognize some of those clothes:) It was fun, lets do it again!