Living on a Homestead Budget · Money Saving Tips

How To Host a Clothing Exchange 

If you are anything like me, then you have a certain affinity for having too much.  Too much clothes, too many shoes, and definitely an overabundance of books!  I have been on a two-year journey of simplification and moderation.  Let me tell you; I am still way off!

However, one major change I have made is not purchasing any new clothes (outside of underwear and socks) for myself and the boys.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t get anything “new-to-us”, it just means that everything we get has been previously loved.  I utilize two online sites: Poshmark (where you can buy and sell your own clothing for a small fee) and ThredUp (where you can ship your items and have them do all the work!).  I also love second-hand stores.

I have a rule that anything new that comes into my closet, at least two old items must go out.  That way I am always dwindling.   I read a statistic recently that Americans wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time.  Over two years, I am down to about 60% of my original closet; which if you know anything about me, is A LOT of clothes!

A few years back I attended a clothing exchange.  It was so fun and I vowed that I would host one some day!  Last week I did, and we had a blast!  I hosted a women’s exchange, but you can certainly do a children’s, or men’s, or combination just as easily.

Don’t know what a clothing exchange is?  Here were the “rules” I sent to my attendees:

“Winter wardrobe got you feeling blue? Nothing fun to look forward to wearing for spring? Well, don’t you worry, I have the cure! A clothing exchange! Never been to one before? Let me give you the basic run-down: each girl brings items from her own closet that she no longer wears, doesn’t fit, or just isn’t her style anymore (face it ladies, we all have items like this). These items can then be exchanged for new-to-you items from other swappers. Simple as that! It’s a great way to refresh your wardrobe without paying a single penny, and a great way to clear out your closet!

Rules for My Clothing Exchange:
1. You may bring clothing, shoes, and accessories to the exchange. Please make sure everything is freshly laundered and in good condition.
2. While cleaning out our closets is great, please limit your items to 20 total. This allows for a great selection, but doesn’t overwhelm everyone!
3. Make sure to label your items so we know who they came from in case they don’t get chosen. This can be as simple as writing your initials on a piece of tape and putting it discreetly on your items.
4. You can either drop your items off prior to the night of the event or bring them with you. If dropped off prior, I will be able to have more time to set them up nicely. Just let me know when you’ll be swinging by!
5. Please be courteous and respectful of the items.
6. If you don’t want to bring your unpicked items home with you, I will have a donation box available. Jason and I have found a great local women’s shelter that we enjoy donating to.
7. The number of items you bring is the number of items you get to take home! You will receive a ticket for each item. Just turn it in each time you find something fabulous!
8. I will have all of our bedrooms and bathroom available for trying on items.

I can’t wait to find some new-to-me clothes and clean out my closet! I chose this group of girls because I think we will have have tons of fun together! I also know we all appreciate a good deal that just so happens to be great for the environment as well! Oh by the way, I’ll certainly have wine as well!”

The ladies that attended my exchange made it a fun and rewarding experience, and we all agreed that we want to do it once a season!  No one left disappointed – in fact, every girl left with a bag or box full of new goodies (and a few glasses of wine!).  Best of all, the girls all decided to donate their unpicked items so we had a huge box of donations for the women and family shelter!  Scroll on down for a look at the pictures I took of the evening.

Feel free to ask me any questions about how you can host your own exchange, or how you can get in on the next one!

Plying your best friends with wine is always a great way to get them to come over!

Ready to start!

I had different tables set up for the different types of clothes.

Accessories and shoes.

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