Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to arrange a clothing swap party

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
Are you ready for a clothing swap party? :-)

In my humble opinion, I consider myself as an experienced (self-taught) event planner :-) And there are a couple of things you need to address before arranging a swap meet. Let's take this step by step!
How to arrange clothing swap meets
How to arrange clothing swap meets

1) Set a date and location

First of all, make the calls and set a date. Make sure that you and your guests have enough time to declutter your wardrobe. Decluttering takes time if it's done properly :-)

Decide where you want to have the clothing swap meet. Maybe at your place or at a friend's place who lives in a bigger apartment?
Declutter your closet
Declutter your closet 

2) How many clothes should each of you provide?

There's really no good answer to this question.

You can do it the easy way and ask the guests to bring whatever they want. The disadvantage here is that some may bring a lot more/fewer items compared to the other guests. There's no real "swap" meet if one of you brings only four pieces of clothing, while you sit on a huge pile.

To even out the differences, you might consider the following:

As an example, each of you can bring 5 tops, 3 jumpers/cardigans and 2 bags. The challenge with this kind of arrangement is that probably not everyone has exactly these amounts of used clothing in their wardrobe, that they want to give away.

Another suggestion is to set a maximum amount of clothing, let's say 15 and with a ratio of about 2:1 (clothes:accessories).
Organize items for the clothing swap party
Organize items for the clothing swap party

3) Ehm, time to ... declutter

Be sure to have one or two days at your disposal for cleaning out and organizing your closet.

I don't know about you, but I want to try on the clothes before I give them away, to be sure that I don't want them anymore. Who knows, maybe that dress you have been keeping in the back of the closet for years, looks good on you now? :-) 

I often operate with three piles when organizing my clothes:

A 'yes' pile = you're keeping it.

A 'no' pile = you're getting rid of it and are potential candidates for swapping.

A 'maybe' pile = this pile is probably the hardest part because you need to try on the clothes, and find out if they go into the 'yes' or 'no' pile ;-)

Read: 10 earth-friendly and ethical basics under $30.

4) What are you serving?

If you're inviting a lot of people, maybe tapas, pizza or taco would suit the occasion. For the tapas, each of you could bring something for the swap meet, so you don't need to spend many hours in the kitchen. Or... you can just order take-away, split the bill and be done with it! :-) 

Here are some snack suggestions:

Fun food for a clothing swap party
Fun food for a clothing swap party :-)

- Fried or fresh spring rolls with hummus dip
- Bruschetta with tomato salsa
- A large fruit bowl
Light dinner suggestions:
- Pasta salad with some fresh bread
- Any finger food - click to check out Martha Stewart's finger food recipes
- Sushi
- Vegetarian pie

Dessert suggestions:
- Any cake :-) NAM!
- Cupcakes

5) Two days before the swap meet

Have you washed the clothes? Do some of the garments need ironing maybe? Have you removed the dust from the shoes and boots?

Read: 5 practical eco-laundry tips.

6) On the day of the clothing swap party

Start making the food and bring out the clothes! You can hang them up nicely on a rack or over a door frame. Maybe you have room and enough hangers so your guests can hang up their clothes too?
Minimalist clothes on rack
Copyright: / dasha11 - 123RF Stock Photo 

If you don't have enough hangers, you should prioritize the more delicate garments like blouses, dresses and jackets.

You don't need to hang up the clothes if it sounds like too much work. And this is not a request to run to the shop to bring more hangers and racks :-) If you have lots of hangers available, then great. And if not, doing it the traditional way works fine, as in trading clothes on the couch :-)

It's only a detail and not a must. But I personally think it's nice to make the clothes presentable, and this also prevents wrinkling in the clothes ;-)

If there's any clothing left, you can donate them to a thrift shop or earn some money and sell them online :-)

Continue to read:
Click here to read about 3 really good reasons for not throwing away clothing in the garbage

Practical guide to shopping ethically.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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