BONUS presents…

Turning Bartering into Partying!!

Have you heard of a clothing swap? YES, boys can do it too! Call it Tradin’ Threads and throw them in the man cave. It doesn’t have to be clothes. Tool trade, anyone?  Craft supplies?

These trades are different, because it’s more of a group “leave something and take something” situation. You won’t be guaranteed a dollar for dollar barter, but it’s WAY more fun, and it fosters community and good will. Plus you get rid of stuff you don’t want.

A clothing swap or tool or craft trade is a very rewarding and fun time with friends and neighbors, in which everyone donates clothing (or other stuff) they don’t want, and takes home new stuff that they do want! At the end, all unwanted items are donated to a charity of choice. Organize one with your neighbors and friends and you will be the hit of the block!

Consider also trading services or tasks, or trading items for services. I know a lady who traded nutritional health lessons for a canoe…everybody wins! Trade anything for anything!

From far and near
come one, come all!
Dump your old clothes (or stuff)
and have a ball
I know your inner purge switch
has heard the call
So come on down
and swap some loot
as summer turns to fall…

First off let me tell you that it is fun and rewarding! Can you beat getting a bunch of free clothes while getting rid of ones you have been meaning to donate? It’s just the best.

And be selfish. Hold your swap at the change of season, and when you have plenty to to donate to the swap!

In other words, right when you personally need some new clothing is the perfect time to hold a clothing swap.

The very first step to having a clothing swap is to know what types  of people you are inviting. For example, is it a work or neighborhood event? Or a kids clothing swap? Or a special group of friends? Do you need men and men’s clothing?

Next you will absolutely want to make sure that you have at least 3 people of any given clothing size that are showing up. You would not want your size 12 friend to come to a clothing swap all alone in a group of size 8 friends and feel left out. Awkward for everyone!

If you have a group of friends that are a wide variety of sizes consider posting and accessories only swap! Or any other stuff, technically. The possibilities are endless! Craft or baby supplies? Tools?

Include information about what kind of clothing and accessories to bring (minimum number is needed) and how the swap will operate in the invitation.

Send email invitations out with reasonable advance notice so that your guests have time to go through their closets and bring the good stuff! Here’s a link to a fillable PDF invite.

Or you can of course go to an Evite website! If you use this PDF the work is done for you though- you just have to fill in the blanks.
Be sure to send a reminder e-mail a few days before the swap. Even another one the day of. Reminders always increase show up rate!

The rules can be anywhere from extremely casual, where everyone brings whatever they want and throws it in a pile, (this is actually extremely fun in a kinda chaotic way) to telling each person to bring an exact number of each different kind of article of clothing. 2 blouses, 3 pairs of shorts, etc. Then having everything extremely organized by type.

This is all depends on your personality and what flavor you and your friends like!

If you opting for  a super organized swap  then  having clear signs for everyone to see  where to put their things will be invaluable.

There is no wrong way to do this unless it ends in hair pulling and screaming and cat fighting. Or some kind of fire or other disaster!

Hint. Keep the red wine  away from the clothing  swap! That would be a fun post. Ways that a clothing swap could go wrong.

One thing to know is that if you are allowing imperfect clothing that they would be best separated in their own pile and noted.

It’s a nice idea to have snacks and beverages afterwards, in case some friends want to mingle but not participate in the swap. You can do it potluck-style and have people also bring food!

It is best to have a show up deadline, and keep everyone from going through the pile until everyone has arrived and made their donations. This gives everyone a fair chance.

Here are a few ideas for how to conduct the actual moments of clothing swapping…

1. Blow the whistle and yell go and watch the mayhem ensue…
2. Let each person pick one item at a time in rounds.
3. Hold an item up and let people bid for it.
4. Trade like-for-like. A skirt for a skirt, a shirt for a shirt!

At the end of the swap session all clothing will be donated to the charity of choice. You can choose five Charities and have everyone vote as a closing fun ritual.
Or just choose one. Most people are happy to have their clothes hauled the way for them!

It can be nice to sneak around while people are mingling afterwards and start to box up the leftovers, so that nobody feels bad about what they are leaving. Give everyone the option to go back through one more time if they think there might be one more thing they want to keep or grab.

All of these leftovers of course get donated to the charity of choice. Many will even pick up at your door!

The final step in this process is meeting up with your friends randomly,  seeing them wearing your re-loved clothing! It puts a smile on my face every time. My number one favorite blue and black plaid surfer flannel shirt is from a clothing swap and I will tell you what: It is super hip

It can be extra fun to have prize categories such as what were you thinking for the most unique item brought to the swap. Any prize category that suits your fancy!
Sexiest? Cutest? Most outrageous? Most outdated? Best winter sweater?

Have I ever mentioned to you the idea of a costume swap by the way? People can bring all kinds of funky clothing that they would feel silly trying to pawn off on others at a serious clothing swap. Then it’s just a big silly game and everybody wins! Consider local costume shops as donation options if you have a costume swap specifically.

No matter what, enjoy the process and remember: the clothing swap is nothing to fret about! Type A personalities be advised;-)


Here is another resource for your party!
Printable signs, just print and cut them out.

For other fun and funky resources, click HERE! 




*~Long Sleeves~*


*~Food for Later~*

*~Short Sleeves~*

*~Tank Tops~*



*~Comfy Clothes~*