Do you need new clothes but don’t have money to buy them? Do you have perfectly good clothing hanging in your closet that you haven’t worn in a while because you’re tired of wearing the same outfit? Do you like to change your purse or handbag often but don’t have the money to buy more or room to store the ones you do have? Do your kids play with their toys for a week or so and then put them aside? Has your baby outgrown clothes that have been worn only a couple of times? Is your DVD or VHS video library bulging at the seams with movies you’ve watched over and over until you’ve memorized every line? Do you have a garage full of tools you rarely use, or need a certain tool that you don’t have money to buy? If the answer is yes to any of these, then perhaps it’s time to hold a swap meet!
Having a swap meet is a great way to clean out your closets, garage, attic, or any other cluttered areas in your home. A swap party is the perfect way to rid of some items that you don’t wear or use anymore, get new things you will use without having to spend money, and help the environment by not buying new stuff. So invite your close friends and trusted neighbors over and make a fun day of it. You can even ask everyone to bring their favorite drink and dish and turn the swap meet into a mini party.
Pick a location that has a dressing area and mirror so people can try things on or just tell everyone to wear a bathing suit under their clothes and they can slip items on over the bathing suit. Then simply ask everyone to bring all the goods they want to swap. One thing to note: make it clear to everyone up front that if their items don’t get swapped then they are responsible for taking them back home or giving it to charity. You don’t want to be stuck having to haul away the odds and ends that are left over than no one wants. This will also help to cut down on people bringing junky worn out things that would be better off in the dumpster. If they know up front that they are responsible for hauling it off, they’re less likely to bring old stained sweatshirts or the weed eater that’s rusted and hasn’t worked in years.
Once everyone arrives, have them pitch in and arrange all of the items by type. Adult clothes together, kids clothes together, toys together, movies together, etc. Then pick a hostess who will hold up the items to be swapped and someone who will write down the names of everyone who has an interest in the item on a slip of paper. After the item has been claimed by everyone interested, put all their names in a bowl and draw a winner, that way no one is squabbling over who gets the cute Gucci knockoff handbag or the diamond stud earrings. You can alternate hostesses and name writers so that no one is burdened with all the work.
There’s really no limit to what you can swap. Clothing, shoes, scarves, hats, jewelry, accessories, kids clothes, children’s toys, books, kitchen items, DVD or VHS movies, CD’s, tools, whatever you no longer need or want but is still in good like new condition. To me, it’s much more satisfying knowing that your goods are going to someone who will put them to good use and will appreciate them than to just dump perfectly good items into a Goodwill box. Not that I’m against donating to charity, but there’s a certain sentimental value to items when they’re swapped with friends
Have fun and happy swapping!