tips for hosting a super fun exciting and successful clothes swap

be realistic.  be realistic and up front about your swap.  are you limiting "donations" to unworn items with tags attached or do you roll with a crew who thrifts for fun and doesn't mind the thrill of the unknown.  also, many folks have never attended or even heard of a clothes swap and don't know what to expect or how to participate.  clearly explain what you expect and can be expected of you using whatever medium you find easiest.  above all, stress that it's hella fun.

have good manners.  ensure that everything you are offering for swap is clean and in good repair.  if there are any defects you are aware of {stains, tears, crooked seams} attach a note using a safety pin.  someone looking for something to wear while painting their washroom may not mind that your charity walk t-shirt has a stain on it but someone else may.  people are strange so just try to be as courteous as possible and launder your items before donating and make others aware of flaws.

encourage others to encourage others.  explain to everyone what you are doing... and i do mean everyone.  someones mother may have a treasure trove of vintage costume jewellery, someone else's little brother may have a sweet collection of 'star wars' t-shirts... you never know who may have hidden treasures they are willing to part with.  no one's closet should be off limits.  encourage others to purge, purge, purge.

don't stop at the closet.  take advantage of the opportunity to purge drawers, cupboards, boxes... anywhere there is STUFF.  bring the winter accessories out of storage, dig through the shoe racks, and open up your jewellery  boxes.  this is your chance to really rid yourself of the items you do not wear and make room for new.  also, hit up your husband's closet, your kid's closet, your mom's closet... just reiterating about the hidden gems we discussed above.

know the limits.  what exactly is inappropriate?  unwashed nylons with a hole in the crotch is probably most definitely considered inappropriate to throw into a pile of clothing.  but unopened samples of unexpired make-up or face creams are not, in my humble opinion.  hair accessories?  bras?  if in doubt, ziploc it.  think of your audience and ask yourself if you would be put out by someone offering you this item.

so what happens to the unclaimed items?  every swap i have ever attended has been able to donate the unclaimed items to charities that the host supports.  the host assumes packing up and transportation responsibilities.  pretty simple.

these are just some of the many, many, many tips i could share but i fear starting to sound like a bossypants.  my number one rule, above all is Have Fun.  it's a party, people.

a party that encourages you to clean your closets, bring home new stuff for free and give to charity.  win.