How to Get a Brand New Wardobe for FREE

How-To-(12)Spring is officially here! And with the changing season, you are going to be needing a change of clothing too! It is time to put those sweaters and jeans away and stock up on short sleeve tops and colorful skirts! The changing of the season is surely something to look forward to, but one thing that you may not look forward to is having to BUY these spring wardrobe staples. Ten dollars for a top, twenty dollars for a skirt, it can all add up. And if you are buying spring clothing for those quick growing children also, your budget can soon find itself drained. So what do you do? Squeeze into last season’s clothing? Keep wearing those jeans and sweaters? Drain your bank account? The answer is no, no, and no! Instead, take a look at how to host a spring clothing swap in five easy steps!

Chances are, your friends are going through the same dilemma. So here is the solution! Why not hold a swap with your close friends and family and have a night of shopping? Hosting a spring clothing swap makes this transition more budget friendly and fun! A clothing swap is simple to do, budget friendly, and makes for a fun time. Interested? Here is what you will need to do.

How to host a spring clothing swap in five easy steps:

1. Pick the date!
This part is simple. Pick a date and notify your friends and family. Evenings work best for most people due to work schedules so keep that in mind, or opt for a Saturday afternoon. You can buy invites from the dollar store or make your own for pennies. Better yet, create a Facebook invite and don’t pay a dime!

2. Lay out the procedures!
Make the procedures to clear to everyone since they may not have gone to a swap before. On the invites, instruct guests to bring a dozen gently used and laundered clothing items. They can also bring accessories, household items, movies, etc. if you wish to exchange more than just clothing. Just specify it on the invite.

3. Plan a simple potluck!
Ask each guest that they please bring a dish to share with other guests. This will keep you from having to prepare large amounts of food. Keep it simple. Chips and dip, veggies, cookies, etc. are perfect and simple to eat and clean up.

4. Plan your layout!
Organize your swap as a store would. Before guests arrive, set up card tables and put tablecloths on your coffee table and dining table to display clothes on. When guests arrive, they are given one ticket (a ticket can be a post it note, a clothespin, or some other designated tag) for each item they brought with them. This ticket will be their currency to “buy” items at the event.

5. Start swapping!
Now comes the best part. While guests are snacking and chatting, assemble the clothing so it can be easily viewed. You can separate by gender and size if you wish, or gender, color, etc. The choice is whatever works best for you and your crowd. Let the shopping begin! Guests can take turns using their currency to buy new items. Each ticket they have is good for one “new” item. You can have each guest take turns picking or everyone can shop at once. Do what works best for you and your guests.

Remember to keep it light and make it fun! You can play music, have fun beverages, and of course take lots of pics! Hopefully, at the end of the evening guests will have unloaded some old clothing and will be taking home some fresh new to them pieces.

If a great time is had by all, why not suggest that another guest hold the next swap at his/her home in a few  months? It will be a great way to add new pieces to your family’s wardrobe and catch up with friends at the same time. Share with them your tips at how to host a spring clothing swap in five easy steps so they can enjoy the success you did!

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  1. Lisa says

    What happens to leftover unwanted items? What if there isn’t something that someone else wants?

  2. Lisa says

    So have u had anyone leave without something, either because the didn’t find something they liked or because there wasn’t the right sizes?

    • jlpenner says

      I haven’t really seen that happen Lisa.. but I suppose it is possible. Truly the whole thing is to have a good time with your friends and get rid of what you don’t want anyway :)


  1. […] 2. Clothing swaps. Big or small, clothing swaps have provided me with a hefty load of second-hand clothes, shoes, even jewelry. The things one can pick up at a swap are akin to hand-me-downs in that they’re second-hand. But at a swap, you get to meet new people–and possibly come home with a treasure from a stranger-turned-new-friend. Last fall, I attended one (for women only); I didn’t have much to contribute, but the hostess urged me to come, anyway. I’m grateful that I did, because I brought home more than enough to make it worthwhile. Also, the ministry (called Cru) with which my husband and I serve hosts something called “the exchange” each year at the national offices where my husband works. This has also been a resource for free goods. It’s still a swap, just on a larger scale. Here’s an idea of how to host a swap of your own in five easy steps. […]

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