Y’all know that I love to budget in all aspects of my life— from makeup, to home decor, and especially with fashion. With trends going in and out of style so fast, and quality getting lower in mainstream stores, I just hate spending a ton of money on new clothes. I enjoy shopping at the thrift store, but it can be very hit-or-miss and time consuming looking for clothes that are on-trend and fit right.
So, when I was invited to my first neighborhood clothing swap, I was stoked. I had never participated in anything like this before, but it sounded like a blast and a great opportunity to declutter my closet while adding new pieces to my wardrobe! The best part? All the clothes you take home are free. F-R-E-E!
If you’ve never been to a clothing swap, here’s how it works.
Get a group of at least ten people committed to the event— it makes “shopping” a lot easier when you have a good variety in styles and sizes.
Speaking of sizes, whether you want to organize the swap in a group text or a Facebook event, make sure everyone announces the sizes of clothes they’ll be bringing, and the sizes of clothes they’ll want to take home with them (a lot of people hold on to old clothes that don’t fit them anymore, so these sizes may be different). Hopefully, there will be a few people who match up in sizes so everyone will have something to shop. If there’s someone without a match, try inviting more people to participate.
Start cleaning out your closet! Setting a minimum number of items to bring is a great idea to make sure there’s enough to go around. Bring clothes that are in good condition but don’t get enough love in your closet. Since the swap is a free event, make sure everything you bring wouldn’t be hard to part with, regardless of how much you spent on it new.
Set a time and place. We did our neighborhood clothing swap in someone’s living room. It was nice and casual, and some people even brought some snacks to share while shopping and trying on clothes.
Once you have everyone in one place, organize the clothes by kind + sizes. We had tops and dresses as one station, and a bottoms station. Tops were folded stacked on top of each other for space, and dresses were hung over the backs of chairs. We laid out the bottoms over the back of a couch. As long as it’s easy to pick through things, you could do it anywhere! Some ladies said that in the past, they had done swaps at yoga studios with everything folded on the ground.
Get shopping! Start looking through the piles, and pick out anything you think would be a great addition to your wardrobe. If you want, you can set limits to your shopping in terms of how many items people can pick up at one time to try on, and ultimately how much people can bring home with them. We personally didn’t have limits on our shopping and it did not become an issue. We actually ended up with a ton of clothes left over unclaimed. The leftover clothes were bagged up and donated to charity thrift stores.
I got rid of about twenty pieces that hadn’t been worn in forever, and ended up taking home a handful of new clothes that I love. Here are some of my favorites that I snagged:
A neighborhood clothing swap can be done with any group of people— sports teams, classmates, or just best friends. It’s a fun way to recycle clothes and save money refreshing your wardrobe. We had so much fun during the actual event getting to know everyone’s personal tastes… it was like a shopping day, but at home!
Have you ever organized a neighborhood clothing swap?