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How to Organize a Clothes Swap Meet

Becky from Organizing Made Fun has a great post up on how she organized a Ladies’ Clothing Swap. She has lots of pictures and details on what worked if you’d like to do something similar.

We do this at least once or twice a year as a church and it’s a great way to clean out our houses and get some items we need — for FREE!

Have you ever been a part of a swap of some kind? I’d love to hear your ideas and what did or didn’t work for you!

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  • The church we attended before we moved had two a year. It was awesome! We found some great treasures and got to get rid of what we did not need!

  • We do what we call the “MOPSwap” at each of our monthly MOPS meetings. People bring in whatever they don’t need anymore and take whatever they want. You don’t have to bring anything to take and you don’t have to take anything if you bring. Leftovers go to our church’s “extend-a-hand” ministry (clothes, food, and household goods “pantry”).

    We don’t do a lot of sorting or organizing since it’s a monthly thing and you can bring literally anything (and the focus is the MOPS meeting, not the swap), but I would say very definitely to only do this sort of thing if you have a plan in place for where the leftovers are going to go. We just have to bring them down the hallway (and everything that can be used in a home is welcome), so it’s uber-convenient for us. But if our church only had a clothes closet, we would limit our swap to clothes so that I didn’t have to haul all the extra other stuff someplace else every month. And if our church didn’t have anything like that at all, this would at most be an annual event to minimize trips to Goodwill!

    The stuff is “first-come-first-served,” but those who are part of the group are usually given priority over those who are not (for instance, if someone’s friend needed clothes, the group member would be welcome to take clothes for them, but only after everyone else has had a chance to take what they need).

  • I wrote a blog post on this, too! I clearly have a lot to learn, though:

    I wear a lot of stuff from the clothing swap frequently. It was a great way to update my wardrobe.

  • Courtney says:

    We used to do an annual “household goods” swap at our church in Michigan. No clothes allowed! People brought in pots and pans, small appliances, small furniture, nick-knacks, children’s items, etc. that they no longer wanted or needed, and anyone was free to take home whatever they could use. All of the leftovers went to Goodwill. It was great and so fun to see items get new homes!

  • I host Clothing Swaps at my house about 3 times per year. I invite moms from church and from the homeschool co-op we’re a part of. I also advertise on the 3 local yahoo homeschool groups that I’m a part of. I have found that having a clothing swap encourages women to 1) Clean out, de-clutter and organize their closets and drawers and 2) Make time for fellowship!

    Another added perk is that whatever clothes are not chosen, the remaining clothes are donated to the women’s crisis shelter. Having a clothing swap has literally saved me hundreds of dollars over the years. Having 6 children to clothe, I really don’t remember when was the last time I had to purchase a winter jacket! They have all been provided, thanks to the clothing swaps!!

    I can also attest that this has been a big factor in my children not feeling like they are entitled to always having everything come brand-new from the store with tags. They have been raised to be thankful and not to view life as a fashion show. I know my husband appreciates knowing that he makes enough money to support our family because our spending habits are more frugally lined-up.

  • Mary Sunshine says:

    Our church’s moms group (we used to be a MOPS group, but then we went rogue) hosts a Children’s Clothing Swap every spring. It’s a great way to clean house, pass on hand-me-downs, and get the clothes our kids need. It’s free and open to the public, so it’s also a good outreach ministry. All the leftover clothing goes to a local thrift shop, which benefits a local crisis pregnancy center.

    We’re actually hosting it this Friday, April 26, so if any of your readers are in the South Jersey area, they can get more information at our Facebook page: The Mom Squad of Clayton Baptist Church.

  • Kristin says:

    The ladies in my church did a swap a couple of years ago. It was fun but there are a few things I would do differently. We just had everyone bring a certain number of any kind of item. (I think it was 3 per person). So some ladies brought decor items, some ladies brought accessories, some brought clothes, etc. (We did specify no children’s clothes because it was meant to be a grown up event.)

    Anyway, I think it would have been more fun to just do decor or accessories or clothes rather than a big mix. It got a bit confusing, I thought. I did get a really cute purse that I still use all the time and I got rid of some decor things that were just collecting dust around here!

  • Alexia says:

    This is an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sherri says:

    My homeschool co-op has a swap table every week. Anyone in the group can bring whatever they wish to get rid of, and anyone can take whatever they can use. The only rule is that you must reclaim your unclaimed goods at the end of the day. That generally works well, but Goodwill is not far away if someone forgets.

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