Guest post by Laurie from Peace Love Swap.
I have always kept an eye out for a good bargain, and I have always put forth effort to reuse and re-purpose whenever I can. When I became pregnant, my husband and I decided to decline any offers to throw us a baby shower. We decided instead just to ask our friends to pass down any baby items that they were done with (that they were more than happy to part with — you know how it is), and we were blessed with almost everything we needed to welcome a new baby.
Then I started my years as a stay-at-home mom. I traded toys and clothing with friends, and shopped craigslist and resale stores for anything else I needed.
Swapping soon became my new shopping. Then one day I was lucky enough to run across an organization that allowed me take swapping to the next level for myself and for my community: I became a swap organizer with peace. love. swap!
Every six to eight weeks, a local kids’ gym hosts our community swap. We invite families to clear out their clutter by collecting items that their kids have outgrown or no longer use.
They drop their items off at the event and volunteers organize and display everything boutique style, categorized by size. The kids enjoy playing at the gym and families socialize with each other. When the swap floor is ready, everyone comes in to take home items that are new to them. No tags, no item counting–just good clean sharing. Swaps are large for a great inventory and ongoing because, well, you know how quickly kids grow.
My motto is “swap with goodness in your heart.” And they do. For the swappers, the cost is just $5, and includes fun time for the kids and great raffle prizes. So, for just $5 and stuff to swap, you can bring home a bag of “new” clothing, a few fresh toys, a nursing pillow, a diaper bag or whatever treasures you come across.
At the end of the day, you’ve cleaned out your clutter, found some useful items for yourself and your kids, had a great playdate, perhaps won a prize, supported a green event, and donated to local charities (all unadopted items are donated). That’s a day well spent!
For the swap organizer, it is a way to bring in a little extra cash, do something great for the community, and bring home “new” items for your kids to boot! For me, personally, it is so rewarding to run a green and charitable event, while saving money on my family’s expenses at the same time. I also love inspiring others to live frugally and to share the many resources that we are blessed with. It really is a win-win for everyone!
Laurie is a stay-home mom in Manhattan Beach, California. She has two kids, one and four years old, and a partner in frugality, her husband. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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