Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So You Cleaned Out Your Closet, Now What? Pt. 1

So if all went as planned, you cleaned out your closet last week. Huzzah!

Some of the remaining items from my clothing swap

But now what? 

Obviously, you can donate your clothing to a number of great places like Goodwill, Salvation Army and others. I'm definitely in favor of completing the circle of thrift store love by sending your fantastically cute clothes (which for whatever reason no longer work for you) back from whence they came. 

There is another option, however, which can practically double your fun: a clothing swap. Because your friends' clothes are super cute too! 

This weekend, I hosted a clothing swap, and I wanted to share some tips. 

How to Host a Clothing Swap:

  • Decide beforehand how you want to handle leftover items that no one wants. I usually decide to bring them to Goodwill myself, but if that's not practical, just know what your plan is. 
  • Invite people. This is pretty key. If you have the space for it, encourage people you invite to invite people. The more the merrier.
  • To help anyone not familiar with the concept, include some basic rules in your invitation. For this weekend's clothing swap, I included this set of instructions:
    • Sort through your clothes
    •  Pick clothes that you don't want anymore
    •  Bring them to the clothing swap, and we will swap clothes. 
    • Tres simple! 
  • Set some basic guidelines. I tend to prefer more people so I tend for inclusive guidelines. Some questions to ask yourself: 
    • Does everyone have to bring clothes to swap? I say, no, but you may disagree. Typically, I find there are lots of clothes left over at the end. If people don't have clothes to swap, maybe they can bring snacks or drinks, which makes it easier on the lovely hostess (that's you). 
    • What if some of the clothes are damaged? If you have lots of friends and guests who are crafty, you might set the bar low here. For example, I am looking for T-shirts to cut up to crochet a rug. So I don't much care if there are stains or small holes. 
  • Before guests arrive, try to sort your items into some basic categories: shirts, skirts and dresses, pants, jackets, accessories. 
    • Pro tip here: Don't worry about sizes! I made this mistake once and tried to sort things out by size. You will be amazed at the ability of different items to look great on different sizes and body types. Anyone who suggests sorting by size should be sniffed at, like so, hmmph!
  • Set out some snacks and you're ready to go! 
You'll find some great stuff and get to share your finds with friends. 

Clothing Swap Finds
Some of my finds, no surprise
they're all black and grey
Next up, how to sell or donate your castoffs and/or clothing swap leftovers. 

I'll also use Goodwill's nifty impact calculator to let you all know how many hours of resume preparation our clothing swap generated. I'm excited to get the tally! 

Do you have any great finds from swapping with friends? 

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