Theme submitted by Gatherings Gal, Illinois
Do you have things you know you don't need any more? Kids' clothing, books, accessories or home decor? Host a "Swap your Stuff" gathering to get rid of your excess and bring home things that you would actually use. A swap party will save you money, connect you with friends and even help you give back. Here's the scoop.Set the ground rules:
At the swap:
- Invite friends/family who would be willing to bring items for a swap.
- Invite enough people to make the swap worthwhile for all involved. (10-15 people is usually a great place to begin.)
- Give guests plenty of time to clean out closets and basements to bring items.
- Decide what to swap. Instead of making it broad and asking people to bring anything, think about particular things you want to get rid of. With back-to-school time right around the corner, it's a great time to swap kids' clothing (with other parents). Or try accessories/purses, women's clothing, toys/games or housewares. I've even hosted a book swap with my book club. The sky is the limit!
- Make sure guests understand items should be clean and in good condition. If you are trading clothing, ask guests to wash and dry items before the party.
- Ask each guest to bring at least 10 items to swap.
- When guests arrive, give each a ticket for each item she brought. (So if the person brought 10 items of clothing, give her 10 tickets.)
- Set up all the items around the room. Give guests some time to "shop" the room for items they have their eyes on.
- Provide light refreshments and use this as a time to mingle, too.
- After a little while, get the swap started. Ask the first five guests to pick their first item (in exchange for a ticket). Then, move on to the next five. Continue this process until all items and tickets are gone.
Gatherings with Purpose Idea:
There may be some items that don't get swapped. If anything is left, consider where they can be donated before the gathering begins. Women and kids' clothing can be donated to a domestic violence shelter. Toys, games and books could be dropped off at a local day care or school.
You could also tell guests that if they have other things to donate that don't fit the swap, they can bring them to be donated by the host following the gathering. Box everything up and drop off to local organizations. This truly makes your gathering one with a purpose.