Our Frugalista Amrita Singh shares the best way to put together a clothing swap to save money in style.
Set up the Swap
Timing is Everything
The best time to plan a clothing swap is at the end of one clothing season before heading into a new one – swap before the summer to clear out your closets and get excited about the new additions to your summer wardrobe.
Moms can organize a kids' clothing swap. Decide on a specific range of clothing sizes (maybe even a specific gender) and have fun! Career-wear swaps can also be really useful. Or you can just keep it super simple and stick to an accessories-only swap. So many options!
Keep it Fair and Square
You can draw straws to figure out the selection order if everyone brings the same number of pieces. If you really want to keep it fair, use poker chips to keep a tally of the number of pieces — so if someone brings five items to the swap, they receive five chips and can take home five new pieces.
It Pays to Display
For a swap to be successful, you need to take time to turn it into an event. Transform your space into a shopping boutique — curate your pieces and display the clothes to really show them off.
DIY Clothing Rack
Make a DIY clothing rack for under $20 — it comes apart and can travel from swap to swap, and it’s also great for garage sales or extra storage in the basement.
The base: Use 2x4s to form the base of the stand. The pieces in the middle should be shorter than those on the sides. Make them wide enough to wedge the upright 2x4 into the base.
Tip: Using nails is easier than screws to keep it all together.
Midsection: Insert two upright 2x4s into the base.
The top: Drill a hole about 5” from the top of each upright 2x4 to slide a copper pipe, thick wooden dowel or closet rod through the holes.
Odds and Ends
Encourage guests to bring in accessories and jewelry because one size fits all!
Cover a large cork board with some pretty fabric and use tacks to secure necklaces and earrings. Use wine bottles for belts and bracelets. Glass cylinder vases are great to show off chunkier bracelets and scarves. Grab some branches and pack them densely into a short vase...use the twigs to display rings!
Use a coat rack to display purses so they're pretty and easy access. Group your items together by category.
Group your shoes together — put them on a bench or coffee table near a chair so you've got built-in seating to try it all on!
Wrap it Up
If you've planned well and invited well you shouldn't be left with too many items after the swap finishes. But, offer whatever's leftover to guests one last time. If there are no takers, pack up the items right away into a box marked donation. Have one or two of your guests put the box into your car trunk on their way out, and make sure you drop it off to an organization of your choice sooner than later.