How to Host a Swap Party

Have you ever wanted to clean our your closet and start fresh?  Wondered what you should do with all the clothing & accessories that you no longer fancy?  Or always coveted your friend’s jacket that you know they no longer wear?!

The answer is that you should host a Swap Party!    

I hosted a Pineapples & Palms Themed Swap Party last year with some of my closest gal pals and it was a blast.  You can check out all the fun we had here.  And if you’re interested in finding out more details on how-to host a swap party, keep scrolling!

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Swap Party Guidelines:

Q: What exactly is a Swap Party?
A: This is an excuse to clean out your closets and take home some new finds from your friends!  Each guest brings clean gently used goods that they are ready to part with. Once everyone has arrived and all items have been displayed, guests will take turns shopping their friends’ collections for items they want to take home! Everyone gets a fair chance to shop as you take turns based off of drawing numbers. Think of it as an exchange of goods!

Q: What types of goods are we talking about?
A: Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry, Handbags, Perfumes, Makeup, Accessories, etc. Anything you can wear. And if guests are bringing clothing items, bring them on a hanger. Everyone can take their hanger home, but it will help stay organized and make it easier to shop when shopping if you have a hanging rack to display everything.

Q: What counts as clean gently used goods?
A: Well it’s certainly NOT those ratty faded sneakers you’ve been meaning to throw out…. but it does include anything that you would still wear, but maybe you’ve just moved on to another favorite piece in your wardrobe and you would like someone else to find love in that little lace top. Nothing with stains, anything pilling too much, dirty, missing beads, broken, etc.

Q: Sounds like this could escalate fairly quickly if we’re all coveting that same adorable beaded clutch… How will we keep it fair?
A: We will draw straws (or numbers) to pick who shops first. Each person will be limited to picking three items per turn to keep it fair and moving fast. We will repeat the process until everyone feels they’ve found what they want or we’re too boozy to keep track of it.

Q: How many items should I bring?
A: This depends upon what you would like to part with, but 5-10 items minimum is a good start. Feel free to bring more if you’re feeling generous or trying to declutter! But please keep it to good condition.

Q: I don’t have that much to part with in my closet…
A: Come on… we’re sure you can find at minimum 5 items you’re ready to clear out, right? It’s an exchange, so you can take home up to the number of items you bring and you might find something lovely!  So if you bring 5 items, you can go home with 5 items.  If you bring 20 items, you can go home with 5, 10, 15… etc. anything up to 20 items. Don’t be that person to show up empty handed… it’s supposed to be fun!

Q: What will you do with all the unwanted items?
A: Great question! Any items guests bring that do not go home with someone else should be donated to a local shelter (preferably a not-for-profit, instead of a non-profit).

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Sounds fun right?!?!

Well it is!

So start gathering your things and don’t forget to tell guests to bring an extra tote or shopping bag so they’ll have something to carry all their fabulous finds home in!

Insider Tip:  To make trying on clothes easier, encourage guests to wear nude and modest underwear.  

This gives guests the option to change more freely and less awkwardly just in case you need to change in an open area.  Just think of it like a sample sale dressing room 😉

If you’re thinking about hosting your own Swap Party, you can easily pick up a cheap clothes rack from some place like Ikea.  Once the Swap Party wraps, you can use the clothes rack to pull your weekly looks and have them nicely organized separately from your closet.  I love multi-purpose items!

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