Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away…wait..sorry, wrong movie. Let’s try that again;
When my Emma was 6, she woke up one morning and came out of her room stark naked. Literally butt naked. When I questioned her as to where her clothes were, she very seriously looked at me and told me that none of them fit. Now mind you, this kid had clothes that fit her just the night before. She had a closet full! Try as I might that day, I simply couldn’t find anything to fit her at all! Color me perplexed, right? I mean how does a kid outgrow literally everything except one pair of pajamas overnight?
The simple fact is this:
Kids can grow incredibly fast and when that happens? It can cost you big! Having to replace their entire wardrobe like I did that day can drain a bank account quicker than you can blink. Instead, having a kids clothing swap can help you keep your budget in check, help your friends out too and of course, keep nakey butts covered when a growth spurt hits. Check out these tips for how to host a kids clothing swap below and let me know what you think!
If you’re not familiar with what a clothing swap is, it’s 100% exactly like it sounds. You and your friends get together and swap good quality, used kids clothes! They’re pretty easy to set up too!
To start, you’ll need to set a date for your kids clothing swap. Make sure that you pick a date when you’ve got some time free the week of and try to stay clear of weeknights in case someone who attends has school age kids. You’ll also need to figure out a place to host your clothing swap. If you’re having just a few friends attend, your home will most likely work, but keep in mind that the more people who attend, the bigger the space you’ll need.
Next, you’ll need to let people know. If the swap is going to be a small affair among friends, just shoot them an email or use a site like evites.com. If it’s a larger event, consider using Facebook groups and printing flyers using a site like Vistaprint. Also, be sure to add newspaper advertising if the event is bigger so that you get the word out. The more people that attend, the more successful your event will be!
Now? Start cleaning out closets and tell your friends to do so as well! You’ll need “inventory” for your swap! Make sure that each piece you keep is clean without rips, stains or any other obvious issues. If you have a bunch of clothing with stains, consider adding a free box to your swap that people can go through without having to trade for it. That way the clothing still gets used, but you get to get rid of the clutter. The hosts of the last swap I went to did this and it was a huge success for people that were looking to pick up some new clothes just for play.
Once you’ve got your inventory selected, you’ll need to create the space that you’re holding your swap in. This can mean everything from just setting out boxes for each clothing size to tables for each size to actually setting up racks for each one. It all depends on how many items you’re going to be swapping and how organized you want to be. Obviously if you’re having a large sale (or if you’re just an organizing queen), you’ll want to be as organized as possible. You can organize it however you want, but generally you’ll want to do by size at the very least. You could also do by season and by sex if you wanted to as well. If you’re going to be using a “check out” system, be sure to use tags so that checking out is easier.
Once you’re all set up, it’s time to shop! Let your swappers trade for the clothes they want and get rid of the ones they don’t! Be sure to do your shopping too! It’s up to you how you do the actual trading! You can assign each item a value and let them trade the “credit” they earned when they brought their own clothes in, you can trade item for item (i.e. jeans for jeans) or you could just do a “take what you need, give what you can approach”!
It really is your decision on how you do things! No matter what, you’ll be saving your friends and yourself tons of cash on kids clothes and you won’t have a nakey kid problem like I did! 🙂