Monday, May 24, 2010

Swap it!

Do you have growing kids?
The kind that you buy a pair of shoes for and they don't fit a week later?
You may be interested in hosting a children's swap! I first read this swap idea in Real Simple magazine. With three growing kidlets, it sparked an idea for a clothing swap - children's style!

How to get started:
I first emailed everyone I knew that had kids. Tall kids, small kids, thin kids and chubby too!
No one was going to be excluded, all ages and sizes were needed to have a successful swap.
We had a great turn out of about 13 people. Overall, it was like playing store! And I actually got to keep some great things for my own kids!

Rules of the swap:
No stains or rips in clothing, good tread on shoes, working toys, books without damage
Don't donate anything to the swap that you have a hard time parting with.
Be respectful and don't hoard.
Come prepared to spend your points!

Our Point System
The points you award your items are the points you will “spend”. Please be fair.
Use sticker labels to mark your items. Include the number of points the item earned in your eyes, as well as your initials or name on the sticker if you want your items back after the swap.
Items not picked up by a certain date are donated to good will.

Each item is given a certain number of points
Point system is on a scale of 1-5

1 point - used condition from a lower end store like Walmart,
3 points - great condition from mid level store like target/Old Navy
5 points - brand new from high end name brand like Janie and Jack/Nordstrom
Free Pile - clothing with minor stains, games/toys with a one or two missing pieces, etc...

Basically, the points are like dollars.
Most people kept their items middle of the road; 2, 3, or 4 points.

We used simple labels like these below.
Stick on the front of the items, or inside on the tag.
Be organized:
- Plan the swap out one month to give people time to sort through their things.
- Keep track of points so everyone can be reminded of how many points they have to shop with.
- Have bags or bins labeled with gender and sizes to put items in when people drop them off.
- Delegate to friends! It will be easier to set up with some help setting up and taking down.

I had two girls I was donating from, and 1 baby boy. So I had a hefty point tab racked up. I didn't spend what I donated, but I was okay with that! I basically traded things I couldn't use anymore, for things that my kids needed now or in the near future! Not to brag, but Baby Boy has a full wardrobe now for the entire next year. Woot!

Our Swap looked like this:
Sorry for the random shoe in the middle of the floor...

Luckily I had a large space to hold this swap. Customize it to your group.
Make it as casual or fancy as you wish!

Don't be intimidated. It didn't take as much time as it looks.
You just have to be organized. You can be thrifty and stylish at the same time!

Have fun swapping!


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