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Swap It! Getting Your Kids Clothes While Staying Green

Sometimes getting that perfect outfit for the kiddos can be a blast, but other times it can be frustrating when you realize that in a few years (or even months), their perfect dress, shirt, or jumper won’t fit anymore.

What’s more, if you’re trying to be green, buying all that new clothing can feel a bit eco-unfriendly (and expensive). So what can you do to stay green, save green, and keep the kids looking cool?

Have a Clothing Swap!
It’s time to hold a swapping party. The basic idea is pretty simple – invite friends and family with similarly aged kids and everyone brings some items of clothing to exchange.

Sound good? Then here’s what you’ll need to do:

Step 1: Establish the Age Group
A clothing swap can’t just be for the clothes you’re hoping to get – you’ve got to pick an age bracket that will make it worthwhile for multiple families. If you’ve got a toddler, for example, you may want to do something like 2T-5T as a bracket.

Step 2: Choose the Item Limit
You should pick a minimum/maximum number of items people can bring to swap. You don’t want someone bringing 40 things when everyone else only brought 3, for example. 10 items is a good starting among, though you can always go higher or lower.

Step 3: Reaching Out
You can’t have a party without guests! Reach out to your friends and family on social media who have kids that fit your age bracket. If you don’t know many, ask your friends if they know anyone who would fit.

If you’re feeling a bit ambitious, you can also reach out to your local school or daycare for permission to put up posters or to get mentioned in their newsletter.

Whatever path you pick,  make the item limit and age group clear in your message as well as the requirement that everything must be clean and in good condition. General rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t loan it to a good friend, don’t bring it to a swap.

Step 4: Setting Up
Setting up for the party can be as laid backed or fancy as you like. You can set up boxes or tables labeled with clothes type and gender or just put up a large table where everything can be laid out. Likewise, food and drink can be anything from coffee and a few baked goods to a full spread. It really depends on the vibe you’re going for.

Step 5: The Swap!
It’s time to swap (and time to get even busier)! As people arrive, you’ll need to count the number of items they’re bringing and give them a ticket for each one. Then, about 30 minutes after the start of the party, let the swapping begin. People will use their tickets to “buy” clothes, that way they walk away with just as many items as they came with.

Step 6: Finishing Up
At the end of the party, there’s a good chance they’ll be some clothes no one claims and people don’t want to take back. If that happens, make sure you donate the leftovers to charity.

That’s how you hold a clothes swapping party. It’s a bit of work, but it’s fun, green, and a great way to save money. Thanks to Katie Kavulla at SheKnows.com and Amy at Frugal-Mama.com

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