How to Host a Successful Swap

So you're interested in learning more about the hot new trend of "Swapping." It's the newest, best way to dump some of your unwanted stuff in exchange for a few items you will use! Swaps provide an inexpensive (and environmentally friendly) way to update a wardrobe, make over a room or trade in unwanted toys.

A Swap is usually hosted in someone's home or in the yard. It starts with a group of moms who dig out unwanted items from their closets and bring them over to the host's house for display and trade. At the Swap, everyone gets to choose "new" stuff while munching on snacks and chatting away.

If hosting a Swap sounds good to you, you'll need this handy checklist. It shows exactly what you'll need to organize a successful Swap. So, stop waiting to be invited to a Swap, and host one instead! You'll be the hit of the neighborhood.

Your Swap Timeline and Checklist

6 Weeks Before Your Swap...

  • Set a date and time.
  • On your calendar, block out days before and after for prep and cleanup.
  • Select your Swappables (see the top 20 below).
  • Write your invite list.
  • Send invitations that include an explanation of how the event works, your name and address, the date and time, and an RSVP phone number and email address (online at or with paper invites).
  • Mark invitation list with a yes or no as invitees RSVP.

Tips: On the invitations, specify the following:

  1. All items must be clean and gently used.
  2. The maximum and minimum number of Swappables each guest can bring.
  3. Items must be dropped off at your home prior to the Swap before X date.
  4. Unclaimed items will be donated to a designated charity, unless the Swapper wants his or her items returned instead. If that is the case, that item must be clearly marked with the Swapper's name.
  5. If an item is too large to bring to the Swap, the Swapper must bring a photo with contact information.
  6. Kids or no kids allowed. (If you opt for a kid-friendly Swap, set up a play zone away from the shopping area.)
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