Wardrobe selection getting stale? In need of some extra closet room? It sounds like you need to host a party. Throwing a swap party is super easy. All you need is space, friends and a desire to get rid of a few things in your closet. Last week I threw a get-together of my own and here’s how it went down. Take notes.

As the seasons change, so do our closets and so do we. Once or twice a year, I comb through my clothes and tell myself to be completely honest. When do I ever wear this? When will this every fit me again? What the hell was I thinking? Asking questions like this is a great way to detach yourself from things that may have more sentimental value than wearability. Though I usually take my unwanted clothing to a charity drop box, I decided to make it more of a group effort this time around.  Once I had a decent sized stack of do-not-wants, I was ready to host my first ever swap party.

I made a Facebook invite, grabbed a few boxes of wine and a bunch of snacks (essential) and, voila!, it was happening. I welcomed ten or so lady friends to squeeze into my living room, inviting each person to bring any clothing they no longer had a use for.

Each of us took a turn to showcase what we had to offer, holding up one garment at a time and, in many cases, telling a story from the items life as a kind of parting ritual. Then, through whatever means necessary (i.e. shouting, trying stuff on and sheer assertiveness), we would decide as a group who got to keep what. It was all very democratic. At the end of the evening, I allowed my guests to leave behind whatever had not been claimed.  Afterwards, I packed everything up into bags for a donation pick-up I had scheduled with a local charity.

The swap party was a huge success. I spent very little money (it could have been done even cheaper without wine or as a BYOB event), we donated two bags of gently worn clothing to those in need and had an eco-friendly good time. I was able to clear out some much needed space in my closet and pick up some cute new clothes, all while hanging out with my ladies.