Monday, February 1, 2010
Although my friends don’t know it yet, I’m secretly planning an upcoming Swap Party. I like to think of swap parties as the grown-up version of rustling through your best friend’s closet in search of the perfect “going-out” shirt or accessory. The concept is pretty much the same – rather than buy something new, borrow or “swap” the perfect item instead. Use the opportunity to both clean out your closets and spend some time with good friends.
Start by sending out a simple (preferably electronic) invite that sets some ground rules for the party. For instance, each guest is expected to bring no more than ten items that are in good condition to swap. Also, in order to encourage your guests to linger for a bit of post-swap gossip, ask everyone to bring an appetizer or a bottle of wine.
On the day of the party, as guests arrive, arrange all items to swap in one central area, such as on and around the dining room table. Offer guests a collection of gift tags or clothespins marked with their names so that they can “claim” items that they like. Guests are invited to take home one new item for every “swap” item they brought in tow. Once everyone has picked out some new goodies, ask guests to assist you in boxing up the remaining items to donate to a local do-good organization, such as a women’s shelter, a school, or a Salvation Army.