We went beyond clothing

My Story: Extending a Clothing Swap

contributed by MsTLCT

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My group of friends and I were talking about a clothes swap to extend our clothing budget. Then, of course, it led to specifics like kids' clothes, kitchen stuff, books, etc.

While thinking about it, I considered the possibility of making it a general swap meet and opening it up, so everyone could invite two to three friends. I asked a small church near me if we could use their fellowship hall for free on a Saturday morning with the promise we would leave it as clean as we found it. They were happy to let us use it if we allowed any of their interested members to be included.

Then I sent out an email to my group of friends and to a church member explaining the details of the swap meet. Everyone was allowed to invite two to three friends to participate. They were told to bring anything they wanted to swap. Clothes were to be clean and in gently used condition. Household items were to be in fair condition, and books were definitely a plus. The swap started at a specific time, so no one could come in later and put out their stuff. Everything was for swap. There was no selling involved.

The first one was successful. We had 18 families and had many wonderful finds. We set our things on tables around the room. At a specific time, everyone just went around to the tables and took what they wanted. No one kept "count" on who took what or how much. When the time period was over, anyone could take their things back home with them or donate them to a thrift store that agreed to pick up leftover items.

The second swap meet was two months later, and we had 26 families participate. It is almost time for the third one, and I suspect we will have to find a bigger place after this one.

Not only do I find some "new" treasures each time and save money, but it has also been fun and a wonderful way for me to clean out what would be clutter if it stayed at my house.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to MyStory@stretcher.com.

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