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Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Back To School | 3 comments

8 Steps to a Successful Kids’ Clothing Swap


While we all want our kids to look great when they head back to school, that doesn’t mean you have to break the budget. Children’s clothing routinely gets worn very little before our kids outgrow them.  Why not swap clothing with you friends?  Not only will it help you organize and get rid of what you don’t need, you’ll also receive new clothing for your kids at no cost to you!

Here are 8 simple steps to host a kids clothing swap.

1. Pick a Theme

Before you start, you need a theme to organize your swap.  With back to school around the corner, this is a perfect and easy theme idea.

2. Invite

Make a list of all your friends you want to invite.  Keep in mind what size clothing they will be bringing so that you’ll have a variety at the swap.  In your invitation you’ll want to include instructions and information about what a swap is.   Note the minimum and maximum number of clothing items each friend should bring.  And don’t forget to remind your guests to bring accessories and even shoes to swap!

3. Co-host

To ease the time and expense of hosting your swap, ask a few friends to host with you.  This will also increase the number of invitees to the party.  Each host can bring an appetizer to share so that you can lessen your expenses for hosting the swap.

4. Swap Room

Before guests arrive, designate an area of your home to be used for the swap.  Pre-plan what area each size of clothing will be displayed so that as guests arrive you can keep everything very organized. Have bins, boxes, small tables, or even chairs assigned as sizes to sort the clothes and other items. As each guest arrives it will be quick and easy to sort the clothes into the proper size.

5. Fun Activity

Plan something to do while you sort.  As your guests arrive, you’ll want to have an activity for them to enjoy as you finish sorting and get ready for the party.  This can be a simple game or icebreaker so that the guests can get to know each other. You may not need a game if having a night out with your friends doesn’t happen very often.

6. Browsing time

Once you’re organized, give each guest 5 clothing pins that are alike in color but different from other guests.  Plastic clothespins come in different colors so it is easy to assign separate pins.  Wooden pins can have a different color painted on them to help differentiate. (No need to purchase paint, use some of your nail polish as paint.)  Allow three or four guests at a time a few minutes to browse what’s available. Allow them to “pin” their favorite items.  It is okay if more than one person pins an outfit.

7. Who goes first?

Once the browsing time is over, using extra pins, draw a color that coordinates to your guest’s clothespin to decide who goes first.  Allow them to grab a certain number of items depending on the supply you have.  Give each group of people only 3 minutes to select from the items they pinned as well as a few additional items that have no pin on the clothing.  Then allow the next group of colored pins to go. Remember, you want to keep this party moving.

8. Donate

Once all groups have gone through the clothing, allow everyone to browse and grab any remaining items that they may need.  Donate all additional items to Goodwill or other local charities.  Some charities even pick up your donated items such as the National Kidney Foundation.

By following these simple steps, you can host a successful kids clothing swap.  Why spend money on clothing, when your friends have what you need?   Not only is this a great way to save money, but you’ll have an evening out with friends as well.  What a great way to celebrate back to school!

Guest blogger Lynette Rice is a DealPro and founder of website, where she helps others learn how to save money and do so by keeping it simple.




  1. Hey Lynette,
    Recently I approach your articles I have to say you align the great information in regarding the hosting and humanity for relation, i m more glad to get more information from your side specialty about the big event like Christmas, new year family gets together. thanks

  2. Hi Lynette,
    I appreciate your efforts. It is actually really fun idea and better option for get to gather with our close friends and family members. Ultimately, It save our money too. And big enjoy for kids with new clothes.
    Special Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Hi Lynette, I liked the tips. Very useful ones I must say. It would save not only our money but also help in relation building with our friends. Recycling has good benefits for our society


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