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Out with the old, in with the new (to you)

We tend to have too much stuff. Perhaps you’ve mastered the art of minimalism—the rest of us are struggling with closets jammed with sweaters and pants and boots that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Maybe ever. You can certainly donate those clothes to resale shops like Goodwill or bring them to your local consignment store. Or you can use them as an excuse to rally some friends for an evening of socializing and apparel swapping (and then donate the leftovers). Clothing swaps can be informal affairs (host one at home and have everyone bring some food or drink to share), but there are a few tips that can help your swap run smoothly and ensure everyone leaves happy and with a few new-to-them items. (Thanks to local swapper Hannah Wolken for her experienced input!)

ORGANIZE CLOTHING BY SIZE

Some general organizing will help your fellow swappers know where to focus their energies. If you have clothing racks, great, but piles work, too. Smalls on the couch, larges on the coffee table, you get the idea.

LIMIT THE NUMBER OF ITEMS EACH PERSON CAN TAKE

At least at first. To prevent a scramble (and to help out attendees who arrive later), limit the number of items each person can take to, say, three for the first round. This will help give everyone the opportunity to score some great stuff without feeling like it has to be a mad sprint.

SUPPLY A COUPLE OF FULL-LENGTH MIRRORS

People want to see what that dress or those slacks look like on, so have a couple of full-length mirrors and a place to try on clothes.

ENLIST HELP BRINGING DONATIONS TO LOCAL CHARITIES

At the end of the evening, there’s likely to be plenty of leftover items that can be donated to a local charity or resale shop. Enlist some friends to help you deliver those goods, so you’re not left hauling six bags yourself.

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