Don't Shop--Swap!

We are just days away from Black Friday and the official holiday shopping season (though many of us have already started). Tons of money is spent on tchotchkes for every relative, teacher, crossing guard, babysitter, etc. when, in reality, we all probably already have more than we really need in our closets and drawers. The things we have are perfectly good, but may not be quite our taste, or we may have worn it to too many special events already, so it just sits there, unused. We know perfectly well that someone else might be able to use them, but who?

Hold to Accessories Swap!

I recently learned about accessories swaps when the sisterhood group at my temple held one. You arrive at the swap with some items to contribute to the swap, and go home with some new-to-you items to add to your wardrobe! All for free! Can't beat that! If you Google "accessories swap," you will come across many methods, but here is how my temple did it, and it seemed to work well.

  1. Each person may bring up to 5 accessories, such as belts, bags, scarves, jewelry, hats, or anything that qualifies as an accessory but does not need to be tried on. Everything should be well-made, clean, and in good condition. Vintage is fine, but it should be something that people are likely to want.
  2. You get one ticket for each item you bring. So, if you bring 3 items to the swap, you will get 3 tickets.
  3. The items are displayed for a while so you can check them out while you have appetizers and drinks.
  4. The swap is held in the form of an auction. One item will be held up at a time, and you can bid as many tickets as you have. If more than one person bids with the same number of tickets, the winner's name is pulled from a hat. Other swaps I saw online gave each participant a number. When your number is drawn from the hat, you get to pick an accessory. After each person has gone one time, then they put the numbers back in to draw again.
  5. Any left over items are donated. My temple group donated the items to Morris County Dress for Success, an organization that helps empower women in crisis to secure employment. (Morris County Dress for Success is located at the Madison Community House, 25 Cook Avenue, Madison.) They also asked swap attendees to bring suits or other professional attire to donate.

The organizers of the swap said that everyone went home with something they loved, while also finding a reason to clear out their closets, hang out with friends, and donate to a great cause.