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How to throw a swap party: 8 tips to get the best closet trades

by Jill Martin /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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1. Send out the invite:

  • Pick a site like PaperlessPost.com, where you can send a free invite to the people you're inviting to the party.
  • Ask everyone to bring a dish — potluck swaps are the best! (Make sure everyone is bringing something different.)
  • Have champagne and glasses on hand — or whatever snacks your group will enjoy!
  • Specify on the invitation which kinds of items everyone should bring, and how many of each.

2. Make sure you have these 5 essentials:

  • Stands, closets or rolling racks to display clothing and jewelry in an appealing way
  • At least two full-length mirrors
  • A "safe zone" area where people can put the items they've chosen, so these don't get taken accidentally
  • Music!
  • Accessories: To make sure your swap is fun for women of all shapes and sizes, make sure to include items like bags, shoes and jewelry so there's something for everyone!

3. Draw straws to see who goes first:

  • Have a process in place so it's not the running of the bulls! Everyone should randomly choose a number to determine the swap order.
  • Once everyone has had a drink or two and had a few bites to eat, announce that the swap party is beginning! The host should start a clock, and every minute a new person can go check out the scene.

4. The classic swap:

In a classic swap, you walk over to someone, find something of theirs you like, and then they walk over to your things and pick something of yours that they want. Boom! You are done — swapped. Success! But sometimes, things are more complicated you might need a...

5. Model-off!

If two people like the same thing and there's competition for the item (and the person who owns it can't decide who to give it to) you should have a model-off! Here, each interested person tries on the item and the group gets to vote for who it looks better on.

6. A 3-way swap:

So let's say my friend Cecilia likes my blouse, but I don't like anything of Cecilia's. I like something of Jackie's, but she doesn't like anything of mine. Cecilia can try to trade with Jackie so that she can get the thing I like, and get the piece she wants from me!

7. Donation:

When the party wraps up, there are bound to be items left over. It's always nice to group everything together and donate it to a local charity.

8. Facebook swap:

Can't get everyone together in a room? Hold a virtual swap. Put an item up on your Facebook page, and let your friends upload items they want to swap with you. You can even throw a Facebook swap party — just tell your friends to log in at the same time.

Happy swapping!

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