There is no better time to start minimizing your life than now.. A new year means a fresh start, and letting go of what you no longer need in your life. If you’ve downloaded our free 16-page Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook, you’ll know that most women only wear 20% of their closet 80% of the time. Yes, that means there's a whole 80% of your closet that rarely or never sees the light of day.
To get you started on a closet refresh, consider hosting a clothing swap party with friends. Find a better home for those dresses you’ve only worn once to a wedding from many years ago, or those jeans that no longer fit. No matter where you are today with your wardrobe, having a refined, minimalist closet IS possible.
HOW TO HOST A SUCCESSFUL
CLOTHING SWAP PARTY
Invite your friends - The first step is to send an an e-invite like a Facebook Event to a small group of friends 1-2 weeks before the swap. Start small, less than 10 will give a wide selection of pieces to swap from. Invite an even mix of different body types so no one feels left out.
Set the guidelines - Have a minimum and maximum number of pieces to bring. We’re going with minimum 5, maximum 15. Give guidance on what to bring - ideally, clothing, accessories and shoes that are in good, clean or like new condition. No holes, weird stains, or broken zips and buttons. Check all pockets to make sure that there are no unwanted surprise gifts for the new owner.
Set up the clothing swap space - Set up a few clothes racks in a room in your home that has a lot of space. You can often rent racks, or buy a few from Ikea. We used Ikea racks that are easy to set up. Remove any fragile items and reorganize furniture so that several people can get around the racking easily and comfortably.
Organize clothing by category - Tops, bottoms, accessories, shoes, etc. Presentation is key, so we set up pieces with matching hangers and organized by size and colour for a boutique shopping experience.
Create a changeroom - Designate a room(s) with full length mirrors for changing. We asked everyone to come to the event in a form fitted tank top and leggings so that pieces can be easily thrown over top if change rooms are full.
Manage the swap- Allow everyone to introduce themselves and what they brought. Learning about the stories behind our pre-loved clothes is fun and sometimes inspiring. Allow a few people at a time to take 1 or 2 pieces to try on, and repeat. You may consider setting up a numbered draw to make it fair. We had 9 women participating so we drew numbers from 1 to 3 for 3 groups of 3. Each group had about 15 minutes to take their picks before the next group’s turn.
Donate the leftovers - Find a local non-profit, charity or donation centre to support. We opted to request a free pick-up from Diabetes Canada.
Rinse + Repeat - Hold a clothing swap once a season, and rotate who hosts each time. It’s a fun way to ensure everything in your closet gets worn!
Did you know that 70% of the carbon footprint of clothing comes from after you wear it? This is why it’s important to consider not only how you wash your clothing, but what happens to it after you’re done wearing it.