One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's Treasure

It snowed in Portland 3 weeks ago. And then it was sunny the following week. And then last week, it turned into monsoon season. But I was going to ignore the moody weather and focus on the fact that it's March, which means spring is almost here! And what better way to motivate some spring cleaning than a Spring Swap? A swap is pretty simple: you go through your stuff (primarily your closet) and take out the stuff that you don't wear anymore, but you're not ready to throw away. Your "trash" may become someone else's treasure! Bring your clothes, your accessories, and stuff that's just been hanging around the house that you need to get rid of and we'll see if we can find it a new home. As long as it's in usable condition or needs minor tweaks (aka missing button that you can't be bothered with), bring it with! It's important to invite a bunch of different people with similar and different styles (and sizes!) so there's something for everything.

The hostess usually supplies light snacks for the group and volunteers to take any left over items to donate afterwards. I've been trying to eat healthy so for snacks I (along with my awesome sous chef, Megan!) made Artichoke and Green Olive Tapenade, Almond Avocado Dip, Hummus and Baba Ghanoush with crackers, Almond Thins, cucumbers, celery and carrots. (And it only took about an hour to make it all!) Thanks to Dr. Sachin Patel for the recipes!

Few things to keep in mind:

  • Bring clean goods in gently used condition (that is, no ratty gym shorts or a Scrabble set missing the letter Q).
  • Things to bring: clothes, shoes, accessories, household items, books, dvds, etc. I even went through my makeup drawer and have a few palettes that I don't use but have barely been touched--figured this group could have dibs before they went into the trash.
  • Depending on the size of the group, you spend the first 30 minutes or so laying out all of the contributions into categories before the group start "shopping"
  • Try to set up the area to make it shopper friendly: set up mirrors, places to hang clothes, etc.
  • Tell your guests to come with an extra tote bag to take home your "new" presents

And a fun little "rule" poem I found online:

  • Thou shalt shop this swap like a regular store
  • Thou shalt return items to their original location
  • Thou shalt try on no more than 3 items at a time
  • Thou shalt respect all styles (these are the old clothes of attendees who may overhear comments)
  • Thou shalt encourage and applaud the style of swap partners
  • Thou shalt have fun!

It was a ton of fun and everyone went home with a heap of stuff--and I have a carload of stuff to take to Goodwill as well! Have you ever hosted or attended a swap?

Healthy Eating, take @#$ !

Chaos in the Kitchen: Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup