Tips for Hosting a Hand-Me-Downy Kids’ Clothing Swap Party

Don’t toss the clothes your kids have outgrown – host a clothing swap party instead!

Why host a kids’ clothing swap party?

  • As a parent, you know how quickly kids outgrow their clothes and how expensive it is to buy new ones. That’s why families have relied on hand-me-downs for generations. It’s an economical, sustainable reason to declutter your family’s closets. Plus, a swap party with friends is a fun way to make sure tenderly loved and cared-for pieces don’t end up in a landfill too soon!

What should you swap?

  • Be clear about what’s swap-worthy. Ask friends to bring items in well-cared-for, gently used condition. To keep your family’s clothes in tip-top shape, wash with Tide and protect with Downy to keep clothes looking newer 50 percent longer. The longer they last and the better condition they’re in, the more life you can get out of your kids’ wardrobe.
  • Politely remind guests to clean out the pockets of all items beforehand. Tracking down your child’s beloved trinkets before they get passed down to someone else’s kids can avoid colossal meltdowns!

Who should you invite?

  • Anyone and everyone with kids are welcome! You never know what hidden gems your sister-in-law or your childhood BFF will have to trade amongst partygoers.
  • One friendly word of advice when it comes to exchanging kids’ clothes: Be mindful of the size, age and gender of your guests’ children. This will help ensure every kid can go home with something new to love.

How can you host your own “Hand-Me-Downy” party?

  • Make the party your own by planning a few more activities to round out the experience. Don’t be afraid to stock up on snacks and decorations, and make sure to crank up the tunes!
  • On the practical side, hangers and clothing racks are handy for displaying items, but you can also get inventive by clearing off dining and side tables to showcase collections of items.
  • Establish a method to the swapping madness. Here are some strategies to keep you organized:
    • Group items by size/age and gender. This will make it easy for parents to find what they need. Consider grouping items as follows: baby (0 to 1 year), toddler (2 to 4 years), 5 to 7 years and 8 to 11 years. Then sort clothing into categories: school clothes, special occasion wear, dress-up costumes, shoes and other accessories.
    • Use tokens. Hand out a poker chip for every item a guest brings. If a person brings five items, they get five tokens to “purchase” five new items.
    • Take turns “shopping.” Draw straws to select who shops first. Limit the number of picks to three per turn to keep the partiers cycling through the displays.
  • Once the swap is over, there are bound to be unclaimed items. Make sure these items don’t up in a landfill too soon by bagging up and donating the leftovers! Pro tip: Call ahead to your local charity to ensure they accept clothing donations.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Share your swap party experience on social media using #HandMeDowny.

Download a handy printable version of these tips here!


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