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How to Host a Holiday Swap Party

With the holidays just around the corner, your home will soon be hit with an influx of toys, clothing, housewares and other gifts. Get ahead of the “stuff” this holiday season by hosting a holiday swap party with your friends, and part ways with the unused clutter in your home.

What’s a swap party?

At a swap party, friends get together to trade their unused belongings for “new” items. It’s a fun and easy way to get rid of your unused things and pick up something you are more likely to use – for free!  


What should people bring?

Often swap parties have themes, such as summer clothing or kitchen gadgets. If you’re hosting a holiday swap party, guests may bring anything holiday-themed that they no longer have a use for. Holiday-themed decorations, housewares and maybe even clothes (think ugly Christmas sweaters) are perfect for a swap party.   


How does it work?

Give your guests at least a few weeks’ notice before the event so they can rummage through their holiday gear beforehand. Also, remind everyone they should bring items that are clean and in good condition.

If possible, set up a few completely cleared tables where everyone’s belongings can be laid out. So that your swap party isn’t a free-for-all, draw straws or roll dice to see what order your guests will get to choose new items. Then, one at a time, each guest will choose an item they would like to take home.

If you have guests who are vying for the same item, have them do a round of “rock, paper, scissors” to decide who gets to take the piece home.  


What should be done with the items no one wants?

If you have lots of items leftover, consider donating everything to a local thrift store. Remember that anything you donate to a thrift shop should be clean and in good, working condition. Do not drop off anything broken, damaged, dirty or incomplete, as the store will have to dispose of these items at its own expense. For a full list on what thrift stores often can and can’t take, see this blog post.


Have fun and happy swapping!

Andrea Hanft is a Communications Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and sister companies You Move Me and WOW 1 DAY PAINTING . Originally from Toronto, Andrea is very happy to be a Vancouver newbie, spending her weekends hiking and exploring the city. You can connect with her via LinkedIn.


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