Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Swap Parties - Decluttering, Saving Money

Have you heard of swap parties? It's where you and a group of friends get together and swap some unwanted items. It reminds me of a dirty Santa or white elephant gift exchange, only with nice items to exchange.

What a fun excuse to get together with people you like! A nice way to brighten up the winter months, don't you think? The key is to get rid of something you're not using and come home with something you'll use!

Here are some tips to make it fun:

- Invite 10-15 fun-loving friends, who will help make the evening enjoyable and laughter-filled. More than 10-15, and the exchange becomes cumbersome.

-Ask your friends to bring 3-4 nice items they no longer want. They can't buy them - that defeats the purpose! Suggest things like books, CDs, DVDs, household items, etc.

- The items should be unwrapped so your guests can examine them. You may want to add a few extra gifts to make sure there are enough interesting selections.

- Make it a pot luck or provide a simple meal or dessert.

- Number slips of paper - the same number as the number of your guests. Each guest draws a slip of paper.

- #1 chooses a gift, with number #2 following and so on. A higher number can steal a gift that someone has already chosen or select a new gift. Determine a limit on how many times a gift may be stolen before it is safe. For example, if a gift can be stolen three times, the person who steals it the third time gets to keep it - no one can steal it again.

- If you have a large number of items and enough interest, do another round.

- Send unclaimed gifts home with your guests, or have a box on hand where they can place unwanted items. Place the box in your car, so you'll be sure to get the clutter out of your house!

What a fun way to declutter your house and have fun at the same time!

More on decluttering:
Three Steps to Decluttering
Your Priorities, Passions, and Gifts Create Context for Your Clutter
Decluttering Plastics - Which Ones are Safe?