How to Avoid Clutter from a Clothing Swap

Have you ever been to a clothing swap? If you aren’t familiar with the concept I will borrow Wikipedia’s definition: “A clothing swap is a type of swapmeet wherein participants exchange their valued but no longer used clothing for clothing they will use. Clothing swaps are considered not only a good way to refill one’s wardrobe, but also are considered an act of environmentalism.”  There are many articles online about organizing a swap but that is not the topic of this post.  I’m going to share with you how to AVOID CLUTTER FROM A CLOTHING SWAP.

The ladies in my community LOVE clothing swaps. There is at least one per month and they are very well attended. I am a big fan of these swaps because I enjoy the friendly atmosphere in addition to the free merchandise.

However, there is a DOWNSIDE of free merchandise. Whether you acquire it from a swap, as hand-me-downs from a neighbor, or from “generous relatives” (aka your mom/sister/aunt bought/didn’t want/gifted items to you) these items will become CLUTTER if they aren’t useful to you. Whatever the reason (too big, too small, wrong season, itchy, etc. etc.) you MUST donate these items IMMEDIATELY.

The Klutter Koach’s Rules for Clothing Swaps

  1. Know sizes.  We know that a label isn’t always accurate and there is often a discrepancy between brands but it gives a general idea.  If you know you wear a size large don’t bother with anything labeled XS.  For children’s clothes it helps if you bring an item in the size currently being worn so you can compare it to the things you find.
  2. Know your palette.  I look good in jewel tones.  Pastels aren’t my color.  I know if I were to find something in pale pink the chances or me actually wearing it are slim to none so best to leave it in the pile.
  3. Try on clothing immediately.  If possible, try on before you leave.  If not an option then try on as soon as you get home.  If an item fits and you like it-great. Wash, put away, and enjoy.  If something doesn’t fit, drop off ASAP to a second-hand establishment. I do not recommend saving it for the next swap unless you have a designated space for giveaways and are committed to giving the items away in a timely manner.
  4. Don’t hoard. Don’t take for the sake of taking.  If you get a thrill for acquiring something new then I highly advise that for each item you bring home, remove an equal number of items from your wardrobe.
  5. Be honest with yourself.  On one hand if you want to experiment with a new style then go for it.  On the other hand, if you know you disdain prints or stripes don’t talk yourself into selecting something you know you’ll never wear.

Clothing swaps are a great way to saving money on your clothing budget and are fun to attend.  Just follow the rules for avoiding clothing clutter and if you find something fabulous as my grandmother used to say “Wear it in good health!”

Thanks for reading and happy swapping.

Karen, T.K.K.

February 10, 2019







































Published by Karen Furman

Hi. I’m Karen Furman, a home organizer and decluttering professional. Organizing is something I’ve been doing since 1st grade when used to straighten everyone’s desks. Fast forward a few decades later, I turned my passion for organizing into a business. Philosophy = Your home should be organized so you know where things are, to the degree that you feel relaxed and not stressed in your space. Method = A combination of Marie Kondo + FlyLady + my own style. YOU make the decisions. YOU decide what to keep and not to keep. I help provide clarity. Attitude = Positive, enthusiastic, non-judgmental

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