How to host a back-to-school swap

How to host a Back-To-School Swap

It’s getting closer to that time of the year; back to school season is eagerly coming upon us. However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get ready for this expensive time of the year. Have you ever thought of hosting a back to school swap? Here are several tips on how to host a successful swap.

1. Plan ahead

Planning ahead gives you time to set up a place and time to have your swap. There are many places where you can start your swap for free; in the summer you can host a swap in your backyard or you can check with local libraries, and churches to do your swap indoors often times they may require a small donation and ask you to clean up after yourselves. Send out invites, post flyers, create a Facebook event and make a RSVP form to keep track of attendees.

2. Tell guests what to bring

You can easily have a swap with any types of items and this can be modified to your “swap party” type but in this case, it’s back to school items. Items related to back to schools such as lunchboxes, backpacks, clothing, uniforms, and even school supplies are greatly appreciated. All items should be gently used or in like new condition; they should contain no stains, tears or excessive wear to be fair.

3. Ask guests to bring a dish

Ask your guest to bring a dish for a potluck; this helps with costs and keeps shoppers happy and satisfied.

4. Don’t forget the kids!

Busy moms often times will have to bring their little ones along with them, so plan out activities for the kids to do. If you have a swing set and sandbox these make excellent toys to keep the kids entertained. If you’re a crafty person set up crafts the kids can do themselves or gather coloring books and crayons to keep them occupied.

5. Create an organizational system

Ask guests to bring items the day before the swap so the host(s) can organize the items before the big day. Organize items by sizes and categories to avoid a big mess; label items by color coding them.

6. Create a draw system

Color code Popsicle sticks, clothespins or even straws to choose who goes first. This helps everyone stay organized until everyone has a chance. Limit the first draw to 5 items in ensuring everyone has a chance to chose; then you can rotate as needed.

7. Network

Mommy network! Meet other moms (and dads!) who have children in the same range as yours. Share recipes, tips, stories and even make a new friend or two for both yourself and your child(ren). You’ll realize how easy it is to develop a support system and help with future swaps.

8. Have extra bags and boxes on hand

One things I noticed that seemed to be off swap lists are bags/boxes. How else are you going to carry all your goodies home? Ask stores for boxes or save store bags from shopping. If all else fails as your guest to bring bags or boxes to carry in their new goods.

9. Don’t limit yourself

You don’t have to limit this to just the kids or even back to school items. Have moms bring other things that would like to swap as well. Clothing, shoes, handbags, books, movies, games because moms could use a little treat too! Plus it’s an excellent way to get rid of clutter and have something new too.

10. Donate

Should you have any leftovers donate the items to a charity, shelter or organization. I like donating to women and children shelters because they are always in need of clothing, shoes and other items.

After having for first successful swap it will be much easier to have additional swaps throughout the year. You could have a themed swap or just a mixture of items, swaps are a great way to make new friends and clear out unused items.

Idea – If you have an expectant friend make a baby swap! Gather friends and family and have a baby swap. That way the new mommy can get everything she needs for her new bundle of joy and you can feel good for helping your friend out.

Have you ever hosted or participated in a swap? Did I leave anything else? I’d love to hear your tips for hosting a successful swap.

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