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Back to School Clothing Swap

Updated on June 24, 2015
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As summer comes to a close, visions of spending hours at the mall and hundreds of dollars on back-to-school fashions come dancing through your head. Instead of dreading all those back-to-school sales (and the enormous credit card bills that follow), take a new approach to the back-to-school madness: a Back-to-School Clothing Swap! It's the economical and eco-friendly way to get your children ready for school! If you want to do this on a larger scale, this is also an excellent fundraiser event for PTA's!

Ready to Start?

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For an event with just a few friends, set up a Facebook event page and invite all your friends who have a child around your children's ages. If desired, you can encourage everyone to invite friends as well.

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What to Swap

Everyone should bring children's lightly used clothes, backpacks, jackets, shoes, and hats. Children's undergarments and socks are best avoided. It's up to you if you want to include Halloween costumes. Items should all be clean and free of stains or tears. For each item you bring, you get to take an item.

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When and Where

Whoever has the biggest house can host or you can meet up at a park, church, or library meeting room. If you're meeting at the park, starting early in the morning is ideal so that it doesn't get too hot. You'll want to bring blankets for laying out clothing if you do this at the park. If you want this to be a mom's only event, evening is usually the best time.

Don't Forget Food

Also tell everyone to bring food to share! Sit-down meals are less than ideal. Brunch items are best for the morning and appetizers and desserts are best for the evening.

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Details for the Day

1) Think ahead of time as to how clothing will be displayed. Tables? Clothing racks? Blankets?

2) Pull out some upbeat music if you're meeting indoors. If children will be present, you might want to include children's music as well.

3) As guests arrive, have them divide up their clothing into categories by gender, size, and type. (Be sure to have signs set up ahead of time to make it obvious where things go!)

4) Once all the guests have arrived, let the swapping begin! If desired, you can have guests draw tickets to see who gets to go first.

5) After the swapping is finished, everyone can stay to chat and munch on the goodies. Guests can claim their items that no one took, and the rest can go to a local charity.

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Making This a PTA Fundraiser

A Back-to-School Clothing Swap can be an annual PTA fundraising event that everyone looks forward to each year! If possible, host it in the school's cafeteria. Charge $5-$10 per family to participate. Pass out tickets for each item each person brings. As they "check out" they can turn in the tickets. Selling hot dogs, drinks, and snacks can help to raise even more money. Showing a movie on one side of the room will help to keep the children occupied.

The Coin-Tainer Co. Premium Single Ticket Roll, Yellow, 2000 count (60680-215011112)
The Coin-Tainer Co. Premium Single Ticket Roll, Yellow, 2000 count (60680-215011112)

So that everyone can remember how many items they brought, it's a great idea to hand out tickets. For each item of clothing they bring, they get 1 ticket. Each ticket can be used to redeem another clothing item.


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Any more tips for saving money on back-to-school clothing? - Or just leave a note to let me know you dropped by! I love getting feedback from you!

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    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 3 years ago from Florida

      @PaigSr: I love swapping children's clothing...and books...and toys. Thank you for dropping by!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 3 years ago from State of Confussion

      I know a lot of home school families that swap books. But I never thought of clothes as well. I shall pass the idea on.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      @jdwheeler: We love clearance items!

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 5 years ago

      Just always be on the lookout for a bargain. The clearance bins are a great deal all year long!