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How to Host: Hand Me Down Clothing Party

January 18, 2019


Erin Schrader

Closet clean out. It’s something we all know we should do but something we may not all actually want to do. Filling up bags full of items that are most likely going to sit in our basement for 2 1/2 years until our husband forces us to take them to the nearest donation spot [maybe it’s just me who sucks horribly at the execution of removing my clothes from the house] can be a task that is hard to get super excited about. But what if you knew that on the other side of cleaning out your closet meant that you could share these items with your closest friends, family, co-workers while they share their gently used, no longer needed items with YOU?! Now that’s a party I can get down with.

With so much chatter about decluttering, simplifying and freezing spends at the start of a new year, team LIY thought that there was no better time for us to get organized all while being able to bring some new threads in our closets for zero moolah. We loved the idea of really playing up the “Hand Me Down” theme and came up with a few ideas on how to take this one step further and make this party even more enjoyable to attend…

How to host your own Hand Me Down Party:

  • Invite your guests – Whether it’s friends, co-workers, family, or whoever you secretly want to raid their closet, just invite them! To make this piece more easy, we have invitations already prepared for you [all you have to do is print!] which you can receive directly to your email inbox here!

  • Start cleaning out your closet! Whether it’s pieces that no longer fit, items that you know you haven’t worn in the past six months and will most likely never wear again or something that you know will look even better on that one girlfriend of yours, just start digging through and cleaning out! Tops, pants, dresses, accessories, handbags, jewelry, shoes, whatever it is you can find to get rid of, add it to the pile!
  • Encourage your guests to bring a “Hand Me Down Recipe” to share at the clothing swap! 

What is better than a tried and true handed down recipe? Nothing, that’s what. In the spirit of keeping with the whole “hand me down” theme, we loved this idea of bringing a “hand me down” recipe to share! For our clothing swap, I made my FAVORITE chip dip, courtesy of my mom. I highly encourage you to make this the next time you’re in need of a hot chip dip [aka, right this second]. Once your guests arrive and start sampling, they can write down the recipes on these adorable recipe cards for those that they loved and want to take home with them!

get your free recipe cards here!

  • Set-up and organize everybody’s items upon arrival!

For our clothing swap, we had one 8-foot table to sit out shoes, jewelry and pants/shorts and then 1-2 clothing racks where we organized by clothing type [tanks, sweaters, dresses, etc]. To keep things organized, we used these handy little cards and clothes pins to mark what was what.

Additionally, we had tote bags that were labeled for everybody to grab to start and begin filling! For a TON of very inexpensive options, see here! This was an easy way for everybody to feel like they were getting around the same amount of items since everybody had the same size bag, plus it’s convenient to have a place to throw your finds while searching through the racks! 

  • Start swapping!

sweatshirt [size up, wearing in medium] // faux leather leggings [size up, wearing in small]

Now that everybody has arrived, everything is organized and the food has been enjoyed, start swapping. We simply did a free for all where everybody just started digging through the racks and tables and started trying things on to see what worked for who. While you can come up with some fun games on how to decide who can go first, we kept things simple and easy by having an all skate, everyone skate 😉 Be prepared to say over and over and over again “ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO GET RID OF THIS?! IT IS SO CUTE THOUGH” to your friends. I promise it will happen and you will be baffled but you will shove it in your tote faster than anybody else can get a chance to see it. Not speaking from experience or anything….

  • Everybody leave with full bags and full stomachs…

You will be amazed just how great it will feel to get rid of the items that have been hanging out in your closet and in your drawers that you know you needed to part with, all while filling your tote with new to you items that you know you just scored without having to spend a dime! Win/win all around!

  • Donate whatever is left!

There is a good chance that not everything will be taken. We collectively made the decision that whatever was left hanging on the racks or sitting on the tables would be donated to a local shelter for women who could use the items. I love that you can leave this party knowing you just did a little bit of good as well for your community.

ps. Remember to receive all of your FREE printables here!

Pssst before you go. Do you need some help getting those closets organized and cleaned out? Here are some of our favorite organization items to help get the job done —

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