Winter, the season of hibernation, is a great time to clean out your closet. (Wes & Kayla think so too - see their post yesterday about how to organize a closet clean-out.) All year long we stockpile our discards in anticipation of a stellar clothing swap hosted by friends of ours...
In case you're new to the idea of a clothing swap, here's how this one worked: Over 20 people brought bags of clothes. Upon entry, they dumped the bags on the living room floor. Mayhem ensued. Well, not really. As control freaks, we were concerned that, by not sorting the pile into shirts, pants, dresses, etc., it would be too difficult to search the heap. But it turns out that the chaotic pile is much more fun and yields terrific surprises. A nice bonus to this clothing swap was a potluck brunch. Granted, we were too obsessed with restocking our tired wardrobe to pause to eat (until after all the swappers had arrived and dumped and we'd assured our greedy selves that we'd exhausted the pile.)
At the end of the swap, our friends were still left with a sizable pile of clothes. Giddy with the high that comes from hosting a wildly successful clothing swap they spontaneously piled on as many layers as possible from the rejects pile and ambled to Boomerangs, a local thrift shop that supports the Aids Action Committee. Needless to say, they were well received by the staff and were photographed as they stripped and tossed the layers into the donation bin. These chicks know how to have fun.
So give it a try - invite a handful of friends over for a clothing swap. We pretty much guarantee that you'll have a good time and you'll get a new wardrobe. For FREE. (Of course, this creates the additional organizational challenge of integrating the new old stuff into your closet but that's for another day...)