It involved inviting a group of our nearest and dearest friends to bring armloads of stuff they don't want anymore to my house and swap it for the things others didn't want anymore.
We had just a few rules about the items:
1. No clothes or kids stuff (clothing sizes/styles are all over the map, so it would have been hard to find a match from one owner to the other - ditto with kids stuff for kids of varying ages)
2. The items had to be in really good condition - nothing that was a little broken or needed a coat of paint, etc.
Other than that - the sky was the limit.
The prep work was very minimal. (I truly believe that everyone should have a party at least once a year... my house won't be that clean again until the next time I have company!) We pulled out some folding tables (as well as some other furniture type tables) and put them in the living room.
This was a swap/potluck so everyone brought and appetizer or a dessert to the party along with her gently used treasures. We set up the dining room as food central.
|Appetizers and desserts are the best parts of any meal. I will fight anyone who disagrees.|
After we knocked out the food, it was time to get to swapping!
Faith organized the items into similar groups. She used the coffee table as a purse table. (Which may have been my fav.)
I was really surprised at the awesome variety of stuff people brought. We had some holiday decorations, Longaberger baskets, workout DVDs, really gorgeous jewelry, unopened board games, candles... there was literally something for every person's taste.
|Those wooden salad bowls went FAST.|
Everyone took some small white pebbles I had been using as vase filler and wrote her initials on them. After browsing the selection, she put a pebble into a small white cup in front of each item she wanted.
|Magic Bullet and Wonder Woman photo album? SCORE!|
After everyone had distributed her pebbles, we did random drawings from each cup to see who got the item. If a person didn't win the item, she could take her pebble and put it into a different cup for a new item.
|I wanted that wire angel on the left - I may have muttered an obscenity under my breath when I didn't win it.|
We wound up with a few items at the end with no pebbles, so we told ladies to feel free to take any of the leftover items home and the remaining items we boxed up to give to charity or sell at a yardsale next summer.
It was unanimous - everyone had a BLAST! Everyone walked away with an armload of nearly new items and we are already planning our next party for the Spring.
One of the highlights of the party:
My mom brought this item. It is a basket you put on the tank of your toilet to hold items. It is called a tank top caddy.
One of our guests was perplexed after reading the label on this basket because it "doesn't look like it would hold very many tank tops at all!!"
That was awesome.
So, since it was No Spend November I want to go over the cost of this party to me.
My appetizers and desserts were made out of things I already had on hand, and the rest was potluck. $0
I went lazy and instead of using real items, I bought paper plates, napkins and cups. $5 (This really should have been $0, but I didn't think I had enough salad plates for everyone.)
Swap items - all stuff I already had. $0
Small cups for items - taken from my bathroom. $0
This party would have been 100% free if I hadn't purchased paper products. I also lucked out on having the stuff to make my apps and desserts, but if I hadn't, that would have been my only other expense. (I was planning to make tote bags as party favors, but ran out of time. However, this would have only cost me time, not money, since I already have all of the materials.)
We had an amazing time. One of the guests told me afterwards it was like free shopping...
Now that is awesome.