Ever been to a Swap Party? It is based around the “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” principle and provides hours of entertainment.

I had read about it in a supplement that came in one of the papers around Christmas time and decided it might be great fun to give it a go. Post-Christmas sounded like a good time to have it as some unwanted Christmas presents might even make it to the stock.

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I invited a few friends, and ended up having the following gals over:

  • Lisa
  • Hayley
  • Danielle
  • Carly
  • Sarah

Rachel was due to join us, but unfortunately she had taken ill.

We had the most amazing assortment of things to swap – everything from books, to make-up, to beauty products, to clothes, to CDs and DVDs and much more. I think secretly most of us though that a lot of what we’d brought was a heap of rubbish, hence the reason we were getting rid of it. But strangely once everything was laid out, I realised there was a lot of other people’s “rubbish” I fancied!

I had decided we would do ‘healthy snacks’ as I have been trying to rid myself of the Christmas excess. (Amazing how you can put on 5 pounds in 2 weeks, but it takes more of a month to get rid of it, isn’t it?) I had made popcorn and some hummus and carrot sticks, and other brought more low fat dips, crudites and pretzels. They went down a treat.

As none of us had done this before, we didn’t really know the format. We decided to draw lots to see who would go first. Each person got a turn to rummage through the pile and come up with something triumphant. It was quite exciting really (or maybe just if you have lived as sheltered a life as I have!) As each person was having their turn, you could almost visibly see people mouthing “please don’t take that bag, please don’t take that bag, please don’t take that bag …” etc.

I had brought many many things. In fact, they were half way out the door to the charity shop when we had the idea. I knew that many things would still remain and end up at the charity shop, but by doing this swap, someone you know could end up with something useful that wasn’t useful to you at all. After all, I never see Charity shops sell half a bottle of moisturiser or a bottle of Absinthe ….

At the end of the evening, it felt like Christmas all over again. I left with a number of great things, included in my pile were the following:

  • lipstick
  • book
  • leather belt
  • table runner
  • mini filofax
  • baby clothes (for my niece, Storm, who is now 1 month old – before anyone asks)
  • bottle of red wine
  • iron
  • elephant (regrettably not a real one)

And I wasn’t just lucky – everyone left with things they liked. There was no use picking something you just wouldn’t end up using. Rather, if there was nothing left that you still wanted or needed, you would just declare yourself ‘OUT’.

This is clearly not something you could do every few weeks – possibly about twice a year, would the the right frequency, but we shall see how it goes. We did learn a few things in the process though:

  1. It would work best with 5 to 10 people
  2. Boyz would get bored of the process, so don’t bring them along!
  3. Once you have been to one, you have a better idea of what people have brought, and what they are interested in. Now, each time you find something you don’t really want/need, you can add it to your ‘SWAP’ pile for the next party!
  4. It takes longer than you think it would. We started at 4.00pm, the swap was over by about 7.30 pm, but many stayed until about 9.00pm

We will most probably have another one around the end of summer – and I am looking forward to it already.