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It’s party time! 8 ways to get rid of clutter at your next party

by respaced on August 1, 2011

Victorian party guests unhappy with the gifts they received at a Passing Party.
Or maybe they just ate some bad hot dogs.

My mother recently sent me an old newspaper clipping that dated back to the late-19th, early-20th century about how to get rid of items in your house that you don’t like (because there was no Goodwill to ditch it at just yet). This enterprising hostess suggested holding Passing Parties, where you invite all of your friends to find something wonderfully ugly in their house, wrap it up quite fetchingly and bring it to the party, where it could be bartered for somebody else’s gift. Hilarity and hijinks ensue as party guests try to convince each other to swap with them.

It’s a pretty good idea, really, which got me to thinking about other fun ways you could get rid of unwanted clutter in a party atmosphere.

You have probably heard of clothing swap parties, where you pack up your nice, clean, unwanted clothes and take them to the hostess’ house. There, you can swap them for the clothes that other party guests have brought while nibbling on appetizers and downing cocktails.

But what about doing a book swap party, where party guests bring armloads of unwanted books to swap? How about a toy swap party or kids’ clothing swap party? Recently, a group of crafty friends decided to have a craft supplies swap party and were quite delighted with the results.

For your child’s next birthday party, you could invite all of the guests to bring a present of a gently used children’s book. Then in lieu of party favors, you and your child give each party guest one of your child’s gently used books. No money is spent, but everybody go homes with a new (to him or her) book.

The church at which I used to do bookkeeping organized Pound Parties every year as a fundraiser. All the church members were encouraged to wrap up a pound of something they had laying around the house. It could be something valuable and desirable, like a pound of quarters or something worthless like a pound of old socks. Then everybody wrapped up their pound object nicely and brought them to the church to be bid on. The fun lay in wondering if the item you were bidding on was something valuable or useful or something hideous or silly. And the church kept all the proceeds from the bidding.

Have you heard of other types of get-rid-of-clutter parties? Tell us about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Image courtesy of Lovelorn Poets at Flickr.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eileen (of Space Matters) November 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I love love love this idea! A friend’s family does something similar for Christmas with a Christmas Grab Bag. Everyone wraps up a gift they don’t want to bring to the party and then each person draws a gift from the Grab Bag. It usually ends with everyone trading gifts and having a good laugh. It’s a fun way to save money!


respaced November 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I love it! Anytime we can combine Fun with Decluttering is reason for a party, right? Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy Organizing!


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