| Jan 17, 2013
Want to refresh your wardrobe, find new toys for your kids, discover new reading material without spending any money or just get rid of items you aren’t using? Host a giveaway party! How does it work? Invite friends to bring their gently used items to your house (or a suitable location) and let them pick ‘new’ items from other people’s stuff. Everyone will be able to get rid of items they aren’t using and take home ‘new’ items they can use. A giveaway party is a fun way to live green and save money.
I recommend you pick a giveaway party theme, so you aren’t overwhelmed with items and to make it easier for guests to go through those items in their home.
Here are some theme ideas:
- Kid’s Clothing – Those of us with children know how fast they grow out of clothes and how expensive they are new. A clothing and shoe swap is a great idea to refresh their wardrobes on a budget.
- Kid’s Toys and Games – Kid’s toys seem to multiply in my house and there are so many they don’t even play with anymore. Why not give those toys to someone else and pick some new ones for your kids to enjoy?
- Books, Magazines and DVDS – I’ve hosted this party in my home and it was fabulous! We had a huge assortment of DVDs, kid and adult books. Everyone went home with at least one large bag of new reading material and DVDs. After the party, I donated the remaining books (three huge boxes) to the local library.
- Kitchen gadgets – Do you remember that rice cooker you got for your wedding that’s still sitting unopened three years later? This is a perfect theme party for foodies. A kitchen gadget or tool that is useless to you may be the perfect addition to someone else’s kitchen.
- Adult Clothing and Accessories– Let’s face it: most of us have a huge pile of clothes in our closet that never sees the sunlight. Swap with other people to refresh your wardrobe. Add purses, shoes, jewelry and scarves to the party to get more variety.
- Home Decorations – Do you have decorations or candles that you never use? Want to get a fresh look to your home? This is the perfect theme for friends that love to decorate their homes.
Tips to a Successful Party
- Invite Everyone. The more people, the better your party will be and the better the selection. Make sure to clearly explain the idea and expectations of a giveaway party on the invitations.
- Co-host with a Friend or Two. They will invite their guest list of attendees, so you will double or triple the turnout.
- Ask Guests to Bring Friends. Encourage your friends to invite their friends and family to the party.
- Send a Reminder. A few days before your party, email a reminder, or better, give them a quick reminder call. People are busy and sometimes forget. A reminder is always appreciated, plus it gives you a good idea of how many people to expect.
- Keep Refreshments Light. It’s a giveaway party, not an eating party. Serve a few beverages and if you want, a few small snacks. Don’t go overboard with the food. (This one is hard for me, because I really like to feed people.)
After the party, you will probably have many items that still need a home. Instead of asking your guests to take their stuff back home, offer to donate it to a local shelter, thrift store, consignment store, library or kid’s organization. Your guests will appreciate that you take care of the leftovers and they don’t have to haul it back home. There are many thrift stores that will even pick up the donations, so it won’t take much effort for you to donate the items.
Giveaway parties are fun and the ultimate in frugality and recycling. I’d love to hear if you plan to host a giveaway party and what theme you will pick. Do you have any other theme ideas or giveaway party tips?
Author: Nicole McDonald, a stay-at-home mom to three kids, age 6, 4 and 2. She teaches coupon, meal planning and freebies classes and blogs at www.momsavesmoney.net.