Do you have extra stuff that you do not have a use for?  Don’t throw it out! Host a Reuse Swap Event instead!

Reuse swap events are simple: you bring some extra items you do not have a use for and you leave with some new-to-you items that you can use!  Reuse swap events can be held in a range of locations with a range of items.  The events can be a fun party with music and food.  So please read on for more information to help you reduce waste and plan a reuse swap event!


Clothing, Toy, or Halloween Costume Swap

Do you have extra toys, clothing, Halloween costumes or accessories that you just do not have a use for anymore?

Don’t throw them out, hold a reuse swap event!  Reuse swap events can be fun ways to get your neighbors and friends together, have fun, and reduce waste at the same time. The following are some helpful tips to help you hold a Halloween costume or clothing and toy swap event.


  • Find a Location– You may want to host at your home or place of business, or find a public space such as a library, church, or school.  All types of locations can make for a fun event.


  • Ask For Help – While you may want to organize and run the entire event by yourself, it is not recommended unless the event is very small.  Swap events require a fair amount of labor to take in, organize, and distribute all of the items brought to the event.  Sorters, table-overseers and clean-up may be needed.


  • Set Rules and Guidelines – Rules and guidelines for any swap event are important.


  • What you decide to accept and how much can be the most important.  We can often find ourselves storing a lot of things in the garage or closet that we wouldn’t mind letting go of.  Here’s some other important questions to answer:
  • What condition will the items accepted be in?
  • Can items be in need of repair?
  • Do you limit each attendee to one bag in and one bag out?
  • Do you use a “credit” system where each item brought to the swap gets a value or “credit” assigned to it to exchange for other items?


  • You may not want to accept large items such as furniture.  Big bulky items are generally not in the spirit of a swap event as they can take up a lot of room and time.


  • Who gets to attend?  If you allow children, by instructing adults to supervise their children.  You may consider a designated play area with toys to play with.


  • Consider the hours of the event.  Events can be 2 to 3 hours at the most so that it’s fun and a lot of swapping can happen.


  • Plan for Leftovers– Even if the plan is to make sure everything finds a new home, you will want to plan for some items to be left behind.  You might want to plan to take a trip to our local Goodwill to donate the leftover items, post them to Freecycle or Craigslist or you could always let the attendees take them home as well.  Whatever you do, just please do not send them to landfill!


  • Publicize Your Event– Make sure you get the word out among family and friends and post it in public places such as the Library if your event is for everyone.  Also consider posting to  Freecycle or Craigslist.


  • Bring Supplies and Encourage Others to Bring Reusable Bags– To better organize, you might want to have signage for items and areas at your event so don’t forget some supplies like paper, pens, tape, etc. 


  • Have Fun! – Swap events can be a fun, social event, with food, beverages and music.  Some events will even have activities such as toy/clothing repair or crafts and games to keep attendees enjoying themselves and creating a party environment.


Other Reuse Items

Bring Your Own Bag

Clothing Reuse

Container Reuse

CVSan Reuse Maps

CVSan Reuse Page

Reuse for Businesses