When my children were small and we regularly attended a playgroup, we developed a clothing swap with other families in the group. Once every couple of months, the moms would go through their children’s clothing and sort out those pieces that the children didn’t wear anymore or that no longer fit. We’d bring our bags of clothes to playgroup and sort them out by size. Then, we’d take turns looking through them and picking out what our individual families needed. Any extra clothes that weren’t taken were donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
Although it was a lot of work collecting the clothing and sorting through them, the result was that we had plenty of clothes for the next season without having to purchase any of them. We were also able to help someone we knew just by giving away the clothes we no longer needed.
As the children have grown older, our playgroup has changed into more of a field trip group, so we don’t do the clothing swap anymore. However, a church in our area has taken on the same idea, offering a clothing closet to anyone in need. They receive donations of clothing, opening the swap once a week for anyone in the community to come in and take what they can use. It’s like our playgroup clothing swap, but on a much bigger scale.
It’s a big job for those at the church who work at it — they sort the clothes by size, then hang them up or fold them and put them away on the shelves. More clothes are constantly coming in, so the work never ends — there are boxes and boxes of clothes to sort through.
But what a service it is! We donate our clothes to this swap, and we’ve found many nice things there as well. Our family of six has probably spent less than $100 on clothes this year.
If there’s not a clothing swap in your area, you might consider starting one, even if it’s just among other homeschooling families you know. It’s a great way to bless others — and a great way to be blessed!