How to Clean out your Closet and get Free Clothes

I recently stumbled across this quote on Facebook and reposted it on my Ask Anna Facebook page.  So many of you loved the idea of this but said if you truly cleaned out your closets and got rid of the things you “wouldn’t buy anymore”, then you wouldn’t have any clothes left!  All your comments got me thinking about how I get rid of my unworn clothes and get new clothes for free!

A couple years ago my friends and I started having girls’ clothing swap nights.  Every couple of seasons we get together, bring all the clothes we don’t wear anymore, and trade them.  In one night I can get rid of all the things I don’t want anymore, and get a bunch of new clothes for free, it’s awesome!

It doesn’t matter if you and all your friends are different sizes, you might be surprised what you walk away with!  Over the years our bodies change and clothes change, so I’ve actually come away with clothes from friends of mine that are bigger and smaller than me!

Here’s how we run our swap nights–

First we lay all the clothes out into sections: Pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, accessories, books, etc. (we don’t limit ours to just clothing).

Next we  draw numbers to pick “teams”, there are usually 2 people on each team.  Teams make it nice because then everyone isn’t going through the clothes all at once.  Each team has a chosen number of minutes (we usually do 3-5 minutes) to look around and pick out 2 items. 

Then we set ground rules: Each team has 3 minutes to choose their items, each item can be “stolen” once, etc.

Then the fun begins!  Each team takes turns picking out their items and then we continue until all the items are gone, or until we stop finding things we like.  At the end of the night, if there is anything left over, one of us will take the rest of the stuff to Goodwill.

We always have so much fun and we all walk away with a “new” wardrobe!  After our swap nights it’s always fun to see my friends wearing my clothes and giving them new life!

There is also a church, here in our town, that does this on a much larger scale. Their swap is open to anyone who wants to go, or has a need.  “People bringing with them things that their children no longer need and use for things that they now do. For example a mom of two kids might bring with her 10 items of clothing that her kids have outgrown. She then has 10 credits to use to get what it is they now need whether it’s clothes, food, school supplies, diapers, etc.” (source)  I think this is a fabulous idea and a great way to get clothes for kids, since they grow so fast!

Go call all your friends and schedule a swap night!  Make a whole girls night out of it with wine, desserts, girl talk and clothes swapping!  Now you can go through your closet and clean it out, without fearing you won’t have anything left to wear when you’re done! 

Make sure to come back and tell me all the cool stuff you got!



About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. I totally have to agree that I would have no clothes left! Seriously need to lose some lbs. before I can do this, though. :p

  2. Erin@Managing the Manor says:

    Love, Love, Love this idea!!

  3. What a great idea!! I totally want to do this! Do you guys normally do it at your homes?

  4. Love the saying!! I’m pinning it!! I love the concept of a swap party, but unfortunately 95% of my friends are WAY smaller than I so it wouldn’t really work. Great motivation to lose weight though…lol. Thanks for the idea!!

  5. Hi Anna, just wondering if you have a good way to organize tissue paper. I use lots of it..different colours for all the different gift bags that I use for gifts. Right now I have each colour on a plastic closet hanger, but it does take up a fair bit of space.

  6. Love the quote. Saw it on Pinterest. I’d love to recycle it for the Clothing swaps I run. Been doing swaps for 12 years now. I keep telling folks that they have too much clothing. Most people only wear about 20% of their closets. If you have more then a couple weeks of clothes you might have too much! If you are ever in the South East Michigan area check out the swaps. We usually do them every May & September. Facebook page is

  7. Yes, & you can sell your things on to get your money back for the things you no longer want! Best site ever!