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Yesterday I updated my wardrobe…for free! My amazing friend Crystal who with her husband is selling all her stuff and traveling indefinitely needed to get rid of a lot of her clothes. So rather than just get the task done (donate, consign, ditch) she made it fun for all her friends. She organized a massive clothing swap. Nearly 20 of us showed up at her house where she had her entire upstairs prepped for the event. In both bedrooms there were signs that directed us to categories of clothes, a section for pants, one for skirts, one for tops, a closet for dresses and coats.

As people arrived, we sorted the clothes we brought into the appropriate piles. Then we waited downstairs eating snacks and catching up with old and new friends until Crystal thought everyone who was coming had arrived. Then we went upstairs together. She counted down to go and we all started trying on clothes. The best part was how calm and relaxed everyone was. No Black Friday frenzy here. We handed clothes to people we thought would look good in them (or who were a better size for whatever we had just tried on than we were). We offered opinions (when asked) and I greatly appreciated additional perspectives.

Nobody seemed obsessed about collecting hoards of clothes and yet we could take freely knowing that if we had “buyers remorse,” no harm no foul. Just pass it along later. There were a lot of fun clothes to try on and it was a great way to thin out the clothes I was sick of or that never did fit well and infuse my options with something fresh. I think this should be a regular thing, maybe twice a year. Why not? It’s a great way to save money while still keeping things simple (way more fun than going to the mall and looking at exorbitant prices for many not so exciting styles.). And it builds relationships!

I’m impressed that Crystal turned something that could be overwhelming into a fun experience that benefited her friends and helped us all save some money! Collaborative living. It could be the new black!