You can see how people have laid out their things by “category” in rows so they are easy to find. Toys are to the far left, then books and games row to right, then household items (I think that’s a vacuum in the middle), fabric/crafts/seasonal, then tools/garden/techie, and the very last row is antiques/breakables/jewelry. As you can see, people are instructed to put an aisle/ space to walk up the middle easily, and we keep the rows wide enough so that people can get around to see everything comfortably. By laying items on the floor, we don’t have all the extra work of setting up tables or chairs, and the clean-up is easier as well. I ask that all items brought to swaps be clean and in working order because the floor is carpet and it would be rude to dirty it up, and no one wants to bring good stuff and go home with junk. After people lay out their things in the correct row, I ask that they go stand against the wall and visit so it leaves space open for new people to come in and lay out their things. This photo is after all the swap items have been placed on the floor, my son Toby is in the forefront in the hat tidying up a bit, and then we started the swap. Toby is one of the volunteers who organize the rows and keeps things looking nice at the swap. Photo by Aubrey Frimoth.
Clothing swaps I do a little differently. I have the women put their shoes, purses, and other accessories in one area, but keep their clothing in bags until everyone is present. Then we dump our clothes in rows together, but don’t take anything yet. When everyone has emptied their bags, I instruct the ladies to ‘go stand next to something that looks interesting’ and then when everyone is in front of something they want, we begin the swap.