Spring Stuff Swap – RSVP’s required – April 14th!

If you’ve never been to a gift swap or stuff swap, see one in action here.  Combine spring cleaning, recycling, and fun – It’s an upscale FREE garage sale!   Your outgrown stuff will be loved by someone else, your house will be less cluttered, you’ll find new-to-you items you CAN use…plus, you’ll be helping positive organizations in our community!   Think of the saving$, recycling, and good karma flowing around:)  See you at the Spring Stuff Swap!

You must RSVP to Reserve Your Spot at this swap! Continue reading for all the details.

Clean out your house, garage, and shed of all the STUFF you no longer need want or love, wash it up, make sure all the parts are there and everything is in working order, and bring it to the Spring Stuff Swap!  Kind and courteous women, men, and teens are invited.  We are expecting over 100 people, so leave babies, toddlers and early grade school children safely at home with a sitter.  We  want everyone to have fun.

When: Saturday April 14th, 2pm (arrive between 1:30 and 1:50 to get a parking spot, and set your stuff out before the swap begins.)

Where: Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst  (in the gym)  935 N.E. 33rd Avenue.  Portland OR 97232    503-232-9129

Directions: two blocks south of Sandy Blvd on 33rd, at Pacific Street, in a small modern red brick building. There is a parking lot behind the church.  Enter through the gym, which is across from the small playground.  If the parking lot is full, you can park on the street.  We are expecting at least 100 people, so car-pooling is encouraged.

Since all items will be placed on the floor and our venue has carpet, all items need to be free of dirt, grease, spider webs, etc.  Since we are volunteers and don’t have money to pay for a dumpster, all items must be something others would want – no junk.  Items must be small enough to fit in the backseat of a car (no large furniture, but a clean bike or bedside stand would be O.K.).  Please, no poisens, paints or hazardous materials.  Remainders will be donated to the Portland PTA who will give them to families in our community – so your gifts  and usable items keep on giving!


You come in and put your stuff in rows on the gym floor, with an aisle down the middle so we all can walk freely.  We’ll have signs on the floor in rows that say:

1. TOYS AND GAMES: still in great shape new and lightly used dolls, stuffed animals, gag gifts, toys, games (including board games, puzzles, etc.) with all the pieces still intact.

2. MOVIES, BOOKS, CD’S DVD’S: Books in good condition, music on CD, DVD and video movies that are still in great working order. Computer games can go in the techie area

3. CRAFTS, FABRIC, ACCESSORIES: Scrap-booking, beading, knitting, sewing patterns and clean fabric, the gift towels that were the wrong color for your décor, clothing accessories that are one-size-fits-most such as scarves and hats. Please save sized items and shoes for a clothing swap or we won’t have room for anything else!

4. HOUSEHOLD AND HOLIDAY: dishes, potholders, coasters, fondue set, non-expired and non-opened food items, blender, bathsalts, table lamps, Seasonal items and decorations. Perfume used once, lotion used once (ie still looks new – isn’t half full and doesn’t have gunk running down the side of the bottle.) Please no mattresses or large unwashable pillows.

5. TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY, GARDEN, PETS: Clean ratchet set, clean sports equipment, clean bicycles/tricycles in great shape, computers, cameras, gaming systems, computer games, clean garden pots and tools, viable seeds, clean pet dishes and toys.

6. BREAKABLES AND COLLECTIBLES: jewelry, antiques, fancy glassware, collectibles, candy dishes.  All those knick-knacks that keep piling up – get rid of them here!

If you have items you’re not sure where they go, just put them in a row that in some way makes reasonable sense…or put them in a row that isn’t too crowded. Also, please don’t bring clothes unless they are one-size-fits most such as hats or scarves –  if we bring our usual huge bags of clothes, there won’t be room for anything else!

After you’ve unloaded your stuff, stand against the wall and visit while you wait for the swap to start.  Please don’t wander around in the middle – there will be a LOT of people needing that space to put their stuff out, and the quicker they can, the quicker we can start the swap.

NO PRE-SWAPPING.  Experienced swappers know this, but for the newbies – No picking up stuff or scooting it into your bag/box beforehand!   We want this to be fair for everyone.  At 2pm or thereabouts, the swap coordinator will welcome everyone  and shortly thereafter will say “Go”.  Be kind and courteous – if two people want the same item, the person who has the least gets the item.  (At a Holiday Gift Swap, a mom with many kids chose a pile of puzzles for them.  A second mom with one kid kindly asked if she could have one of the puzzles, and the first mom gladly shared.  THAT is the spirit of free swaps!)

Stuff in the middle of the gym floor in rows is free for the taking.  Stuff in boxes/bags/sacks next to the wall belongs to someone.

I’m posting this on my yahoogroups site, the wordpress site, and sending it out to the other 13 swap coordinators so they can tell their women.  We usually have about 100-125 people show up to the Spring Stuff Swap.  The economy isn’t all that great right now.  So…doing the math, this could be a HUGE stuff swap!!!  So it’s important that everyone is patient and kind, only bring good stuff, and that we don’t bring clothes because they fill up space fast (plus we can all go to our OWN size swaps for clothes…lets keep the stuff swap for stuff).

Bring your own boxes/bags to cart your new stuff home in. Some people bring rolling suitcases.

The remainders will be picked up by Jackee Duvall, Portland PTA president, to be donated free to local families.  So you are being a philanthropist and helping others in a practical way.


It’s Free Frugal Fun!  By coming to Free Swaps, you agree to the following Free Swap Rules:

1.  No pre-swapping, gathering piles, or taking stuff before we officially start.

2.  Only kind and considerate women, men, and teens. No small children (it could be too overwhelming and the gym is not childproofed).  If two or more people want the same item, and you can’t work it out by talking, the person who has the least number of items gets it.

3.  All items brought must be clean, complete, and in working order.  No broken or missing peices.  Nothing greasy or dirty.  No volatile or toxic chemicals paints or products. No junk. Nothing too large to fit into the backseat of a car.  No mattresses or pillows.

4.  No resellers/ebay/etc.  The mission behind free swaps is “free stuff forever”, so if you get something home and decide you don’t want it, we ask that you give it away.

To reserve your place at the Spring Stuff Swap, email urbanfarmerpdx1@yahoo.com  with your FULL name and the number of people in your party in the subject box by the deadline of April 9th.  Your name and email address will be your ‘entry ticket’ as well as agreement that you and any of your guests agree to and will abide by the free swap rules.

Thanks for being a part of the FREE swap community!

One response to “Spring Stuff Swap – RSVP’s required – April 14th!

  1. looking forward to it!

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