RSVP for the Spring Stuff Swap 2013 at the PCL Church!


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 a positive organization 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 and specific instructions on how to reserve your space / get on the RSVP list.

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 grade school children safely at home with a sitter.  We want everyone to have fun.

When: Saturday April 13th, 2pm (arrive between 1:30 and 1:50 to get a parking spot, and to 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.  Due to space constraints, you must be on the RSVP list to be admitted.

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 poisons, paints or hazardous materials.  Remainders will be donated to Birch Community Services who will give them to families in our community – so your usable items keep on giving!


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

1. TOYS AND GAMES: this might include 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: bring 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: items to bring include 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 don’t bring individually sized womens/mens/kids/baby clothing and shoes or we won’t have room for anything else!

4. HOUSEHOLD AND HOLIDAY: items might include dishes, potholders, coasters, fondue sets, non-expired and non-opened food items, blenders, bath salts, table lamps, Seasonal items and decorations. Perfume used once, lotion used once (i.e. 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, car stuff.  If in doubt, please bring/put your item on plastic or in a container.

6. BREAKABLES AND COLLECTIBLES: jewelry, antiques, fancy glassware, collectibles, toys that are too delicate to be in the official toy area, 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.  However, if you are through putting your stuff out, and you see someone who needs help putting their stuff out, feel free to offer your services to help them.

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 or emcee 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 the wordpress site, and sending it out to the other 15 swap coordinators so they can tell their lists of swappers.  We usually have about 100-130 people show up to the Spring Stuff Swap.  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).  Also, this swap is open to kind men and teens as well as women.

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

The remainders will be picked up by a representative of Birch Community Services, and be given to local families so they can have fun, too.  So you are being a philanthropist and helping others in a practical way while having a lot of fun in the process!


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 babies or 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 pieces.  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 Amber Meyer with your FULL name and the number of people in your party in the subject box.  (Example:  Jane Doe and 1 guest, 2 people total). Your name and email address will be your ‘entry ticket’ as well as agreement that you and all your guests agree to and will abide by the free swap rules.  We have a 150 person limit, and Amber will keep a waiting list if it goes over that amount.  If you find that you or a guest will not be able to make the swap, please let Amber know so she can give your space to the next in line.

Thanks for being a part of the FREE swap community!


6 responses to “RSVP for the Spring Stuff Swap 2013 at the PCL Church!

  1. First time swapping- how many things does each person usually bring? I want to make sure I’m bringing enough but not so much that people think I’m a weirdo.

    • LOL funny, Schrendymae! It really varies as to what you have. Some people bring boxes and boxes of stuff, others bring just 3-4 items. You can also check out our frequently asked questions page including question #17. I’M DOWNSIZING AND BRINGING A TON OF STUFF BUT DON’T WANT TO TAKE MUCH HOME – IS THAT O.K.? – or – I NEED A LOT OF CLOTHES FOR MY NEW JOB, BUT I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO SWAP – IS THAT O.K.?

      Yes to both questions. Some women clear out whole wardrobes to swap their first time, then just bring a few items after that. Some of us have way too much stuff that we don’t need anymore. Some of us are pretty thin (at least in the clothing department:). You can bring a piece of jewelry and leave with a whole wardrobe or visa-versa. The point of the swap is to grab what you don’t want/use/need, clean it up, and bring it to swap for free. We all have fun and find new stuff we like. Be courteous and generous, and come prepared to play.

  2. RSVP me for three people (including me)

    • Ann Occhi – please read what I wrote to Harriet. Replying to this post does NOT reserve your space at the swap. You need to go back and re-read how to reserve your spot. Due to space restrictions, ONLY those on the list will get in. You are NOT on the list until you respond to the correct email address, which is listed in the post above. Thanks- Barb Hughes, Swap Positive Admin

  3. Harriet Alexander

    Harriet Alexander wishes to reserve a spot for this event, 4/13/13…thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s