Time to RSVP for the Annual Spring Stuff Swap – Combine spring cleaning, sustainability, philanthropy, and free frugal fun with like-minded neighbors! Your home will be less cluttered, your in-good-condition stuff will be loved by someone else, you’ll find new-to-you items you CAN use…plus, all remainders are given away to a local charity that GIVES them away, not sells them! Be a part of the saving$, recycling, philanthropy, and good karma flowing around:) If you’ve never been to a gift or stuff swap, see one in action here.
Due to space constraints YOU MUST GET ON THE GUEST LIST TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE AT THIS SWAP (swap RSVP email below), and read and agree to the swap guidelines below so everyone knows what to expect and can have fun.
Kind and courteous women, men, and teens are invited. Please leave babies, toddlers and grade school children safely at home with a sitter.
When: Saturday April 8th, 2017 2pm (arrive between 1:30 and 1:50 to get a parking spot, and to set your stuff out before the swap begins.)
Where: Evergreen Community Church (formerly Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst) in the gym, 935 N.E. 33rd Avenue. Portland OR 97232
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. Car-pooling is encouraged. Due to space constraints, you must register below at volunteer Cindy’s special email address to be on the RSVP list/reserve your space to be admitted.
HOW TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE IN THE SPRING STUFF SWAP:
By coming to Free Swaps, you agree to the following Free Swap Rules:
- No pre-swapping, gathering piles, or taking stuff before we officially start.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We are all volunteers and donate our time for free. The venue donates it’s space for free. All swappers agree to bring items in good, clean condition so you can find items in good, clean condition. Remainders are given away so others can play, too, not sold.
To reserve your place at the Spring Stuff Swap, email volunteer Cindy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your FULL name, number of guests, and total number of people in your party in the Subject line. (Example: “Jane Doe and 1 guest: 2 people total.) This will help Cindy to keep track, and you’ll be helping to make the swaps run smoothly. If Cindy doesn’t acknowledge your request right away, please be patient. She will respond as she is able.
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. Cindy will keep a waiting list, so if you find that you or a guest will not be able to make the swap, please let Cindy know before April 6th so she can give your space to the next in line.
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 useable items – NO junk, no recyclables. 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.). No poisons, paints, illegal or hazardous materials.
HOW IT WORKS:
You come in and put your stuff in rows on the gym floor, with a walking path cleared down the middle so we all can walk freely. We’ll have signs on the floor in rows that say:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. You CAN bring one-size fits most items such as hats, scarves, accessories etc… however, please don’t bring sized clothing.
- 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, large unwashable pillows, bean bags or other material that could spill out.
- 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.
- BREAKABLES AND COLLECTIBLES: jewelry, antiques, fancy glassware, collectibles, artwork, 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!
- MISC. OTHER STUFF: We’ll also have a misc. area, where you can put things you have no idea where they go..it also works as an overflow aisle if other areas are full.
If you have items you’re not sure where they go, 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 generous 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 so, the emcee will welcome everyone and shortly thereafter will say “Go” so we can all start at the same time. Be kind and courteous – if two people want the same item, the person who has the least gets the item. (At a previous 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.
We usually have about 100-150 people show up to the Spring Stuff Swap. It’s important that everyone is patient and kind, and only bring good stuff so you in turn find good stuff!
Bring your own boxes/bags to cart your new stuff home in. Some people bring rolling suitcases.
This swaps’ remainders will be picked up by Jim Anderson of the Paying It Forward Store and given to low income families – that way more people can play! By participating in free swaps you are part of a 12 year tradition of fun, recycling, and philanthropy! Thank you for being a part of the fun, and making your corner of the world a happier place.
Barb Hughes, founder and executive director, Swap Positive