RSVP NOW for the 2019 Holiday Gift And Toy Swap!

stuff swapIt’s time to declutter your home and storage, gather up Giftable items in great shape that you no longer need/use/love, wash them up, make sure all the pieces are there, and bring them to the 2019 Holiday Gift and Toy Swap! This has become a FAVORITE Holiday tradition! Combine house cleaning, gift shopping, philanthropy, and free frugal fun!

The 2019 HOLIDAY GIFT & TOY SWAP is Saturday December 14th, 2pm, in the Evergreen Community Church gym.  Due to space constraints, you must RSVP (reserve your spot)! This is an adult and teen only event.  Please leave children, babies, and pets home safely with a sitter.

Gift Swaps are tons of fun – watch here to learn more!

The gym is unheated so dress warmly. Since kind women, men and teens are invited, YOU MUST READ /AGREE TO INSTRUCTIONS AND RSVP (Reserve your space) TO GET INTO THIS SWAP (see below).


To attend this event, you and your guests need to agree to the Free Swap Rules, and What To Bring (below). To get on our Reservation/entry list, fill out Elaine’s special 2019 Gift and Toy Swap form:

to CONFIRM YOUR SPACE AT THE SWAP.  If you have questions about the form you can email Elaine at  If you or one of your guests can’t come, you can change your information on the form.


  1. No selling anything you received at a free swap. If you get it free and decide later you don’t want it, you agree to give it away (not consign, sell, eBay etc.). All remainders are given to charities, so your philanthropy keeps good karma and fun flowing for yourself and others this holiday season!
  2. Kind women, men, and teens are invited to this swap. Please leave babies, toddlers, early grade school children, and pets safely at home with a sitter – that way you can shop for them! Plus, the gym won’t be echoing with excited whoops or cries. Carpooling is recommended.
  3. Be generous. Be respectful of each other. Only take what you will personally use or give as gifts. Share the love.
  4. If you feel the above 3 rules are too difficult or don’t apply to you, don’t come. Those who follow these simple rules will have a great time!


  1.  Scour your closets, garages, and home for things in gift-able condition. Please do not bring anything that is broken, dirty, or junky. We are all volunteers and don’t have  money to pay to dispose of junk, and the gym floor is carpeted and needs to be kept clean. Plus, all remainders immediately after the swap will be donated, so other families can play, spreading holiday cheer! So items being in clean and giftable shape are important.
  2. Between 1:30 and 1:55 bring in and put your items with like-minded stuff in rows. After you’ve put your items out, go to the walls of the gym so people coming in have room to put their stuff down in the middle. Leave a walkway down the middle of the gym so it’s easier to move around. (See photo at top of this post.) You decide which category/row your things would best fit.
  3.  No pre-shopping (scooting stuff into piles, or taking things before the swap coordinator says ‘go’). To make it fun and fair for everyone, we all wait until the swap leader says go, and then all start at the same time (this is NOT Walmart:). Since there will be 100+ people we ask you to be responsible for yourselves and your guests. If you are an experienced swapper and see someone with wide eyes (the typical newbie stare of disbelief at all the amazing goodies) introduce yourself and answer any swap questions they may have.
  4.  Before we start, we’ll ask that everyone go stand next to something that looks interesting – but don’t pick it up yet – so there’s no mad rush before we begin. Feel free to mention which item you are going for with neighbors. That way if two people are going for the same teapot, you have some negotiating time (i.e. if person A doesn’t have a teapot, and person B has a teapot collection, obviously person A should get the teapot, and this gives person B a chance to go stand next to something else that looks interesting). When the emcee/coordinator says ‘go’ shortly after 2pm, then you can shop!
  5. Stuff in the middle in rows is free, boxes/bags of stuff around the walls of the gym is somebody’s stash.
  6. Bring a bag(s) or box(es) to take what you’d like home. Please be kind, courteous and generous, and focus on what we have in common: celebration of kindness and free frugal treasure hunting! If you find tons of stuff, and the person next to you only has a few items, allow them to have that item you both have your eye on:)


Search your house, garage, and storage for gift-able items you don’t need/want/love. Make sure the items are clean, in working order, and all the pieces are there. Nothing too big to fit in the backseat of a car, nothing illegal or toxic, and nothing that can’t be washed at home (i.e. no mattresses, large furniture, couch pillows, gasoline, etc.).  Would YOU like to receive it as a gift?  Then bring it!

  1. TOYS AND GAMES:  New and lightly used toys, dolls, stuffed animals, gag gifts, 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 movies that are still in great working order. Computer games can go in the techie area if the book area is crowded.
  3. CRAFTS, FABRIC, ACCESSORIES: Scrap-booking, beading, knitting, sewing patterns and clean fabric, the gift towels that were the wrong color for your décor, holiday clothing accessories that are one-size-fits-most such as scarves, mittens, gloves, and hats. If an item is holiday related (i.e. Christmas sweater, holiday socks, Santa necktie) bring them. Please save non-holiday clothing for a designated clothing swap!
  4. HOLIDAY AND HOUSEHOLD: Seasonal decorations, stocking stuffers, blender, dishes, potholders, coasters, fondue set, non-expired and non-opened holiday food items, table lamps. If you’d give it as a gift, bring it.
  5. TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY, GARDEN, PETS: Clean ratchet or tool 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, artwork, that collectible pirate ship or doll, 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).
  7. MISC. OTHER STUFF: Items you don’t know where else to put, plus this is an overflow area if other areas are too full.

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.


Saturday December 14th, 2pm at the Evergreen Community Church (in the Gym) 935 N.E. 33rd Avenue. Portland OR 97232.
Two blocks south of Sandy Blvd. on 33rd (the west fork in the road), at Pacific Street, in a small modern red brick building. There is a parking lot behind the church. The gym is directly across from the playground. Get there early to grab a parking lot space…late comers will need to park on the street. Also consider carpooling. We will have volunteers with clipboards holding the RSVP list at the door. Those on our RSVP list can sign and go in.

This is one of our most well-attended and magical swapping events of the year. It’s a lot of fun to clean out your house for the holidays, knowing that you’re making other people very happy by recycling things that you no longer need/use/love, and getting a treat or two for yourselves and your loved ones. As you can see by the video at the beginning of this blog entry, Free Swaps are for kind, generous people who know how to manage themselves in appropriate ways. No hoarding, no stampeding, no grabbing stuff…just fun, thrifty, kind people. Thank you for being a part of this fun-filled celebration of thrift!

Please support our mission by enjoying the swap as a place to GIVE and get free stuff, and if you part with your new-to-you swap items, we ask that YOU do it in a free way too!  Everyone who participates is a philanthropist!

If you don’t see a free swap in your size, interest, or neighborhood, how about starting one?  Find out more here.

Thanks for being a part of the FREE swapping community!

P.S. if you would like to pick up the remainders Saturday December 14th at 3pm after the swap to re-gift to your non-profit, clothing closet, housing cooperative, family shelter, community lending room, as a starter-pile for your group free gift/stuff swap, etc. please let me know by contacting me through the contact page.

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