Author Archives: Barb Hughes

Women’s All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap, Happy Valley, March 27th

Women’s All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap March 27th,  7pm at Happy Valley New Seasons market on Sunnyside in the yoga studio/conference room. The last Friday of the month.  You can bring not only clothes but shoes and accessories and any other goodies that you want to pass on (such as books, jewelry, lotions, makeup, pens, arts and crafts and etc). If you know of a good organization that can use the leftover clothes or if you can take it with you please let me know. To RSVP (reserve your spot) contact Tanya at 

RSVP for the Spring Stuff Swap Saturday April 11th in NE Portland

It’s time to RSVP for the April Spring Stuff Swap – Combine spring cleaning and free frugal fun!  Your in-good-condition stuff will be loved by someone else, your home will be less cluttered, you’ll find new-to-you items you CAN use…plus, all remainders will be given away to others in the community (including Bradley Angle Women’s Shelter and the Community Warehouse)!   Think of the saving$, recycling, philanthropy, and good karma flowing around:) If you’ve never been to a gift swap or stuff swap, see one in action here.

Due to space constraints and so everyone has fun, You Must Read all the information below including the RSVP directions to Reserve Your Spot at this swap!

Kind and courteous women, men, and teens are invited.  We are expecting 100+ people, so leave babies, toddlers and grade school children safely at home with a sitter.

When: Saturday April 11th, 2015 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.  Car-pooling is encouraged.  Due to space constraints, you must be on the RSVP list to be admitted (special Stuff Swap RSVP email address below).

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, or hazardous materials.


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, accessories that are one-size-fits-most such as scarves and hats.  Save sized clothing for clothing swaps, please, or we won’t have space 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 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.  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 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.

I’m posting this on the wordpress site, and sending it out to the other 17 swap coordinators so they can tell their lists of swappers.  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.

The remainders will be picked up by volunteers Angela Nolan, Megan McCoy, and Shay Mullins, who will deliver them to organizations who’ll then give them away locally. So by participating in free swaps you are being a philanthropist by helping others in a practical way, while having a lot of fun in the process!


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.
  5.  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.

To reserve your place at the Spring Stuff Swap, email Anna at with your FULL name, number of guests, and TOTAL number of people in your party in the SUBJECT BOX.   (Example: “Jane Doe and 1 guest: 2 people TOTAL.)  This will help Anna to keep track of everyone easier, and you’ll be helping to make the swaps run smoothly:)

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.  Anna will keep a waiting list, so if you find that you or a guest will not be able to make the swap, please let Anna know so she can give your space to the next in line.

Thanks for being a part of the FREE swap community!

We’ve got our 2015 Stuff Swap Volunteers

Thanks to the following people, we’ve got our stuff swap volunteers for the 2015 Spring Stuff Swap at the PCL church in NE Portland (swap details to follow soon!):

Pick up and deliver remainders (Santas):  Angela, Megan, Shay

Greet and sign in swappers:  Amanda, Edith (backup Alana)

Box up remainders after swap (Boxing Team): Ann, Veronica, Christine, Megan, Shay

Help swappers put out their things:  Kaia, Shar, Alana, Shay, Effie, Toby

Mediator/communications* (should we ever have swappers who want the same item and need help with our Swap Positive protocol :  “if 2 or more people want the same item, the person who has the least amount gets the item”  and/or “if one person has no teapot, and the other person has a teapot collection, the person with no teapot gets the teapot”.)  *This is a new position.  We may never need to use it, but it’s here if we need it :)  Amy Alice

Emcee:  Chris

Set out floor signs:  Barb and Toby

Initial planning, posting on site: Barb

Swap Hostess for this site, Open/close venue:  Anna

RSVP’s:  Anna

Thank you to these women, men, and teens – the swap couldn’t happen without you!  I’ll be posting Spring Stuff Swap details soon.



Volunteers Needed for the Spring Stuff Swap

It’s time to start planning for the Spring Stuff Swap in NE Portland!  The tentative day of the Spring Stuff Swap is Saturday April 11th.  Please consider volunteering for one of these jobs -when we get all the volunteer positions filled, we can start taking RSVP’s!  Plus, if you volunteer, you assure your place at the swap!


1. Someone(s) who will pick up and give away remainders for free.  Bring a van(s) and pick up boxes/bags on day of swap between 3:00pm and 3:15pm.  This is your chance to be Santa!

2. One person to be the Mediator/Communications Director*.  This person will have past experience at and LOVE stuff and gift swaps, understand the free frugal fun sharing community aspect of swaps, and have the patience of Solomon. They will help swappers communicate on the rare occasion should a problem arise during the swap (i.e. people wanting the same item and not able to work it out themselves).  Arrive by 1:45pm to put your stuff out, be on hand to help people problem solve/communicate during swap.  Swap Positive protocol :  “if 2 or more people want the same item, the person who has the least amount gets the item”  and/or “if one person has no teapot, and the other person has a teapot collection, the person with no teapot gets the teapot”.  * This is a new position – and your skills may never be called on. But I think it would be a good position to have just in case.

3. 4-5+ people who will bring boxes and bag/box up remainders after swap.  Arrive any time between 1pm and 2pm so you have time to put out your own stuff.  Start packing up around 2:45pm or whenever the crowd has thinned out, and stay until everything is packed up (est 3:15pm).

4.  Various people who will help others put out their things.  If you see someone come in with a lot of stuff, ask them if they’d like help putting things out in rows, then help them. Good job for people who are experienced gift/stuff swappers and can keep the central aisles and walkways clear of items.  Arrive 1:15pm.

If you would like to volunteer for any of the above positions, please contact me at and let me know your name and what volunteer position you’d like.  When we’ve got all the volunteer positions filled, I’ll announce details of the swap here at Swap Positive!  I’m already gathering up boxes of goodies to bring…

Barb Hughes

XS and Small Clothing Swap, SE PDX, March 20th

Clean out your closet! Gather all the clothes in good condition that you don’t wear or want: Include accessories like shoes, hats, belts, purses, jewelry, etc. (but please: no used make-up or undergarments). Our next women/teen size petite/XS and Small swap at People’s Co-op will be Friday, March 20th at  7pm. Please limit to good quality – no rips or stains, including grease. If you have larger sizes or kids sizes, please take them to the correct swap for those sizes.  Continue reading

No Colossae/Tigard swap in March

Just a reminder, there will be NO all-size swap at Colossae Church in Tigard in March. It was mentioned February they will now be meeting every other month. Our next all size women’s and teens clothing swap at Colossae Church in Tigard will be Monday, 4/20 at 7pm. We look forward to seeing you all in April, spread the word, clean out your closets and we’ll have fun swapping in April :) Thanks, Barbara and Cindy, Swap Hostesses.

Women’s Size 6-12 Clothing Swap, NE Portland, March 14th

Check your closet, drawers and storage, wash clothes and other wearables you no longer love/wear/need (including cleaning up jewelry, purses, shoes, and other accessories) and bring them to the women’s medium size 6-12 clothing swap!  This is a swap for women and teens who wear women’s sizes 6-12 only.   No children please.

What: size 6-12 medium women’s FREE clothing swap 

When: Saturday March 14th 2015, 2pm.

Swaps are usually the 2nd Saturday of each month, and usually last about an hour. If a few women can start putting remainders into piles or bags around 3pm, that would be appreciated!  If you have a full length mirror in good shape you’d like to donate to this swap, please contact volunteer swap hostess Anna to let her know at

Where: Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst (in the gym) 935 Continue reading