Author Archives: Barb Hughes

RSVP NOW for the 13th Annual Spring Stuff Swap!

stuff swapRSVP NOW for the 13th Annual Spring Stuff Swap coming up April 14th 2018!  Combine spring cleaning, sustainability, philanthropy, treasure hunting, and free frugal fun with like-minded friends! 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, treasure hunting, philanthropy, and good karma flowing around:) If you’ve never been to a free 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 in blue), 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 animals, and grade school children safely at home with a sitter.

When: Saturday April 14th, 2018   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 Christine’s special email address to be on the RSVP list/reserve your space to be admitted.


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, small children, or animals (it could be too overwhelming and the gym area filled with stuff 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 you give it away, not sell it.
  5.  We are all volunteers and donate our time for free. The venue donates its 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!

To reserve your place at the Spring Stuff Swap, email volunteer Christine at 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 Christine to keep track, and you’ll be helping to make the swaps run smoothly. If Christine 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.  Christine will keep a waiting list, so if you find that you or a guest will not be able to make the swap, please let her know before April 12th 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.


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:

  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. You CAN bring one-size fits most items such as hats, scarves, accessories etc… however, please don’t bring sized clothing 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, large unwashable pillows, bean bags or other material that could spill out.
  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, 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!
  7. MISC. OTHER STUFF: We’ll also have a misc. area, where you can put things you have no idea where they 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.

By participating in free swaps you are part of a 13 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, Swap Positive Founder



NEW Potluck and Variety Show, NE Portland, March 16

UPDATE 03/15/18 Hello Everyone!-The Whatever Variety Show has been POSTPONED, New Date TBD – dates being considered are April 20th or 21st, among others. If you have a preference, please respond or contact Bert Fitzgerald! Thanks- Janie Paige.

“Whatever” the Variety Show and Potluck, at Yonder House in NE Portland, March 16th!

Shake off hibernation with an evening of low-key performance and potlucking at Yonder House. We’ll take in each other’s poetry, music, movies, comedy, skits, musings, etc., and just eat drink and hang out.

March 16th at Yonder House,  5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR

Potluck starts at 7pm, Variety Show starts at 8pm

Don’t have something to present? Yes you do. Just lower your standards. Respond via facebook here, or Call Bert at 574-213-5468 to get on the list (but you don’t have to).

Try to bring some drinks or snacks to share potluck style. We’ll have some stuff.

MC Bertrand will be presenting the commercial sponsorships for our acts, hopefully with live musical accompaniment. Contact Bert at 574-213-5468 for further information.

Women’s Petite to Medium Clothing Swap, SE Portland, March 16th

Women’s XS to Medium (approx size 0-8) – 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 ‘stuff’, used make-up or undergarments). Our next women’s/teens Petite to Medium (approx 0-8) swap at People’s Co-op will be Friday March 16th at 7pm.  Arrive early and please limit to good quality – no rips or stains, or grease. If you have larger sizes or kids sizes, please take them to the correct swap for those sizes. 

What: FREE Women’s Size Small to Medium (approx 0-8) Clothing Swap

Where: People’s Food Coop 3029 SE 21st avenue, Portland  Continue reading

Women’s Size 6-12 Clothing Swap, NE Portland, March 10th

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.   No children or babies please.

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

When: Saturday March 10th, 2018, 2pm.

Swaps at this location are usually the 2nd Saturday of each month, and usually last about an hour. If a few women can start putting remainders into piles around 3pm, that would be appreciated!

Where: Evergreen Community Church (in the gym) 935 N.E. Continue reading

Women’s and Teens All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap, Camas WA, March 3rd

Camas Women’s All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap March 3rd at 6pm!

Please tell all your friends and feel free to repost this!

Doors open at 5:45 with swap starting promptly at 6PM.

First Saturday of every month ( except summer ) at Rushing Water Yoga Studio in Downtown Camas. Get directions here.

Swap all your old, still in good condition, clothes, shoes and accessories! And books, or any other media, household and kitchen stuff, too. Most anything that can be passed on to the homeless shelter and be useful to someone setting up a new home.

Bring what you can, take what you like.

Leftovers are donated to Share House ( and Dress for Success (

PLEASE RSVP TO DOROTHY AT  IF PLANNING TO ATTEND. (Though you are just as welcome if you show up without an RSVP, but this helps us prepare knowing how many will be here.)

I look forward to seeing you all there!

If you are new to the group, or new to swapping, please review the swappositive website

March 2018 Free Swaps

Here’s the free swaps we know about so far for March 2018.  If you have a free swap that isn’t listed that fits our criteria, please email your information to so we can include it here FREE!

03/03/18    Women’s and Teens All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap 6pm at the Rushing Water Yoga Studio in Downtown Camas WA.  This is now an All Size swap, so please pre-sort your clothes so they can be separated into piles small, medium, large, plus, and accessories. Also includes small stuff items. Takes place the first Saturday of the month September through June (No swaps July and August).  Please RSVP to Dorothy at

03/03/18 Community Potluck/Brunch at Yonder House in NE Portland, (usually first and third Saturdays) starting at 11:00am. Bring food to share, eat, enjoy yourself, and meet like-minded kind people!  Contact Bert Fitzgerald 574-213-5468 for more information. Check out the Yonder House facebook page at facebook/yonderhouseon15th for details.

03/10/18 Women’s Size 6-12 Clothing Swap in NE Portland at the Evergreen Community Church.  For what to expect see details here.  Usually second Saturday of the month.

03/16/18   Women’s Size Petite to Medium (approx 0-8)  Clothing Swap at People’s Food Co-op in SE Portland at 7pm.  Everyone who attends, please bring an extra bag for remainder donation.  Monthly on the third Friday.  If you’ve got other sizes, please take them to the correct swap for those sizes.  If they are torn/ripped, please offer them on If you would like to receive notifications via facebook, go to: and request to join the group

NEW! 03/16/18  “Whatever, the Variety Show, and Potluck”, at Yonder House. NE Portland, 7pm potluck, variety show starts at 8pm. Shake off hibernation with an evening of low-key performance and potlucking at Yonder House. We’ll take in each other’s poetry, music, movies, comedy, skits, musings, etc., and just eat drink and hang out. Don’t have something to present? Yes you do. Just lower your standards. Call Bert at 574-213-5468 to get on the list (but you don’t have to). Try to bring some drinks or snacks to share potluck style. We’ll have some stuff.  MC Bertrand will be presenting the commercial sponsorships for our acts, hopefully with live musical accompaniment. Contact Bert at 574-213-5468 for further information.

03/30/18 Women’s All Size Clothing and Stuff Swap in Happy Valley, 7pm at New Seasons market on Sunnyside in the yoga studio/conference room. The last Friday of the month.  Bring all sizes of women’s clothes, shoes, and accessories …plus any other small 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 

Volunteers Needed for the 2018 Spring Stuff Swap in NE Portland

UPDATE:  WE HAVE OUR VOLUNTEERS!  THANK YOU!  Wanna help? We need volunteers for the 2018 Spring Stuff Swap coming up in April!  (Tentative date is Saturday April 14th when we get all volunteer positions filled).  After we get our volunteers, I’ll post on Swap Positive the RSVP information to reserve your space mid-March.  We expect about 150 RSVP’s due to the venue space/popularity.  Volunteers assure themselves a place at the swap! 

If you’ve never been to a stuff/gift swap, here’s a swap in action:


Christine will take RSVP’s in advance.  She has created an RSVP-only email address. Christine will organize your name alphabetically by name/email/# of people. Your name on her list reserves your place at the swap!   Continue reading