Category Archives: Other

Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swaps During Covid

parking strip free swap

Many of us are downsizing and de-cluttering. Some because we have the time on our hands and it’s enjoyable, some preparing to move to a smaller place, some because kids/families are growing and we don’t need/fit the items anymore.

At this same time, many of the places we usually drop off our de-cluttering donations are not accepting donations at this time, and indoor Free Swapping activities are mostly on hold. Where can we put all our de-cluttered stuff?

How about a Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swap? For an example, we live in a walkable neighborhood where there is lots of foot traffic. I’ve strung a line between our street trees and have been hanging up clothes I no longer need/use love, with a ‘free’ sign. I also have a large cardboard box in the parking strip with a ‘free’ sign. It’s fun to watch neighbors walk by and look through the goodies, and see the joy on their faces as they take things they can use/repurpose. If you are in a more rural area, having a ‘free neighborhood swap’ might do the same thing by having families bring items they have decluttered to a central location.

My husband and I go on evening walks through our neighborhood. I’ve noticed that more neighbors have started putting out ‘free’ boxes in their parking strips now. Some have hung clothes from the branches of their trees. Others have laid items out on their front lawns with free sign and arrow. It makes walks through the neighborhood feel like a scavenger hunt! It also keeps usable items out of the landfill, and occasionally allows some social distancing neighborhood visits.

Right now it’s beautiful, sunny, warm weather. However, when it gets rainy, cardboard free boxes and clothes hanging in trees won’t work. But this fun activity can last longer if we bring in the items if rain is in the forecast, and put them back out when it’s sunny. As long as neighbors are walking their dogs, walking in the neighborhood, then this will work. When we are in our homes keeping dry and warm will be the time to pack in the idea. Maybe by then there will be a Covid vaccine and we can begin inside free swaps again?

Many of us have appreciated the added free frugal entertainment of Neighborhood Outdoor Free Swaps during this strange time, having something simple we can do together that combines community building, de-cluttering, and treasure hunting fun.

Barb Hughes

Slow Open With Outdoor Swap Requests

We’ve had requests from swappers wanting to start free swapping again. If your area has been approved to re-open for in-person socializing, you may want to consider the following to allow a safer start to free swapping.

If you decide to do an outdoor swap- such as in a parking lot, park, or large outside yard swap- I will post your details on the swap positive site if you send me the following information:

  1. swap host(s) name and email/phone contact information.
  2. category(ies) you will be swapping (such as women’s size medium, all size/all age, jewelry, etc).
  3. location address, day, and time of swap
  4. on day of swap, put down your items in piles 6 feet apart.  Then do a round robin where you move around the circle looking at each pile, and taking things that look interesting.
  5. promise that all swappers attending wear masks (yes even outside, since we will be closer to each other). And that instead of trying things on, you gather up what you like, and take it home to wash it before trying it on. You can always bring what doesn’t work for you back to the next swap.
  6. name of the non-profit you’ll donate your remainders to- and the name of the person who will take them to the location.
  7. Only swappers who are NOT ill agree to attend the swap.
  8. Only swappers comfortable taking the risk come to the swap.  Each swap host may require you to sign your name and contact information when you arrive at the swap,  in case someone at the swap turns up positive, you can be contacted.

If you decide to host a swap with the above protocol, please send me the details to and I’ll post it here and on our Swap Positive Google calendar!  Thanks swappers!

Barb Hughes

Virtual Potluck/Dinner Visit With the Weils, 6:30pm Wednesdays

Swap Host Bert Fitzgerald of Simone Weil House is temporarily replacing Wednesday open dinner and discussion with a Zoom event (link every Wednesday @6:30pm.

Bring your food to your computer, connect on zoom meet up, and share…

check ins
chewing noises
a reading from Dorothy Day
Lectio Divina
closing comments

Swap host Burt says when the Covid-19 is under control and things get back to ‘normal’, the Wednesday Potluck Open Dinner will be back to its normal location.

Swap host is Bert Fitzgerald,

For additional details and updates, check the Simone Weil House Facebook Page

Swaps Cancelled, Time To Spring Clean!

Hi swappers!  Due to the corona virus and social distancing, Free Swaps will be taking a health break until it’s safe for group fun again.  Since you may have time on your hands being at home, feel free to go through your closets and storage and start compiling goodies to bring to free swaps when they start up again!

Another option would be to join your neighborhood Buy Nothing Group.  This is like free swapping, but on a person-to-person gift basis with your neighbors.  You may want to visit online with your gift recipient, and leave items on your porch for pickup.  Another suggestion is you may wish to agree ahead of time to wash/sanitize the object before gifting and after receiving. Just some options.

Thank you for being a part of this community of free frugal fun!  Please take care of yourself.  Be safe.

In appreciation,

Barb Hughes, Founder, Swap Positive


CANCELLED: Women’s Medium Size 6-12 Clothing Swap, NE Portland CANCELLED 03.14.20

03.11.20 Note from Swap Hostess Anna:

Out of an abundance of caution, and wanting to help “flatten the curve” (the exponential curve of coronavirus transmission in the Portland area), we have decided to cancel this month’s Women’s Size 6-12/Medium clothing swap at the Evergreen Community Church in NE Portland that was scheduled for March 14th.  We apologize to those who have looked forward to this swap.  Please stay tuned for news about the stuff swap in April at the Evergreen Church location. 

Thank you for your understanding.

Maternity and Baby Clothes and Accessories Swap, Hillsboro, February 29th

Maternity and Baby Clothes through Kids Size 10 – Clothing and Accessories Swap!  Including baby and maternity accessories, books, and toys!


Please bring things to swap AND/OR one or more non-perishable food items for the Oregon Food Bank. Of course, nobody will be turned away regardless of what you bring or don’t bring.

When: February 29th, 2pm-3pm.

Where: Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, 172 NE 32nd Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124, USA

You may arrive as early as 1:40pm to set things out. However, WE ASK THAT ONCE YOU HAVE PLACED YOUR ITEMS, STEP OUT OF THE ROOM OR TO A DESIGNATED AREA UNTIL 2PM. We want everyone to have a fair chance at getting what ever comes and getting some nice things. You will NOT be allowed to create a stack of new finds prior to 2pm.

1) Help set up tables and label them (around 12:30pm).
2) Help direct people as they come in and place items of those who come at the last minute. (These should be people who are there to give more than to receive items).
3) Pack up the left overs for donation (3-4pm)
4) Help put the tables away once the packing is done.
5) Take a load for donation.

Here are the details on what you can bring:

Bring gently-used gear and clothes: maternity and sizes premie up to size 10.
Items may include (but not limited to):
socks and tights
coats, hats, sunglasses and other accessories
cloth diapers and diaper covers or unused disposables that no longer fit your baby
maternity clothing, nursing bras (NO REGULAR WOMEN’S CLOTHES)
baby gear (blankets, strollers, carriers, slings, baby care items, legal carseats and furniture, etc.)
mama gear (nursing pillows, pumps, etc.)
books (both for baby and parenting books)

It helps to sort your clothing beforehand in these categories:
• Newborn to 3 months
• 6-9 months
• 12 months
• 18 months
• 24 mo/2T
• 3T
• 4T
• 5T
• 6-7
• 8-10
• Maternity
• Bathing
• Feeding
• Diapering
• Gear
• Toys/fun
• Books
• Shoes/socks
• Hats/hair

There are no limits to how much to bring or take, we just ask that you take only what you need. Please bring something to carry home all of your new-to-you finds! Any leftover items will be donated to Northwest Children’s Outreach

Facebook events page

January 2020 Free Swaps!

Happy New Year 2020!! We’ve got some fantastic free swaps this month!  Food/potlucks, women’s clothing swaps in various sizes, family clothing swaps for men/women/kids, a book swap, household stuff swap, and a seed swap to get you thinking about spring gardening! If you have a free swap you’d like to share, please contact me with your information and I’ll add it to our Swap Positive Google Calendar, our Other Swaps page, and in this blog roll – for more information, click here-

01/04/20  Saturday Potluck Brunch, every Saturday from 10a-1pm at 5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97211-4905. Bring something to share! Come to chat, share food, build relationships, and swap resources. Coming soon: permanent free store space & library! For additional info contact Bert Fitzgerald, or check the Facebook Page

01/11/20 Saturday Potluck Brunch, every Saturday from 10a-1pm at 5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97211-4905. Bring something to share! Come to chat, share food, build relationships, and swap resources. Coming soon: permanent free store space & library! For additional info contact Bert Fitzgerald, or check the Facebook Page

01/11/20 Women’s Size 6-12 Clothing Swap in NE Portland, 2pm at the Evergreen Community Church.  For what to expect see details here.  Usually second Saturday of the month.

01/11/20 Women’s Size 10-14 Clothing and Accessories Swap, 8:00am-9:00am at the Evergreen Community Church gym 935 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97232. Contact Swap Hostess Amy Alice for more information at

01/12/20 Family All-Size Clothing Swap (Men, Women, Kids) and BOOKS The North Portland Free Clothing Exchange is a free community event held quarterly at the Kenton Church on North Lombard Street (in the basement). Everyone is welcome. All sizes of Men’s, Women’s, and Children’s clothing are exchanged. No donation is required in order to receive clothing and books at this swap. We’re now exchanging books too! Bring your children and grown up books that are in good condition and that you’d be proud to share…and take a few new stories home with you.

01/15/20 All Size Family Clothing Swap/Give-away (Kelso WA) every 3rd Wednesday from 2pm-6pm at the Three Rivers Mall in the Community Room,  351 Three Rivers Dr, Kelso, WA 98626. They accept clothing donations (all sizes, ages, and genders) and are looking for volunteers to help. Please contact 360-747-7240 or . Remainders benefit the South Kelso Neighborhood Association.

01/17/20 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

01/18/20 Saturday Potluck Brunch, every Saturday from 10a-1pm at 5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97211-4905. Bring something to share! Come to chat, share food, build relationships, and swap resources. Coming soon: permanent free store space & library! For additional info contact Bert Fitzgerald, or check the Facebook Page

01/18/20 All Size/All Age/All Gender Clothing and Holiday Decor Swap 10:30am-1:00 at Gresham Library. Also take part in reusable bag making if you like. Bring all sizes and genders of clothing, as well as holiday decor to swap!  Learn about recycling and food waste prevention. Kids and adults can participate in recycled art projects! Get tips on how to reduce waste with easy at home ideas. Multnomah County Library – Gresham, 385 NW Miller Ave, Gresham, OR 97030, USA Sponsored by the City of Gresham and Green Minded Gresham

01/18/20 Women’s All Size Clothing, Household Stuff Swap (Camas/Clark County, WA) Please pre-sort your clothes so they can be separated into piles, small, medium, large, plus. Also small household stuff and books. Usually held the third Saturday of every month, 3pm at the Camas Library 625 NE 4th Ave. Camas, WA 98607.  Please reserve your spot (RSVP) with Dorothy at  (No swaps in July and August).

01/25/20 Saturday Potluck Brunch, every Saturday from 10a-1pm at 5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97211-4905. Bring something to share! Come to chat, share food, build relationships, and swap resources. Coming soon: permanent free store space & library! For additional info contact Bert Fitzgerald, or check the Facebook Page

01/25/20 Sandy Seed Swap (Sandy Oregon), All gardeners are welcome to the Sandy Library’s annual Seed Swap! If you don’t have seeds to contribute this year, no worries. Our seed swap motto is “Bring what you have and take what you need”. From 10am-11:30am in the Sandy library Community Room, Seedy Sunday is an heirloom seed exchange for everyone. Bring your organic, non-GMO, non-hybrid seeds to share. It is not required that you donate seeds to be able to participate. However, please only take the amount of seeds that you actually will use in your garden so there will be plenty for everyone. Seedy Sunday provides the opportunity to come together and exchange our non-GMO, non-hybrid heritage varieties of vegetable and flower seeds. Seedy Sunday Seed Swap takes place annually on the last Sunday in January.  Sandy Public Library, 38980 Proctor Blvd #8040, Sandy, OR 97055. Contact librarian Susie Jenkins for more information, at 503-668-5537,

01/26/20 Women’s Large and Plus Clothing Swap (size 14 – and up) Please bring clothes in good condition (no rips or stains) and accessories such as jewelry, shoes, hats, belts, purses. Please bring extra bags to help haul out the left overs. Every 4th Sunday in People’s Food Co-op community room. Address: 3029 SE 21st ave Portland Arrive a few minutes early to start swapping at 7 pm. Rules: Bring clean clothes in good condition, size 14 and up. (There is a small size swap on the 3rd Friday at the same location) Do not take anything until the swap coordinator says GO Be kind and courteous! Do not sell the things you get at the swap. Please bring extra bags Bring a mirror if you have one! Please also consider volunteering! I need help bagging up left overs at the end and carrying them to my car. Or if you are willing to do the donation run, to your car. Also we will need to sweep the room afterwards. If you are interesting in being a back up coordinator, please contact me. Thank you and happy swapping!  For more information, contact Carrie at

Family Clothing And Stuff Swap, SW Portland, December 14th

Bring the whole family to the Garden Home Community Library’s annual winter Free Clothing and Stuff Swap!

WHEN: Saturday December 14th, 10am-noon
Doors open at 9:50am for people to bring in their items. Swapping starts at 10am.

WHERE: Garden Home Community Library Annex . 7475 SW Oleson Rd. Portland OR 97219
Please note, the library’s annex is located across the street from the library. It’s in the Garden Home Marketplace. But our space is not visible from the parking lot. We are 2 doors down from the Bulldog Deli on the side of the building that overlooks SW Oleson. Look for our big yellow gnome!

WHAT: Bring Clothing for men, women, and kids…as well as household items, books, small furniture and electronics to swap. Items should be clean and in usable condition.

Leftovers will be donated to charities including The Transition Projects, Mercy Corps, Bethlehem House of Bread Community Closet, and more.

For more information, contact Heather Waisanen, Adult Services Programmer at Garden Home Community Library, 503-245-9932

Holiday Gift and Toy Swap, NE Portland, December 14th

UPDATE:  as of 12/03/19 This swap RSVP list is full.  However we invite you to  Register/RSVP for the waiting list!

DECEMBER IT’S THE HOLIDAY GIFT AND TOY SWAP!  You need to RSVP for this event, as we invite kind men, women, and teens, and want to make sure we don’t overbook the venue.

It’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 Continue reading

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:)

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