Style

HuffPost Did An Office Clothing Swap. And You Can Too.

It's really easy.

This article is part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” campaign, an ongoing project spotlighting the world’s waste crisis and how we can begin to solve it.

Free stuff! Everyone loves free stuff.

Everyone also has a bag of clothes at home that’s full of items he or she hasn’t worn in ages. You probably have one, too ― a bag you’ve been meaning to donate for months.

A simple solution? Host a free office clothes swap. People get to purge their wardrobe of unwanted items, and find some new treasures in the process.

The Huffington Post hosted a swap for its New York City employees on Tuesday and Wednesday. We collected over 350 pieces of clothes and accessories on the first day. The following day, we let people choose new items from the donated goods. More than half of the donated items were reclaimed ― the rest we donated to a local Goodwill.

Here’s how we did it:

Damon DahlenHuffington Post
Organization is key. Depending on the size of your office, you might want to take one day to accept and sort through donations, and one day to let people browse the donations and "shop." HuffPost has a fairly large staff, so we did our clothes swap over two days.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
On donation day, employees bring in whatever old clothes they don't wear anymore. For each item they bring in, they get one token, redeemable for one article of clothing on swap day. (We cut our tokens out of paper, but you could use anything.)
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
Then comes the hard part: Sorting through everything and separating it by size and gender -- and weeding out the damaged items. It takes a while, but it makes the exchange process so much easier.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
You might have to do some sprucing up. Pet hair can stick to clothing like sweaters and scarves.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
The best advice we can offer about organizing your donations: invest in some hangers. Getting clothes up off tables helps you showcase some of the best pieces -- and it's easier to organize. Plus, we found that people were more eager to select items when they were hanging up, instead of sitting folded on a table.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
The neater things look, the more fun people will have. No one wants to sift through a messy pile. Make it easy for them!
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
Once everything is sorted and arranged nicely, you can start letting people into the swap.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
People with tokens -- that is, the folks who donated clothing -- should get first dibs. One token per item, just to make it fair!
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
When all the token-holders have had their turn to pick items, you can open the swap up to everyone else.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
You might be surprised by some of the unique items you find -- like this T-shirt with a built-in fanny pack. Would wear!
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
Be warned, though, you'll have to re-arrange things throughout the day to keep your setup looking tidy.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
It's worth it!
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
It's good to leave some space for featured items, too. Don't let things get too jumbled.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
Of the more than 350 pieces that HuffPost employees donated to our event, only 150 were left at the end of the swap.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Most people found something they love.
Damon DahlenHuffington Post
It was just plain fun.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
When we were done, we packed up the unclaimed items and brought them to a Goodwill near the office. Then we sat back and enjoyed the spoils of the swap.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Catharine Smith, business editor.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Carina Kolodny, director of multimedia platforms.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Madeline Wahl, associate editor, blogs and community..
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Dzana Ashworth, production assistant, HuffPost video.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Savannah O'Leary, multimedia producer.
Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post
Catharine Smith, business editor.

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