Cleaning is never fun, especially going through kids’ closets and getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. Did you ever think of reaching your neighbors through your kids’ outgrown clothing? Well, you can with a clothing exchange! 


Send out a flier announcing to your neighbors that you are going to be holding a clothing exchange. Begin with children’s clothes and shoes. If it’s a success and neighbors show interest, include toys, books, and games in your next exchange. 

Have large blankets spread out on your grass and large tables to display items. Also, have plenty of empty hangers and places to hang clothing. Rope tied between two trees or ladders works well. As neighbors arrive, assist them in displaying their items. 

To make the exchange fair, before beginning, give everyone one ticket for each item they are bringing to the exchange. When they have made their selections, they can “buy” their items with their tickets. If a person ends up with extra tickets, he or she can donate them to someone else, or save them for the next exchange. 

Remember, this is an exchange, not using money, but clothes. No money should be involved. Make that clear to your neighbors before you begin.

Instant Intentions

Invite your neighbors to stay for lunch after the exchange. Over lunch, talk about what a blessing it is to have neighbors you can share clothes with and how good God is to provide that way. 

-          From the book, Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group Publishing, 2007.

Note: In your flier, remind neighbors to bring items that are in good condition, and skip the shoes, as they mold to the wearer’s feet. If you don’t have a lot of children in your neighborhood, you could expand the nature of the exchange to include books, CDs, DVDs, adult clothing, board games, and other items that might interest adults. – Lisa Jaeger