Here’s another idea in my limited party hosting series. I’ve done this before and it’s a great idea for getting rid of items you no longer want while socializing.
Tell your friends way in advance about this party so they can start saving and not throw anything away. I try to give at least a couple of month’s notice. I ask my friends to save clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, unused makeup, barely used hair products/tools/accessories, perfume, and nail polish.
Since it’s really about going through clothes and other items I wouldn’t advise making any real meals or anything that would involve messy fingers. Keep it light and easy. Just snacks to balance the alcohol. Think about the following:
Gourmet Popcorn– make it yourself or buy it- caramel, kettle corn. Or try regular popcorn and sprinkle with oregano/salt/pepper.
Spicy Hummus and Pita Chips
Fruit Salad– grapes, strawberries, melon, watermelon, pineapple mix
Chocolate covered pretzels or cookies
Keep it simple. Wine is the way to go. Particularly white wine or sparkling rose since people will be walking around and you want to reduce stain possibilities.
Also try spiked water. Several companies are getting in on this low carb/calorie alcoholic option. You can also offer guest Club Soda with lime slices and the option of tequila (100% agave option) and/or vodka.
I’m always a promote of a little mood music for the festivities. I tend to go with what ever you might hear in a clothing store. Most of that music is pop/dance tunes. There’s a reason for that. It gets people in a happy mood, they may stick around longer in the shop to eventually buy clothes. I’m guessing this of course but I know music can lore me into a shop, especially one with a DJ.
So with that in mind, I suggest a play list of upbeat tunes of any genre. Not something distracting (ex. no curse words) but fun with a good beat to get people energized.
Really it’s all about how you lay out the goods. Have a space for each type of item. I live in a small one bedroom apartment so layout is essential so that items are easy to shift through and look enticing. Consider how many people you invite when you plan this. If you have a large space the sky’s the limit but I had to keep my event under 10. In my dinning area I laid out make up, hair products/tools/accessories. I hung purses on chairs. In my bedroom I laid out like clothing with like clothing and shoes on the floor. My kitchen held the drinks and the coffee table held the light bites. Make sure your bathroom is clean as that will be your changing room, I even had a fragrant candle lit.
Conveniently, I have clothes donation bins in my apartment building so anything we didn’t exchange went downstairs to donation. If you don’t have such options, I would suggest you remind guests to take their goods home. It would end up being a big chore if you have to collect it all on your own!
Encourage people to pick up what they want as they see it. I had a couple of regrets of things I saw that I liked and didn’t pick up my first circle around my place but were snatched up by my guests.
Socialize and have fun!