And I realized that I'd been headed in that direction on my own, not just by buying less stuff but by utilizing the bartering method, in other words- SWAPPING.
My first foray into the swap arena all started with a skirt, the one in these photos. It hung there in my armoire, looking so cute, but every time I tried it on it just looked terrible. I kept trying to figure out how such a cute skirt could look so bad on me. I had gotten it on sale at Anthropologie, one of my favorite stores, but which is impossibly expensive at full price. I couldn't bring myself to take it to Goodwill, and so the idea of the swap was hatched in my brain. I knew my girlfriends must all have stuff like this- too nice to give to Goodwill, sometimes still with the price tag on, maybe just didn't fit quite right or you didn't have the right shoes to wear with it, etc. And so we started the clothes swap, and it was a huge success. We all came away with a bunch of super-cute new items that we loved for FREE. And yes, one of my friends looked fantastic in the brainchild skirt, she wears it all the time, and she just sent me those photos to post.
Since we started the swaps, some of my friends haven't even needed to shop for new clothes. It's amazing how something can look so bad on one person and so great on someone else. We all have different body types so we look good in different things. Although one of my friends looks good in almost everything, prompting another friend to exclaim at the last clothes swap, "Is there anything she DOESN'T look good in?"
I like to say our clothes swaps are getting us through the recession in style. And some of the other members of The Compact do swaps all the time- media swaps, craft supply swaps, just about anything you can think of. I'm definitely planning a book swap and kitchen swap sometime this year.
But clothes and books and kitchen supplies are small potatoes! What about swapping your house? That's what my husband and I did last year, and we had one of the best vacations of our life. We traded houses with a couple in London for 5 weeks through an online company called HomeLink. You list your home with photos and a description of its features and the neighborhood, and then you put it up online and see what offers you get. We get emails all the time from people in France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Australia, just to name a few. If you want to visit a certain country, you put out inquiries to listings in that area. We had a fantastic vacation because not only was it infinitely more affordable, but we actually came to love our neighborhood in London and feel like we lived there, if only for a short time. We're looking forward to traveling this way from now on. I highly recommend it!
Have you ever swapped or bartered clothes or kitchen items or books? What about your house? Please share your thoughts about all things swap-related.