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New to You Party: Saves Money & Makes Recycling Fun

A New to You Party turns recycling into a party! Get your friends together and trade items game-show style, have a few laughs & go home with new-to-you items for FREE.


A new to you party helps reduce your carbon footprint by reusing clothing, toys and household items. Trade items with your friends as a party.

  • trade items Chance auction style so it’s a game and a fair way for everyone to pick their favorite items
  • get a new wardrobe for the season for you or your kids for free
  • change your decor for free
  • try new fashion accessories for free

Did we mention that you get new to you items to take home for FREE? Here’s how.

1. Invite your friends for a party at your place.

women choosing clothes at a new to you party

Invite your friends over and ask them to bring items that are in good condition but that they’d like to trade. What are they tired of? What toys/clothes have their kids outgrown?

You could ask them to bring whatever they want, but it’s usually more successful if you have a theme, so choose one:

  • kid’s toys
  • children’s clothing
  • household or kitchen items
  • seasonal clothing for you (invite friends who are about the same clothing size)
  • fashion accessories
  • home decor

2. There needs to be food. And wine or coffee.

As hostess, you get to decide what kind of food is served. It can be as big or casual as you want.

  • wine, appetizers & cheese
  • cupcakes & coffee
  • hot chocolate bar & cookies
  • buffet food you prepared or ordered in
  • always have water on hand too

Do you want to prepare all the food? Or do you want everyone to bring an appetizer/snack/cupcakes?

Do you want to supply all the drinks, or do you want them to bring wine?

3. How to trade clothes game-show style.

women choosing clothes at a new to you party 2

Organize a circle of chairs in the party room. Make sure there are tables beside or near the chair to set glasses & plates. Have a buffet table for the food & drinks nearby.

When everyone arrives, the dump the items them want to trade in a pile in the center of the circle. A pile is fun to dig through, and you hold onto hope that you’ll still find a treasure in the bottom when the pile gets smaller. It’s also faster than hanging everything – let’s get on with the party!

After they get their food & drink, each guest chooses a chair in the circle.

Just like a “Chance Auction”, with the New To You Party, you can make the rules whatever you want.

  • hostess goes first to thank her for all she’s done
  • she roots through the pile until she sees something interesting and holds it up for everyone to see
  • if she doesn’t like it she returns it to the pile, if she likes it she keeps it – you may want to set a time limit or a limit on the amount of items a person can check out before choosing
  • when she finds what she wants she returns to her seat and the person sitting beside her has a turn
  • this person can “steal” an item from someone else, take something she saw someone else hold up, or dive in the pile to find something new
  • If they choose to search in the pile, they hold up each item for everyone to see until they choose something and sit down with it.
  • This continues around the circle until the pile has disappeared or no one wants the items left in the pile.

As hostess, you take anything left over to your favorite Thrift Store the next day. (Still recycling & reusing items.)

new to you party donation box

Bonus Tip

This can become very raucous, depending on the group – and how much wine is consumed!

Some groups do not do well with the “stealing” idea, so you may want to make it a “first come, first serve” kind of party so there’s no hard feelings.

Want more? See our Ultimate List of Party Theme Ideas

Ultimate List of Party Themes

Having a party and want to try something different? Check the Ultimate List of Party Theme ideas. Food, Costume, Eras, Sports, Hobby and more!

Want more? See our new party ideas – and more.

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