Fab Frugal Friday: “Dust Collectors” {Swapping Clothes, Toys, & Goods with Friends}

For 1 year now, I’ve been regularly attending “Dust Collectors”.  No, it’s not a support group for women who despise dusting (although I”ll admit I do despise the tedious task of dusting!), nor is it a group of meditating people sitting and collecting dust (lame attempt at humor on that one).

Dust Collectors Collages

What is “Dust Collectors”?

Dust Collectors is a group of friends (who bring their friends, who bring their friends), who get together about once a month and swap their stuff! (please excuse the pictures in this post, I forgot my fancy camera and resorted to using a cell phone instead!)

  • Are there toys that float around your house desperate for a home (and it’s not yours!)?
  • Are your childrens closets overflowing with clothes they no longer wear?
  • Is there a decoration that is as cute as can be, but it just doesn’t mesh with your walls?

Enter:  Dust Collectors.

Get Rid of STUFF:

This is a great way to purge and declutter on a monthly basis!  Tracy, one of the ladies in our group,  is really good about this.  In her home, she has a designated spot for the “Dust Collectors bucket”.  Her children have been trained – any time they come across something they no longer use or want, they just put it in the dust collector bucket!  Can you imagine how nice it would be to NOT have things float around your house, always looking for a home? (I seem to have many of these sorts of things!).   It’s always fun to see the random things she, and others, bring!

Set a Regular Date and Time:

Pick a day of the month (we do the first Thursday of each month at 8pm).  We rotate houses with in the group (well, we try to anyway!).  Pick a time when women can leave kids at home.  This just won’t work with kids in the room (can you imagine the “gimmee gimmee gimmee” effect!).  Snacks/goodies are optional.  🙂

INVITE:

Its fun to have a variety of people there.  The more people that attend, the better the chances of someone having something you need!  So invite your friends, and have them invite their friends and sisters!  Anyone is welcome to attend!

Draw Numbers:

This is how we assign the order.  It’s simple and there is no need for competition of who can get there first (we just aren’t catty like that!).  The numbers are in a bowl, pick one out when you arrive, and that’s when you’ll present!

Let the Fun Begin!

The first person goes through all the stuff she brought.  She just holds it up and tells the size or what it is.  If  you want it, simply voice it!  If you don’t speak up, you’ll never get anything.  Sometimes there will be more than one person wanting the same thing.  If this happens, we simply do the “pick a number between 1 and 50” thing.

There are no limits!

What I love about the ladies in our group is that everyone has the spirit of giving.  No one keeps track of “being fair”.  No one cares how much you brought and if it is less than what you take home.  This is simply a way to bless each others lives.  Last month someone brought shoes that my daughter has been needing for such a long time.  How thrilling is it to get something FREE that you’ve really really been needing! No one keeps track.  No one cares.

Recycle Recycle Recycle:

Sometimes you’ll snag a certain toy, take it home, it is loved for a few days, and then never looked at again.  Simply bring it back to the next dust collectors!  The same thing will happen with clothing!  If you see you don’t need it, or it doesn’t work for you (too big, too small…), simply bring it the next month for someone else to use!

Don’t Be Offended:

If no one wants the stuff you brought, no matter how wonderful you think it is, don’t be offended!  Sometimes the people who are in attendance just don’t need what you brought!  There are no hurt feelings at Dust Collectors!

GIVE:

What about all the items that are not claimed?  The hostess is in charge of taking all the remaining items to Deseret Industries (or any second hand store of your choice).  Even more people are blessed!

There are no rules as to what you can and can not bring.  I’ve got a great start on my Christmas shopping, and it didn’t cost me a dime!

  • Did you go crazy on a sale and stock up too much?  Bring it to Dust Collectors!
  • Want to see the clothes your little baby girl grew out of go to a home of someone you know and love?  Bring them to dust collectors!
  • Had one of those weeks where you just didn’t have time to prepare and you’ve got NOTHING to bring?  That’s OK!  COME to Dust Collectors!  That’s right – even if you have nothing to share, it’s still OK to come and receive!

Rather than trying to make money, and not worrying about “keeping score” (like you would with a garage sale, toy swap, or nickle auction), Dust Collectors promotes decluttering, SAVING money, and blessing others.  What a fun thing to do with friends!!

Do you do something similar to Dust Collectors?  How do you do it?

Comments

  • The Featured F.A.B.

    I love this! My sister-in-law regularly attends a dust collectors group each month as well. I was able to attend once with her and it was so much fun! I’d love to figure out how to get my friends together and start doing one as well.

  • This is such a COOL idea… wonder if I could get one together and going??? Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy Conner

    I would love to get one started if you guys want! 🙂 I live in SW Boise 🙂

  • Jessica

    This would be so much fun!!! If anyone in SE Idaho (Rexburg to Idaho Falls) wants to do it let me know!!

  • Lindsay

    SOunds super fun. I love to yard sale but thissounds even better. I live in South Nampa if anyone around there wants to start one:)

  • Beth

    Oh my gosh, who’s totally cute house is that in the pictures? She must have really good taste.

  • Thanks for posting this! I love dust collectors too.

    Girls Night out – Fantastic! (NO Kids or husbands allowed, they still want some of the stuff you’re giving away that they haven’t used in 10 years)

    Getting rid of clutter

    Getting stuff for your home and family you need FOR FREE!
    (I use to worry I was coming home w/ more stuff than I was getting rid of, but then I looked around my home and everyone was using stuff from dust collectors. It really is a money saver!)

    Love it, Love it

    Visiting different homes, I love that part. (The house is totally cute in the photos! I think she decorates with Dust Collector Items!)

    Seeing everyone’s stuff is hilarious, I always get the giggles.

  • Sherry

    I would love to do it, too, Kelli! I went to a ladies clothing swap. I was a ton of fun. Made for a great night out, I got rid of clothes I don’t wear & picked up some new ones. Perfect!

  • Kelly D.

    I absolutely love this idea and I actually started my own group almost 2 years ago. We meet every couple of months and rotate homes around the area which gives different people a chance to attend. We have our own Facebook page where we post the event information, things we’re needing, things we’re giving away, etc. We have a core group of women who just love this meeting and we have a couple of new faces each time. This has been so much fun and such a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Trackbacks

  • […] Purge – get rid of unused items in your home and donate them.  Not only will it clear space for the incoming, donated items that are rarely used will bless someone else (plus it’s a tax write off!).  Need extra cash?  Take the items to a consignment store and use the store credit to buy gifts your family WILL use.  OR consider getting together with friends and swapping your stuff! […]

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