When I first heard of this type of party, I was immediately interested in hosting one. The main reason the RE party was such a success is that I teamed up with a friend and we planned and executed it together. There’s a scripture in the bible that says that two are better than one, because they help each other succeed. Two can also share responsibilities and the inevitable stresses. In this case, my girlfriend and I were well-matched as we carried out party plans; my enthusiasm and creative ideas linked up with her organization and focus. She kept me adhering to the party planning checklist and timelines and I kept her from over-thinking the details. Long story short, I definitely want to do it again soon (I’ll have to see if my girlfriend still shares my eagerness a few months from now).
As with any good party I host, it starts with the free online invitation www.evite.com, which invited each guest to bring up to five nearly new, items that they no longer used. Guests would get to “shop” from the items brought by others. Best of all, no money required! Our guests were asked to drop off their items before sale-day so that we could properly “set up shop.” We borrowed extra folding tables and suddenly the living room was transformed into a shopping paradise.
After arriving on the day of the RE party, each woman pulled a number from a basket to determine the order in which she would “shop.” Then they all began inspecting the merchandise and hoping their favorite items were still available when it was their turn. Each woman had the opportunity to get at least two turns to “shop.” In between shopping there was much chatter, meeting new friends, and eating and drinking; salads, sweets, dips and chips (no party is complete without a little eating and drinking). I think everyone scored with a “new” or unexpected treasure. Once “shopping began to die down, the women were free to take any remaining items, before it was all packed up and taken to a local charity.
We had many satisfied customers. As our guests were leaving, several asked if we were planning another RE party in the near future. Only time will tell, but for now, I am feeling a sense of accomplishment; my closets-and the closets of those who attended-are a bit roomier, and we turned a needed task into a great time. To be honest, emotional attachment if one of the reasons, (actually excuses) I sometimes use for not quickly getting rid of clutter and unused items. During the RE party, I was so relieved when my beloved- yet never used- crystal picture frame was picked up by my friend. She really seemed to appreciate its beauty and already had an idea of which room in her house to put it in. It was special to me because it was a gift from my mama. I felt so relieved knowing that it was going to a good home.
Whatever reason (or excuse) you have for holding on to clutter, this may be your ticket to freedom. Consider trying this fun, free method to clear out your closets, recycle, and “shop,” all while socializing with good friends. Let me know how it goes. Enjoy!
Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at low costs. A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.