Now that the holidays are pretty much over, we can get back into our normal routines again. Did your kids get a lot of presents this Christmas? Is your house overflowing with stuff? A friend of mine, Debbie, created a wonderful idea called “Exchange-O-Rama or EOR” About four times a year, she hosts a party where a bunch of ladies get together and exchange items you don’t want any more for someone else’s items. It is a so much fun. I always look forward to going to her EOR parties. You can bring as much stuff as you want to the party, but it has to be new or gently used items. How many of us have clothes in our closet that we have never worn with price tags still on it? We know we will never wear it. What about that Christmas or birthday present you got that you never used? These are the kind of items you bring to an EOR. Remember the saying, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure?” It is so true. I know my husband thinks I’m crazy when I go to this because I am jumping up and down with joy when I get home, showing him all the stuff I got for “free”. For me this is the best way to shop. You go with you bag of stuff and you can get to get a bag of “new” stuff without having to spend a dime. Since, I am the lady with the coupons all the time, this is right up my alley. Anyway, to give you an idea of how this works. A person hosts the party at their house. Debbie usually sends out an evite to all her friends a few months in advance. This gives us a heads up to start going through our closets collecting things. She usually asks everyone to bring a snack to share, so there are some munchies while you shop. Debbie’s house is sectioned off into areas of where you put your items. You will see signs for clothing, shoe, accessories, jewelry, house wares, books, kitchen and purses. When you get to the party, you put your items in their proper place. This is when you take a peak at what’s out there. You can‘t take anything yet. But you can look, at least I do. You have to wait until everything is out. Debbie will usually gather everyone and says get your bags ready. She will go over the rules which include: you can‘t take more than you brought and you can’t say anything negative about any of the items. This is so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Once everyone is ready, the shopping begins! It usually lasts about a half an hour to forty-five minutes.
I have picked up some wonderful items. My favorites have been a brand new touch screen cell phone, someone’s old music cds, a Buccaneer’s miniature stadium replica, beautiful jewelry and cool clothes. I always try and get something for my little girls. They know when I go to EOR, they will usually get some goodies. It’s like Christmas all over again for them! My husband always says, "I thought you were trying to get rid of stuff ?" I say, "I did, but look at these wonderful finds!" Sometimes I even bring him something home. The other wonderful thing about Debbie’s EOR’s is that she takes all the left over items and donates them to a charity. Over the years her parties have helped so many charities. I feel good know I am also donating to a good cause. As a mom, this is a great way to have fun with friends and do free shopping. I got bold enough this past year to host one of these parties at my house and my friends and I had a blast! Try it, I bet you’ll have fun.