I’ve often wondered if people in other parts of the country go to the same lengths that New Yorkers do to get rid of stuff. If you’re a family of 4 (or 5 or 6) living in 1,000 square feet, purging on a quarterly basis is almost a necessity, and when kids start getting older and new clothes for them more expensive, a good swap event is a mom’s dream. Take your bags of outgrown or unwanted clothes, toys, books, games, etc. to a strategic location, meet others there doing the same, take home a few select items and leave the rest to be someone else’s treasure or to be donated or recycled. Heck, you may even get some free snacks from the event sponsors. I can think of worse ways to spend an hour on a Saturday. Of course we all know we won’t always get the exact items we want, but most of us are happy to make the effort to swap a few items every now and then.

Here are two upcoming Brooklyn swaps not to be missed:

Town Square’s Holiday Greencycle Swap – Saturday, December 10th

Town Square has been doing their Greencycle Swap Events since 2009. You’re invited to bring your gently used, working items, plus a $5 donation, and take home as many “new” treasures as you like.

What qualifies as “gently used”? Clothing with no stains or holes and fabric that is in good condition (not faded, stretched out, frayed, etc.) Toys and games with no missing parts/pieces, books with all their pages, no ripped pages and no writing/drawing on the cover or inside. Basically, you should ask yourself if you would pass these on to your sister-in-law or neighbor. If the answer is no, then they should probably go to textile recycling instead of to a swap.

Details: Saturday, December 10th, 12 – 3 pm, at the Greenpoint Public Library (107 Norman Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222). $5 donation.

The Great Cook Swap – Tuesday, December 13th

The Great Cook Swap, brought to you by Brooklyn Based and 61 Local, is taking place Tuesday, December 13th. You’re invited to bring your tired cooking tools and all the cooking related wedding gifts you haven’t ever used and trade up for newer things or swap out for items you really need. They’ll use a tiered system for trading, outlined as follows:

$10 and under: Red ticket, one for each of the following

Individual Glasses and Mugs


Unopened spices, rubs, condiments and jarred items that don’t need refrigeration

$20 to $11: Blue Ticket

Pans and pots

Sets of mugs or glassware

Serving dishes

Over $20: Yellow Ticket

Cast Iron and Stoneware pans, dutch ovens and casseroles

Mandolins, spiralizers, pasta makers


High End:

You’re also welcome to sell your own high-end items like used Kitchen-Aids–just let us know in advance so we can set aside room for you.

Details: Tuesday, December 13th, 6:30 – 10 pm, 61 Local (61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201). FREE, though you need to RSVP!