Have you ever walked into a friend’s house and immediately envied their style? Do you have great home accessories that you just don’t have any use for anymore? The next time you decide to switch up your home’s decor, see if your friends are feeling the same urge to redecorate. If they are, throw a swap party! Have your guests bring in their decor pieces, and set up a private bazaar in the comfort of your home. Add some snacks and drinks, and you’ve got a recipe for a free room refresh and some bonus social time.

Choose Your Guests

two friends working on a laptop togetherStart thinking about your guest list early. You should probably keep the affair relatively small to minimize mess and the potential for disagreements. Obviously, you’ll want to invite people whose styles you enjoy, but you should let your guests bring different types of items to allow for variety.

Set the Rules of Engagement

When it comes to the decorating party, it is essential to set boundaries ahead of time to keep the event light and fun. Decide on how much merchandise you want for the item pool, and determine the rules for condition and value. Will you trade one for one—that is, guests get one item in exchange for each item they bring? Will each guest bring as much or as little as they want and decide who gets what on the day of the decor party? Will you all draw straws to decide on a shopping order or just mill around all at once? Making these decisions ahead of time will save you from potential disputes that could ruin the mood.

Get Organized…or Don’t

Another party-hosting essential is to prepare your space for guests’ arrival. You’ll want to designate space for all the items and provide bags or stickers to help people claim their pieces. Be sure you make evident what is and isn’t up for grabs. You should also decide on your setup plan. Do you want to organize items into sections to make things a little orderly? If you really want to make it feel like a flea market, you could do the opposite and let items be placed randomly to give your friends the full bargain-hunting experience.

Prepare for a Feeding Frenzy—Both Literally and Metaphorically

friends serving themselves at a dinner partyDeciding on a great menu will help keep your party feeling relaxed and social. While the flea market setup will probably make it difficult to orchestrate a full, sit-down dinner, consider going for a luxury private-shopping vibe by providing drinks and finger foods. Let your guests move around, eat, shop, and interact with each other during this unique twist on a friends’ night in.

Bargain hunting can bring out the competitive side in the best of us, so plan how you’ll settle disputes before the shopping starts. We like to think we can be adults about disagreements, but you should make a contingency plan just in case the claws come out. An amusing solution could be to have party court, where people plead their cases and everyone votes on how to settle—with a fun consolation prize ready for the loser.

Decide What to Do With the Leftovers

As the party comes to a close, you may find that not all of your inventory has found a new home, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chance at a profit. If your merchandise is especially valuable, consider selling the leftovers at a consignment shop and splitting the profits or donating it to a charity of your choice.

Party hosting is all about preparation. Get the details done ahead of time, and dedicate your energy to a fun social event that’ll reinvigorate your living space at a fraction of the typical cost. Happy shopping!