4 Tips for Running a Clothing Exchange Library out of a Self-Storage Unit

There are many ways that communities can join together to help save money while building relationships. One of these ways is to create various lending libraries. Communities have created successful clothing libraries, tool libraries, and toy libraries. If you are considering making a clothing library for your community, a self-storage unit can be an excellent and inexpensive place to store and organize donations. However, you should keep the following tips in mind. 

Make Sure All Donations Are Clean and in Good Condition 

When starting up the library, you should create a standard for what type of clothing you will accept. For example, you may want to refuse donations of clothing with holes, stains, loose threads, or missing buttons. You should print these rules and give them to anyone who wants to make a donation. When sorting donations, make sure that all items meet your community standards. 

Have Set Times When Clothing Can Be Exchanged 

You should set a date each month when clothing can be exchanged. This will allow people to plan for the exchange ahead of time. It will also help reduce the amount of time you spend traveling to the storage facility and opening it up for exchanges. Depending on interest, you may need to provide 2-4 days a month for exchanges to take place. 

Make Sure You Are Not the Only One with Access to the Unit 

When renting the storage unit, make sure that you include 2-3 other responsible adults who can access the unit. This way, you will not have to run every clothing exchange, and someone else will be able to access the unit in case of an emergency or if you happen to be out of town when an item is needed. However, you do not want to give too many people access to the storage unit as you will want to make sure the items and the unit itself are secure. 

Make Sure You Have Adequate Shelving and Containers

With any type of exchange library, organization is important. You will want to make sure that you rent a storage unit with shelving or add shelving to the unit yourself. You will also want well-labeled, durable containers to hold all of your clothing. Depending on your neighborhood, you may want to make an online inventory of each article of clothing so people can reserve clothing before exchange days. 

Creating a clothing library can be beneficial to your community, and following the above tips can make it easy and quick to do.