We are fast approaching back-to-school time and now is a great opportunity to get ahead of the game with a quick project designed to ease your way into back-to-school shopping season.
You can save the most time, money, and hassle in shopping for back-to-school if you know what you already have that works, what each child needs for the current season and what each child needs for the next season. Here are some simple steps to getting your kids’ clothing organized and make for some savvy shopping.
8 Steps to Back-to-School Clothing Organization
Typically, you want to get as much of this project done as possible without the kids and involve them for a targeted amount of time at the end. If kids are older or if they are interested in the process, they may benefit from being involved so that they can learn from what you’re doing.
You’ll need the following supplies to get started:
- Paper grocery sacks
- Plastic storage bins
- Permanent marker
- Bonus: label maker for bins
Let’s dive in:
- Get the laundry done as much as possible to give you a full view of what you have. As you fold the laundry, note the sizes of the kids’ underwear, shirts and pants. Also make a note of anything that needs to be replaced.
- Tell the kids you’re going to ask them later to try on a few clothes to see if they fit. Many children cooperate better if they have been given advance notice to transition into activities.
- Start with the folded clothing in their dresser drawers, such as socks, underwear, shorts and sweaters. Check each item for size and wear-and-tear, neaten it up and organize it as needed. Make note along the way of anything you need to purchase.
- If you’re not sure whether something fits, start a try-on pile for each child for later.
- If you have younger family members who may want outgrown items as hand-me-downs, put these items in storage bins and label the full boxes by gender, range of sizes and season. Anything else that’s been outgrown can be placed in paper grocery sacks and donated to your local Goodwill.
- Next, move to the closet and tackle the hanging clothing. Keep noting what needs replacing and areas that are coming up short. Consider everything in terms of “good school clothes” and count how many shirts, pants and dresses will currently work.
- Once you’ve gone through all of each child’s clothing, take whatever’s left in the try-on pile and grab the kids for a try-on session. Some kids may be more cooperative if you let them try-on while they watch a favorite show as a treat, and some may think it’s a big fun fashion show! Do have fun with it and work with your child’s preferences to make it painless for everyone.
- Write down everything you notice that is needed and the correct sizes for everyone. Don’t forget underwear, socks, belts, ties, hair accessories, jackets, sweaters, school uniforms, “party clothes,” athletic shoes, casual shoes and dress shoes.
Now you’re ready!
Your kids’ clothes are organized, and you have a list of exactly what you need to get from the big back-to-school sales when they start. And don’t forget the bargains you can get every day shopping at Goodwill, where gently used kids’ clothing can be the perfect way to save even more!