Back to School Tips and Tricks

 

In these challenging economic times, back-to-school time can be an expensive experience. We all want to do everything we can to ensure our kids have all they need to have a successful school year. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to see to it that your child is ready.  

 There are several simple strategies that will help you stretch your back-to-school funds. You really can spend less this year while preparing your children for their best school year ever! 

What You Already Have on Hand

Your Child’s Clothing Drawers

Your Child’s Closet

Making the “Master List”

School Supplies

Clothing

What To Do With Outgrown Clothes

Garage Sale Facebook Marketplace  sell on Ebay 

Swap with Family 

Donate Charity Shops

More Simple Strategies to Increase Your Back to School Savings

Set and stick to Your Budget

Shop During Late Spring/Summer Sales plan ahead

Use Social Networking to Pump up Back to School Savings

Where to Shop

Time Your Shopping

The Best Time to Shop for School Supplies

The Best Time to Shop for Clothes

The Best Time to Shop for Computer and Technology

What You Already Have on Hand

Most of us at some point have bought an item we thought we needed, only to come home and discover that we already had one! This is particularly true with back-to-school shopping.

Before the pressures from peers and advertisements encourages your kids to ask you relentlessly for new gear, it’s important to know what school supplies and clothing your children already have. 

Sometime early in your child’s summer vacation, plan a few days to “explore” together their desk, clothing drawers, and closet. The age of your child will determine how much help they can be in this process.

This “cleaning out” task helps in many ways: you’ll get rid of garbage that’s collected in your children’s rooms, find nearly new items to save for the coming school year, and create space for new school supplies and clothes. 

  • Your Child’s Desk: Home of Hidden School Supplies

Although your ultimate purpose is to take inventory, you’re also looking to find space for the new school supplies you’ll soon be buying.

Follow this handy list of basic steps for this process:

  • Go through your child’s desk drawer by drawer. Be sure to check every drawer. You may even want to dump them out on the floor and go through the piles of stuff there, rather than rummage through the drawers themselves.
  • As you’ve probably learned long ago, kids can be remarkably good at “hiding” items from parents, and even from themselves
  • Have your child help you sort out nearly new items, partially used items, and old desk supplies that can be thrown away. If your child seems resistant, try making a treasure hunt out of it. Create a list of school supplies you’re “hunting” for and check them off as they find each one.
  • Place all the nearly new supplies in a box. A large, clear Tupperware or Rubbermaid tub is a great way to see what you’ve got inside of it. Of course, any box will work – even a used cereal box if you’re really tight on money.
  • Label the box clearly, and put it somewhere out of reach until the next school year. Once you’ve gone to the work of gathering all of these supplies, there’s no sense letting them go back “into circulation.” You’d just have to find them all over again!
  • Your Child’s Clothing Drawers

Next, it’s time to clean out the closet, dresser, and other clothing storage. Start with the drawers to make room for more folded clothes.

  • Divide and conquer. One by one, remove the drawers and sort the clothes. For this, it helps to have three boxes or bags. Label them “To Keep,” “To Give Away,” and “Garbage.”
  1. The rag bag. Items that are torn, stained, faded, or worn go into the rag bag or the garbage.
  2. Does it fit? Have your child try on clothing items that are still in good shape. Do they fit? Are they good enough to use to start out the upcoming school year?
  • If the garments fit and you believe they’re appropriate for your child to wear to school, place those items neatly into an emptied drawer.
  1. Separate play clothes. Clothing that can still be worn but that you don’t see as school-worthy can be stored in a separate drawer. These garments can be for wearing around the house or when your child goes out to play.
  2. What to give away. If you come across clothes in pretty good shape but that don’t fit, fold them neatly and place them into the “To Give Away” box
  • Donate those items to a favorite charity, hand them down to other parents, or better yet, keep them for a Swap Meet. Whether you make money from reselling them or just see them off to other homes, you’ll be glad to have helped someone with your cast-offs.

Once you’ve cleaned out the drawers, move to the closet. You’ll have made lots of space for folded clothes, including play clothes, some of which will probably be “retired” from the closet.

  • Your Child’s Closet

The closet will probably be the most challenging space to get through with your child. Explain that it’s smart to see what clothing your child has so you’ll know what to buy for the new school year. You might want to begin going through the closet in the morning after breakfast, so the both of you are well-rested.

Because kids’ closets often have cluttered floors, try starting there. Have a garbage bag, a box, and some extra hangers ready. As you pick up items on the floor, determine if they need to be thrown out or laundered.

If your child hasn’t worn an item for some time, let them try it on so you’ll know whether it will work for the coming school year. For clothes that are outgrown or suitable only for play, put them in the appropriate bag or box.

Next, go through clothing items on hangers in the closet. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. For many of the items, you’ll be able to tell at a glance whether to toss them, save them for school, or keep them for playtime.

This is Part one Take a look at Part 2 the ultimate checklist 

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