Back to School The Ultimate Checklist

Making the “Master List”

Whenever you shop for anything, go with a list in hand. The process of making the list encourages you to think through what’s truly needed. In general, writing it won’t take long. 

Simply record the essentials your child will need, including school supplies and clothing. Consider what specific types of clothing your child needs. 

Keep in mind that there’s no need to shop for a whole year’s worth of clothes at once! Your child may outgrow them anyway. Focus on fall, and go from there. 

  • School Supplies

You’ll likely need some specific school supplies for the upcoming academic year. Here are some items you might include on this list: 

  • Pens
  • Lined paper
  • Crayons
  • Ruler
  • Protractor
  • Spiral notebooks
  • 3-ring binders
  • Backpack
  • Art supplies
  • Calculator

Once you’ve got your list, you’re ready to dig into the details. Many schools also publish lists of particular supplies your child needs for that year’s assignments, so include those necessities on your list as well.

These additional suggestions may save you money also:

    1. Think about what type of backpack your child needs. Depending on your child’s age and stature, you might want to consider a rolling backpack to help them avoid shoulder and back injuries.
  • Know the exact type of supplies needed, as many teachers are quite specific about their requirements. For example, if your child is in middle school or high school, you may need to purchase a scientific or graphing calculator.
  1. Be familiar with the stores in your area. If your child has enough leftover school supplies to last for the first 2 weeks or so of school, consider waiting until after that time to buy anything new if the retailers in your area tend to offer deep discounts on leftover inventory after school starts.
  • However, some retailers offer the deepest discounts before school starts to entice you to their store during a time when you might be doing a lot of shopping, so pay close attention to the specials of competing stores.
  • Clothing

Reflect on what types of clothing and how many of each kind of garment your child needs for school. Review the following sections to determine which of these clothing suggestions will work for your child

  1. If you have a daughter. For girls, consider this list of clothes to start the school year off right:
  • 2 new pairs of comfortable pants
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 1 skirt or dress 
  • 3 blouses or shirts 
  • 5 pairs of socks 
  • A light jacket or long sweater
  • A winter coat with hat and gloves
  1. If you have a son. For boys, the list includes:
  • 3 new pairs of pants
  • 3 good shirts
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • A light windbreaker
  • A winter coat with hat and gloves

As with school supplies, if your child has enough clothes to begin the new school year, wait a few weeks to buy new clothes. Kids’ clothing goes on sale at that time and you can get a lot more for your money.

Writing down what your child needs to start the school year is important. To be comprehensive, include both supplies and specific clothing items on your list. With list in hand, you can do your shopping with a clearer idea of what your child needs to be prepared.

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