Back To School- Clothes, Supplies and Schedule

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How To Organize Back To School

Is it that time already? I hear several friends say they can’t wait until the kids go back to school so they can have a little time to relax. Well, not me! My daughter is 15 now and I have never felt I was in a rush for her to go back to school. Maybe it is because I only have one child at home, maybe because I am single and it is only her and I at home, or maybe it’s because I miss her. I do miss her when she is in school and I can’t wait for her to get home and tell me about her day. Let me remind you that she is now a teenager with a teenager attitude. She thinks I am being nosy and want to know her business. Well, that is not the case, I just miss her.

Let’s talk about the what we need to do.

  • clothes
  • school supplies,
  • write out the schedule of classes
  • locker number and combination,
  • times to get up in the morning
  • time to go to bed
  • after school practices.

First, let’s figure this all out.

How to Know What School Clothes To Get

Let’s talk about school clothes and how to figure out what is needed and what they already have. I know every kid needs a great first-day outfit. I have spent money on nice outfits that she wanted for school just to see them hang in the closet after only a few times worn.

This year we are going through all her clothes, including socks. I pull everything out of her closet and we go through every item. It is either yes I will wear that, or No I will not wear that.

Two piles one for Yes I will wear that and want to keep it. Or No I will not wear that.

Clothes she will not wear is going into a large bag to fill with things she doesn’t want or is not her STYLE anymore.

Clothes that she will wear go back hung up in the closet. Organized by sweatshirts, t-shirts, jeans, and cover-ups.

Next on to her dresser drawers. 6 dresser drawers, full dresser drawers. There we sort socks and find matches and put them together and back into the drawer. The rest of her drawers we go through and decide to keep or not keep. Of course, during this, her phone is going off and she just has to respond or read it.

Next on to the 2 large drawers under her bed. Keep or not to keep. We end up having large black garbage bags of clothes that she no longer wants. We will donate those clothes.

Now with the empty drawers, we have to decide where to put the clothes back at, which is still a lot of clothes. Under her bed drawers go t-shirt and other things that she does not wear very often. Her dresser drawers are filled with camisoles, shorts, and t-shirts that are wore a little less than the closet but a little more than the drawers under her bed.

Living in the Midwest a school year could consist of all four season and usually does. This makes it harder to decide how much is needed for each clothing. Now we can decide what exactly what clothes are needed for school. So I ask myself: How many shorts will she need in the beginning since it will still be hot? How many shirts will she need whether it’s t-shirts or nice shirt? How many socks will he need? Will she need a winter coat? Or a new jacket?

What To Get and Where To Go

With all the questions asked and answered we write down on a piece of paper (I use a notebook) how many jeans are needed, t-shirts, socks, right length shorts (according to school dress code)and any other clothing that is needed.

Of course, my daughter has already picked out shoes that she needs to go along with her other 10 pairs of sandals, shoes, and boots. But I know that she will need a pair of new shoes since the others are a little worn. The trick here is to buy the type, color, and style that she will like the whole year, not ones that she will decide in a month that she doesn’t like anymore. I am sure that I am not the only parent that feels this way.

Now that we have written down how many jeans, shorts, t-shirt and shirt, and any other items that are needed we then proceed to the budget. We think about the sales that are going on through ads and decide what store we will get what clothing at.

Since we live in a smaller city of around 30,000 people, where it is easier to go to a couple stores in a short distance from each other whereas in a bigger city it would be more difficult. I look for good sales going on and for stores that are going out of business.

School shopping

This particular year in our city Bergner’s is going out of business. I would not normally shop there but since they are having sales 70-85% off we will go there and check it out. If we can get clothes for less than our normal ‘go to store’ then she would be able to get an extra shirt or whatever she wants. Since she is a teenager I will let her decide what clothes to get with me having the final decision. Normally she is really good at matching and finding good deals.

Done Shopping for school clothes

The Dreaded School Supplies

Kindergarten through 8th grade always has a list of supplies at each store so that parents know exactly what to get for their child that school year. Which over the years has gotten longer since the schools provide less and less of supplies for the children, maybe due to the budget? Some parents are able to get these supplies with no worries but there are also parents or a single parent that have to budget for this or work a little extra.

My daughter’s first year of high school didn’t have a supply list. They went to school on the first day and their teachers told them what was needed for that particular class. So now that she is in her second year of high school (sophomore) I know what to expect. Well, at least I hope I do.

When she was younger we would get the school supply list and walk around the store and search for each specific item (like a pink eraser). Why does it have to be a specific color? One by one we find what is needed and go to the dreaded checkout where I am always nervous about how much this will cost. But she has to have them.

Now that she is in high school I will just get the basic. Pencils, pens, notebooks, and folders. Then when I know what else is needed I will get those items too.

The Information That is Needed

What is her locker number? Where is her locker? Where are her classrooms?

Her first year in high school she got her assigned locker number, which was great to have that before school started. But not so great that the school housed around 1300 kids from 9th thru 12th grade. The school has only two stories high but large and a lot of walking and hallways and all these hallways had lockers so now to find out where her’s is. I went to the school website and printed off a map that showed the locker numbers location. Well, that wasn’t too bad I guess I was just stressing out a little.

Then she had to memorize her locker combination. That combination was repeated to her and then she had to repeat it back to me many times until I was confident she had it memorized then I continued asking her the combination until the first day of school. The locker number and combination stays the same all through high school.

Her classes were all over the place, upstairs, downstairs, down long hallways. Her first year of high school during orientation for freshmen, her brother walked her around the whole school showing her where things are and giving her some advice as well. This year she is already familiar with where the subject hallways are so I am confident that she will be able to find her classes.

How Long Does It Take To Get Ready

That all depends on what is needed to be done to get ready. Shower, hair, makeup, what clothes to wear, the 25 or more selfies, and what time is the last possible second to be out the door for school.

Shower and teeth brushed I give her 15 minutes. Hair is anywhere from 10 minutes on up since she might change her mind about how she wants her hair to look like. Make-up: Some days she will wear light make-up others not. She never lays her clothes out the night before so that takes the most time (she changes her mind a lot). Now for the selfies, depends on if she takes 10 selfies and shares them or 25 selfies and shares them.

Her school starts at 7:41. We must leave the house by 7:20. She will need at the least 45 minutes to get ready. So she MUST get up by 6:35 in order to be ready. Give her a multigrain bar and she is ready to go. Well maybe not, there is her school ID that she doesn’t know where it is and homework she has not picked up and put in her book bag. Oh and another selfie. Then she forgot that she needed money for something or a form filled out.

Makes me wonder if I should go through her book bag to make sure these things do not come up last minute. Then there is a part of me that thinks that she needs to be independent and learn that it is her responsibility to make sure homework is done and papers signed and money discussed before time to go out the door.

And I wonder why I get anxious right before school starts. I am remembering all the things I have been through the previous years. It stresses me when she is not prepared.

What is a good time to go to bed? How many hours of sleep does she need to be productive in school? Every child is different in the number of hours they need each night and there are professionals who tell you how much sleep your child should get per night. Just remember that your child is unique and may need more or less sleep.

If she gets up at 6:30 am she would need to be asleep by 10:30 pm for 8 hours of sleep. That seems reasonable. But in order for her to be asleep by 10:30 what time is bedtime? 10? My daughter is in a band, which includes marching, competitions, parades, concert, pep, basketball and football games. Along with that, there is rehearsal/practice three times a week plus during a class during school. She is sometimes worn out and goes to bed way early. Then there are days where she is just not asleep by 10:30. There is an adjustment to all of this that she has to make before things become routine.


A few years ago the school district implemented a secure website that parents/guardians or students can log into and see what their schedule is, the classroom number, start and end time of classes. Grades for overall and homework, what grades were for each assignment or project, what assignments are missing are usually updated daily by teachers, though not always. It is called Skyward and there is also an app for your phone. There is tons of information available. Days missed, late to class, lunch money balance. You can also add money to lunches.

I look at Skyward often so that I know how she is doing since she doesn’t always share with me what she gets on each grade. They also add an inbox where they put announcements. It is really convenient for busy parents to check on their child’s progress.

Now that all the shopping is done it is time to put them all the way. I will let her do that. I hope that I helped you in some way by sharing how I do this adventure.


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  1. Margi
    August 21, 2018

    I love the tips you created! We homeschool so it’s a bit different around here but with 4 kids we have to stay on top of the clothing or it quickly gets out of control!

  2. Angeli
    August 17, 2018

    Wow! I feel so under prepared. I have one child in college, another in high school, and my youngest is going into 4th grade. I’ve only done school supply shopping for the little one and since he goes to private school, he wears a uniform so I don’t worry too much about his clothes. I still need to go clothes shopping for my high school teenage daughter. The part about the selfies made me laugh because it’s so true! I need to get my act together after reading all that you’ve done. Great job mama!

    1. admin
      August 17, 2018

      Hi Angeli,
      Selfies it the most important part of getting ready for school or any part of a teenager’s life. Although I am sure it is overwhelming when there is more than one to budget for, but my daughter has an overwhelming amount of clothes and shoes. It is hard for her to part with the clothes. We did go to Bergner’s yesterday and their sales were 70-90% off. We did get some really good deals.
      Thanks for the comment
      Have a great day.


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