Back-to-School Organization | 5 Easy Steps to Organizing Kids’ Clothes

Back to school season is here!

In this three-part series we’re covering some of the biggest challenges parents face when it comes to getting their kids ready for going back to school. In part 1, we covered the importance of creating a back-to-school calendar and how to schedule time

Today we’re talking all about back to school clothes! How to get them organized and how to create a morning routine for getting clothes ready each day.

Back to School Clothes


As kids seem to grow and change constantly, it’s probably safe to say yours will need some updated duds for the new school year.    Here are 5 easy steps to help you with all things clothes for BTS:

  1. Sort: First, sort through the clothes that you currently have. If that sounds overwhelming and time will not permit, stick with sorting just the current seasons clothing. Pull out anything that you know is too small and make a separate pile for items you aren’t sure about.
  2. Try-on: If getting your kiddo to try clothes on is a nightmare, you have two options: make your best guess or try to encourage their cooperation with a reward for the ending. This could be ice cream, a movie date, or whatever motivates them.
  3. Make list: Once you know what you have left over to work with, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to shop for. As all things, this will vary depending on the school’s dress code and your child’s activities. You know your kids best but if you’re looking for a starting point you can check out this nice blog on Over the Big Moon, where she shares her BTS clothes shopping list.
  4. Check for sales: If saving money is important to you, be sure to check your local circulars for the weekly ads to see what items are on sale. They also have a few apps that collect weekly ads so you can view and compare.
  5. Set shopping dates: I would recommend setting a separate time for BTS clothes shopping and BTS supply shopping. Especially if you are taking the kids with you! Trying to do it all in one day can be extremely overwhelming and set-up the scene for tension and frustration (for both parties).

How to Save Money on Clothes

I also recommend checking out some of the thrift stores in your area to save money on BTS clothes! Of course, timing is always a factor but you can find some good quality items for a great deal! This article shares some great tips on shopping at Goodwill! I also recommend finding the stores in the “fancier” parts of town; they tend to have more high quality items. Also, ask your local stores on what days they usually put out new items and on what days they have different discounts. You can save a bundle here!

Local swaps with other mamas, is another great way to save some money on clothes for your kids! Use that network!

Creating a Morning Routine

So now you’ve finished the back-to-school shopping and have washed and put away the new clothes. You’re all set right? Almost!

Is it a constant struggle getting your kids up and ready to go in the morning? Are you fighting on what to wear and end up letting them wear half matching outfits, just to get them out to the bus on time? Some days this might be acceptable, but an outfit struggle every morning is no way to live!

I highly recommend creating a system to use in your morning routine to help eliminate wardrobe malfunctions on busy mornings.

  • One neat idea I’ve seen is using a 5-drawer plastic bin for selecting and storing outfits for the week.
  • For older children, you can create weekday tags (or grab our free set!) that simply hang on the hanger of the outfit for each day.

No matter their age, it’s important for children to have buy-in, so they can take ownership in choosing their clothes, and feel proud of their independence. Scheduling time on Sunday’s to pick out their outfits for the week (or even just the night before) can save a lot of time and tension on those busy weekday mornings!

The important thing to remember is to find something that WORKS FOR YOU! It doesn’t have to look pretty or be in perfect condition, it just needs to be functional. If one idea doesn’t work, swap it out and try something new! If you commit time at the beginning of the year to get these systems in place, you’ll be sure to have a smooth and maybe matching *fingers crossed* school year.


Want to create a system but don’t have time to make a fancy system? Grab our FREE weekly outfit labels and get it done today!

Click here for FREE printable weekly outfit labels!

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  1. Liana George

    Great ideas Melissa! I love this series and think it will be a huge help for those heading back to school this year!

    • Melissa Rogers

      Thanks so much! I hope it is helpful 🙂

  2. Niki

    One of the struggles of motherhood! Not there yet, but hopefully soon 🙂

  3. Kirti

    Great Ideas for mothers

  4. Janet Barclay

    Great information, Melissa! One thing that’s always bugged me is that “back to school” clothes are usually for fall: sweaters, long pants, etc. but it’s nearly always still hot when school starts up. Do you recommend buying new summer clothes for the first few weeks? Or is it more about being prepared when the cooler days kick in?

  5. Linda Samuels

    These are great ideas. As the mom of two adult daughters, I remember well helping them prepare their clothes for the new school year. Often we had a lot of fun reviewing, editing, list-making, and shopping. However, there were periods when it was best if I took my daughters separately to shop. That way I could give them my full attention, watch for fading energy levels, and focus specifically on one person’s needs at a time. It wasn’t always possible or necessary, but it was helpful to do at some points.

  6. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great tips! Setting up outfits for the weekday worked for my daughter. But, for my son, having the pants separate from the shirts worked well.

  7. Seana Turner

    Managing clothing for kids is definitely an ongoing job. These tips are great and helpful!! One way to keep the process from piling up is to put a “donation” bin on the floor of the closet. Anytime a child puts something on and doesn’t like it, they can drop it in the bin. This avoids having to do all the “trying on” at once.

  8. Janet Schiesl

    I love your system of planning outfits for the week. Saves time each school morning.


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