The article was originally posted on MilTribe  here

As I mentioned in  part 1, back-to-school time can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan in place for managing your time and space.

One pain point of BTS time is dealing with clothes….all of the 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.


back-to-school organizing clothes


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).

I also recommend checking out some of the thrift stores in your area for 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 always have good 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!



After 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!

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 that simply hang on the hanger of the outfit for each day. It’s important for children to have buy-in, no matter what their age is, so they feel motivated to pick outfits out. No matter your method, scheduling time on Sunday to pick out their outfits for the week can save you 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.


What ideas have you tried to make the sorting and buying of BTS clothes less painful? I’d love to hear from you!

Looking for more tips like this? Check out our new guide for getting ready for back-to-school! 


  •  30 Pages of interactive and actionable steps
  •  Insider tips on managing your calendar, clothes and supply shopping, and creating a productive and manageable homework station
  •  Resource lists to even MORE information