Back-To-School Shopping Tips

School is starting up again soon, so that means you have probably been seeing back-to-school sales going on the last few weeks. All the new school supplies and new clothes look appealing and the deals may seem irresistible, but before you go out for your back-to-school shopping, check out the tips below so you don’t end up with back-to-school clutter.

boy looking on a tidied desk
Photo by Oleksandr Canary Islands on

Back-To-School Shopping Tips

*Do these things with the help of your kid(s).*

  1. Inventory the students’ clothes, shoes, and school supplies before you head out shopping. You’ll be less likely to buy that T-shirt if you can glance down at your list and see that your kid already has 15 of them.
  2. After taking inventory of what the student has, make a list of the things they are missing. Be sure to only include things that are needed for school and not things that are wanted.
  3. Clean out the bookbag from last year and throw it in the washing machine if you are able. Your kid can use the same one again or trade bookbags with a sibling or friend.
  4. Tear out used pages in last year’s notebooks and use decorative tape to make the cover look new.
  5. Sharpen pencils you already have and check pens, markers, and highlighters to make sure they are still working. Most households have enough of these that you can completely skip buying new ones for the school year.

If you have normally gone back-to-school shopping with your kids in the past and you plan on a more minimalistic approach this year, expect some complaining. You can reward your kids for taking a minimalist approach by using some of the money you save and letting them pick a fun activity for your family to do together before school starts.

Ideas For Rewards

Plan a picnic at the lake

Go to a drive-in movie

Visit an amusement park

Plan Ahead For Next Year

Think of ways to make the back-to-school season fun without the focus being on shopping. 

  • Make a list of awesome summer activities you want to do before school starts and check them off together.
  • Plan a “packing lunch menu” with your kids so they can help select the food they will bring for lunch.
  • Host an end-of-summer picnic.

What are some things that your household is planning on reusing for school this year? Does your family do anything to make the back-to-school season fun without the focus on buying things?

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Published by Suzanne- Happily Decluttered

Hi!! My name is Suzanne and I live in central PA with my husband and three girls. I love yoga, pickleball, camping, spending time with my family, and decluttering!

4 thoughts on “Back-To-School Shopping Tips

  1. Hi Suzanne! It’s good to see a post from you. It’s strange this year for me. My youngest graduated from college this year, so it’s the first time in 20 years I haven’t had a child returning to some form of education.

    I love your tips! My daughters and I volunteer in the warehouse of a local charity that provides backpacks for kids in need. That was an eye opener for them that many kids don’t have as much as they did. It certainly helped with the shopping conversation.

    1. Hi Michelle! It is so good to hear from you. That would be strange. But I’m sure it will lead to a fun new chapter for you. How exciting!!

      That sounds like a wonderful volunteer opportunity. What a great experience for your daughters.

  2. My two boys are all grown up so no more schooling. They are married too. But I am doing a big clean up after living i my home for over 10 years. I know exactly what I want ~ Less stuff to be dusting an d arranging. To have more time and energy for my writing!

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