Take a walk with me down memory lane….
Way back when, my mom would pick, what seemed like at the time, the hottest afternoon in August. I can remember the sunlight bouncing around the yellow walls of my room as we pulled every item out of closets and drawers, and I tried it all on (tights, turtlenecks and sweaters, even) to figure out what I needed from the Back-To-School sales. Did I mention we did not have air conditioning? Anyway, my mother is a saint, and I realize that now, because….
It is that time to do the same with our kids! The tax-free shopping days are August 6-15th in Illinois, which means we are heading to the stores next week. Lord, please give me patience. Seriously.
This Ritual process has 4 parts – Quantity and Type, Inventory, Shopping and Prep.
1. Quantity and Type:
- First things first, decide on how many of each item you need. I have boys, and they are not too picky, but I am. Girls or teenage boys may require more options.
- Also, determine size needed – I know all my kids have sprouted since the end of the school year!
- Starting with the oldest or largest child, try on everything, regardless of what size in on the tag (manufacturers vary widely on actual sizes).
- Check items for stains, holes or needed repairs. Purge the stained and old, fix the broken and pass down (if you can) items to younger, smaller siblings.
- Then, factoring in the pass-downs, complete the same process for each of the younger children, in decreasing order of age / size.
- By the time I got through the big kid stuff, and delved into our pass downs in storage, my youngest really needs nothing new. He’ll get a couple of new snazzy things for first days and picture days, but everything else is new to him!
- I do the “all-kids-at-once” shopping trip, mainly because I don’t have a choice.
- You can try the “one-child-at-a-time” trip if you would like, which prolongs the process but may be saner.
- We head to the stores with our lists, our myriad of coupons, our sale fliers and our clean white socks for trying on shoes, of course.
- Thankfully, we don’t have to buy pants and long sleeve shirts yet. That can be put off until September or October, to spread out the impact of costs.
- After bringing home your spoils of war from the mall (well, Kohl’s, in our case), now you have to de-tag and wash it all, get it all hung up or in the drawers, and ready for that first day of school.
- The rest of “Prep” can be a weekly affair, of putting together outfits for the week, or hanging tops and bottoms together, to help your young ones get ready in the morning with a minimum of fuss.
Hope these ideas help! See you at the Mall!
Our list looks like this: Child’s Name:
Shirts – Short Sleeve Size: Needs: 13 Has: To Buy:
Shirts – Long Sleeve Size: Needs: 13 Has: To Buy:
Shirts – Hoodies Size: Needs: 3 Has: To Buy:
Pants – Shorts Size: Needs: 7 Has: To Buy:
Pants – Long Size: Needs: 7 Has: To Buy:
Pants – Dressy Size: Needs: 1 Has: To Buy:
Pants – Athletic Size: Needs: 3 Has: To Buy:
Shoes – Sneakers Size: Needs: 1 Has: To Buy:
Shoes – Dressy Size: Needs: 1 Has: To Buy:
Shoes – Boots Size: Needs: 1 Has: To Buy:
Other – Summer PJs Size: Needs: 4 Has: To Buy:
Other – Winter PJs Size: Needs: 4 Has: To Buy:
Other – Underwear Size: Needs: 10 Has: To Buy:
Other – Socks Size: Needs: 10 Has: To Buy:
Other – T-Shirts Size: Needs: 10 Has: To Buy:
Other – Belts Size: Needs: 2 Has: To Buy:
Other – Jacket Size: Needs: 1 Has: To Buy: