Back-to-School-Clothing Edition!

I hope you gained a tip or two from last week's blog on school supply shopping. Today, we're going to cover shopping for school clothes.

I'll be honest, I don't really enjoy shopping. Fortunately, neither do our kids. Most of the times this is great, but when our kids actually need shoes that contain their toes, pants that cover their ankles, and shirts that don't show their belly buttons, this task can be a bit tricky.

This is how NEST Home LLC takes on this task.

First, take an inventory. Look at your children's clothes and see what they don't wear due to wear and tear, size, or style. Take advantage of a local resale shop, or donate, before you head out to buy new. You may have a few extra pennies to spend, and it is a great incentive to fill the closet with options that work.

Next, set a reasonable budget. Take into account if you are looking to purchase pieces that are mix and match, or for special occasions. Also consider if staples like socks and undergarments are needed. This will keep you focused when shopping, and prevent you from making impulse purchases.

Many sales happen before school starts. As with any other retail experience, the hype generated by advertising early will always hook people to start buying, but if you can put this on hold, you'll find the best deals on school clothes in late September and October. The good news is that here in the Midwest, many kids are still wearing shorts and tshirts when school starts, and don't even need new pants and long-sleeved shirts until later in the season.

If you can predict your child's growth patterns, October is also a great time to purchase next summer's clothing with deeply discounted summer wear. Pick up an extra few pairs of shorts or shirts, perhaps classic in style (I'd steer away from very trendy pieces), for when warmer weather comes around in late spring. If the clothes don't fit, you won't be out a terrible amount of money.

Once you have your list of necessities, try to schedule your shopping trip for one afternoon. Arm yourself with coupons in advance, and bring your list with you. Avoid impulse buys, and stay focused on getting all necessary items first. Try to buy a few basic pairs of pants and shirts in solid colors that are made from quality fabric and are easy to wash. Once you are set with the basics, perhaps schedule a special shopping trip with your child for a couple of hours on a weekend, where they are able to make decisions about what they'd like.

To those of you with older kids, or those who enjoy shopping, there may be a few other things to consider. Some people have found success by giving their child a set amount of money for school shopping to do on their own. Anything above that budget can be purchased out of that child's own funds. This is a great way for teens to learn the power of the dollar. Suggest they sell their old clothes, repurpose the ones they have, or even begin a clothes swap with friends as a way to stretch their dollar.

Please share any tips YOU have found for successful clothes shopping. I'd love to hear.

As always, NEST Home LLC is here if you need help with your organizing needs. I'm currently researching storage products, and have lots of new ideas!