Organizing Back-to-School Kids’ Clothing

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Back-to-school time is both an exciting and stressful time. There are so many new adventures associated with back-to-school time; new school supplies, new teachers, new classrooms, and new clothes. While all those things still bring a thrill to me after all these years (although not all that many years), my planning and organizing mom brain goes straight to brainstorming ways to make back to school time run as smoothly as possible. I’ve found that these tips for organizing back-to-school kids’ clothing really reduces our stress levels and allows us to focus on the excitement of a new school year, every morning, all year long.

plastic bags of neatly folded clothes with labels with days of the week

I find that taking a few minutes every Sunday afternoon or evening to organize clothing and supplies for both school and after-school activities makes all the difference between a stressful week and an exciting week. A happy, calm week for my entire family (and honestly, for myself) is a goal I plan for and work towards. I’ve always been a big believer in “a stitch in time saves nine,” and it really is the secret to a smoothly functioning family, especially during the school year.

Organizing Back-to-School Kids Clothing

On Sunday afternoon, or evening, take five to ten minutes with each child to get organized for the upcoming week. Involving your child helps them feel important, and they’re more likely to follow the plan if they’re involved in the planning.

Plan Outfits for Each Day

pile of neatly folded child's clothing

Choose outfits for each day of the week, including socks and underwear. Consider the weather and school activities like PE class and field trips when choosing the outfit for each day. Stack all the outfit items together for each day of the week.

pile of neatly folded clothes halfway in plastic bag with label saying "Monday"

I have found that the Ziploc® brand Storage Bags with Easy Open Tabs® in the gallon size are perfect for holding each day’s outfits. In about five minutes, you will have five bagged outfits for a normal school week.

Plan Clothing for Activities

Do the same for any sports, dance classes or other activities. Place items in bags for each practice or activity. No more frantically running around trying to find the necessary equipment or outfits before a class or practice.  The Ziploc® brand Slider Storage Bags in the quart size are great for holding dance outfits, swimsuits and gym outfits.

Plan Supplies for School and Activities

green backpack with plastic bags with labels saying "field trip" and "boy scouts"

Plan for payments, permission slips or other items that need to be turned in during the upcoming week. The Ziploc® brand Sandwich Bags with Easy Open Tabs® work well for holding field trip fees and other small items.

Organize Clothing and Supplies by Day

neatly filed plastic bags of folded out fits in dresser drawer

Place your daily outfits and sports or activity clothing bags in a drawer. Each morning your child simply removes the bag for the day and gets dressed with no muss, no fuss. Since you consulted with her in choosing the outfits, there shouldn’t be any issues when she opens the bag to get dressed. If you find that your child wants to change his/her mind each day, you can place one or two “wild card” outfit bags in the drawer that can be changed out on a whim. Just be aware of any specific outfit restrictions for that day, like gym class, that might prevent the wild card option.

Use Labels for Organizing and Encouraging Reading Skills

overhead view of boxes of plastic kitchen bags and white labels with days of the weeks

Clearly label each bag with the day of the week and the activity. This promotes independence by allowing older children to identify their own outfits and supplies each day. Your child will be able to get completely dressed because all the necessary and coordinating items are contained in the bag for that day.

Labels are also a great way to encourage reading skills in younger children. Children will become familiar with the words for the days of the week and the activities they participate in. For the first several weeks, reinforce each word with your child as you select outfits and fill each bag on Sunday. Talk about the letters and sounds in each word. Over time, with your reinforcement, your child will become familiar with and be able to sight read the labels on each bag.

Decorate Bags

plastic bag with white label saying "soccer" with soccer uniform and shin guards

Decorate the bags with your child to establish ownership and excitement about going back to school and using this organization system. You can use stickers or print out images of their favorite characters to add to the bags. Just as we all enjoy using pretty organizing bins and tools, so do your children. Decorating these organizational clothes bags is a fun activity to do with your children to get ready for going back to school (and ulterior mom motive – to make being organized more fun and likely to be used too).

Harris Teeter Veteran parking

Last week, I popped over to my local Harris Teeter to do my weekly grocery shopping. There are many reasons that I look forward to shopping at Harris Teeter, but one of the reasons close to my heart is that they support our veterans. It always makes me smile with pride when I pull into the parking lot and see this sign.

When I got to the plastic bags and food wrap aisle, I picked up several of my favorite sizes of Ziploc® brand products for organizing children’s clothing and school items. Parents do the planning and organizing and Ziploc® brand products make it work well for our families.

neatly filed plastic bags of clothing with white labels with days of the week

The Ziploc® brand Storage Bags with Easy Open Tabs® are also great for storing meat, seafood or poultry in the refrigerator and perfect for holding each day’s outfits, field trip fees and other small items. The Ziploc® brand Slider Storage Bags are designed to hold food and more, and I have found they’re great for holding ballet shoes, dance outfits, swimsuits and gym outfits.
I’ve created our back-to-school clothes organizing bags, so we’re ready when it’s time to start back to school. How about you? Be sure to check out more organizing back-to-school ideas using Ziploc® brand products.

Ziploc® brand products are strong, well made and hold up to an entire school year of organizing use. The Easy Open Tabs® open and close just as well as all Ziploc® brand products. We love the added tab feature, because it makes it easy for children’s smaller hands to grip and open. When the bags are easy for your child to use, your child’s independence is fostered.  You can learn more about Ziploc® brand products on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

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  1. Hi Susan, I organize my granddaughters clothes by outfits but I don’t put them in baggies. When I am shopping I always buy a top to go with the pants or skirt so I always have a set. My granddaughter likes to mix them up on me (don’t match) so putting them in baggies would solve that problem.

    1. Ah, the creative (not matching) attempts, Darlene. I remember them fondly (and a bit of cringing). Hope this tip helps making mornings a bit easier.

  2. What a great idea. I imagine your child feels so independent when he can reach in to a box or drawer and pick out his clothing, get dressed and be on his or her way. I think this system is great for school mornings – so much less stress.

  3. Great organization tips. I also love to pack the bags in all my suitcases and a few extra in each kids backpacks for anything that may come up during the day.

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