It’s Almost Back to School Time, the Ultimate Checklist for Busy Parents

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As quickly as it appeared on the horizon, the school vacation now nears its end, meaning it’s that time of year for buying new uniforms and supplies. 

This is a task that’s tempting to put on the back burner, putting it off every week until – suddenly and inexplicably – the start of term is imminent. Cue panicked dashes to the store, manic scrambling among piles of shirts and socks for the right size, and hours of fruitless hunting for fall’s must-have lunch box. 

And it’s no surprise that this happens: parents have never been so busy or had such manic schedules and are needing to find new ways to keep their households running smoothly.

When it comes to new-term shopping, get ahead of the game and use our handy checklist to gather and purchase everything your child will need for their first day back at school so that you can relax and enjoy the last precious weeks of the vacation together.


Start by sorting out the uniform. As well as the regulation sweatshirts, polo necks, skirts, cardigans, and tights, don’t forget the PE kit, socks, vests (if required), and shoes, plus a lightweight jacket for the warmer months, and a waterproof, cozy coat for the winter.

Before heading to the store, though, consider having a Uniform Swap evening with friends: invite your fellow school-mom pals around, and ask everyone to bring any school uniform they have that their kids have grown out of – you could include other school supplies, too.

Lay out everyone’s offerings on a table or the floor, and enjoy a free uniform grab – this handy hack could not only save you lots of cash but is a sustainable way to get the most out of clothing, too.


Every school is likely to have different requirements when it comes to the equipment that children will need to bring to class. Find out what you’ll need to procure in good time. 

Equipment might include stationery, a pencil case, a calculator, and folders. Depending on your child’s age, they may also be required to have access to a device such as a laptop or desktop PC and to have a supply of USB sticks for saving and accessing work.

Lunch and Snack Supplies

Get really on top of your back-to-school shopping and also ensure, before the end of summer, that your kid has got a lunchbox (that, ideally, they like) and a water bottle and that you’ve got plenty of plastic containers of different sizes to pack snacks in. If you want to be super organized, you could also consider buying in bulk lunch items that you know your child loves, such as multipacks of raisins or dried apricots, bags of tortilla chips, or juice boxes.

To help you in this endeavor you might want to consider enlisting the help of meal delivery services and if you read the original article here, you’ll get a good idea of which providers are the best for your child’s specific needs (dietary or otherwise). 

Bags and Backpacks

Check with your child’s school to see if you’ll need to buy a specific type of bag for them to transport their stuff to and from the classroom or if you have free rein to choose the style you or your child prefers.

As well as a bag or backpack, don’t forget a PE bag and, if necessary, a bag for their swimming kit.

Additional Supplies

Depending on your child’s age and their school, there are likely to be extra items to add to your start-of-term shopping list. These could include packets of tissues, hand sanitizer, a hair tie, etc. If your child is very young, it’s wise to also send them in with a change of clothes – just in case.

Name Labels

And after all the effort you’ve put into buying all the back-to-school supplies that your child needs, the last thing you want is for clothing and equipment to go AWOL within the first week! To prevent this, add name labels to your shopping list to ensure that everything you’ve bought remains with its rightful owner.

Prepare a Homework Station

If your child will be expected to do homework regularly during the school year, then it’s important to ensure that they have a suitable space in which to complete it. This could be a designated desk in their room, or you could turn a section of the kitchen counter or dining table into a workspace – the key thing is to establish this area as a homework space and get it stocked up accordingly. To this end, add extra stationery, including notepads, highlighters, pens, and glue sticks (depending on the age of your child) to your shopping list.

Get Set for School!

Starting a new school year is an exciting time for you and your child – but it can be an emotional, nerve-wracking one, too, especially if the new term will mark your child’s very first at school or if they’re moving up to high school.

Having everything your child needs to be sorted out in good time can help both of you relax so that you can enjoy the remainder of the summer and feel more confident about those early days in a new class.


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