Back to School... Already?

Back to School... Already?

It appears summer has barely arrived and now it is coming to an end - *sigh*. We have been fortunate to have several days in the 30°C range (here in Calgary, Alberta), but now as August is ending, we are moving back to seasonal temperatures. The weather is still nicer than December though!

Calgary, Alberta Photo Courtesy of @gordoshootsraw Pixabay

With schools starting up within the next few weeks there is a lot of uncertainty about what the school year will look like. Whether the kids return to in-person classes, participate in online learning, or go the Home School option - there are changes for all kids and parents alike. But back to school is all about traditions! It’s like a New Year’s celebration mid-year...

In our house, a traditional back to school event is the closet purge!

Folded clothing Photo Courtesy of @AGKrejci Pixabay

Here are 5-Steps to a Successful Closet Purge:

  • We start by emptying out all the closets and drawers of every piece of clothing, shoes, accessories, and jackets that our kids have. Then, the fun really begins!
  • Then, we sort out all the clothes which have outlived their usefulness. Everything that is stained, torn, or beyond repair goes into garbage bags. If the clothes still fit but are not good enough to wear to school, they go to the “craft” clothes pile. My girl loves to craft, and nothing is worse than her painting in new clothes; so worn clothes that still fit are great for this purpose.
  • Next, we sort out everything which has been outgrown. Sometimes there is debate about if an article of clothing fits or not. Moms and daughters have different definitions of what “fit” is... Once the said article is tried on and debated, I usually win and the clothing is donated. We also add to this pile all the clothes that fit but that she never wears. (No point keeping an item you will never wear.)
  • Next, we assess what is leftover and make our back to school clothes shopping list. There is a “need” list (i.e. jeans because not 1 pair fit from last year) vs “want” list (i.e. wanting another hoodie, but you have 3 which still fit). We found several items she forgot she had and had never worn. It was great to add them back into the rotation of outfits to wear and it cuts down on items to purchase!
  • Lastly, everything gets washed and returned to the closet in a nice, neat order. (Now that I have a teenager- she washes her own clothes!). Then, it is off to the mall for a shopping excursion. The shopping trips always leads to Starbucks coffees and treats too. And of course, the shopping trip is “peppered” with mom fashion wisdom. (Insert teenage daughter eye-roll here!). My personal favourite shopping rule is: “If you can not wear a particular article of clothing with at least 3 other items in your wardrobe, it is not a good purchase!”

Another back to school tradition for us is cleaning out the food container drawers.

You can follow the 5 Steps of Purging your Closet into purging your container drawer.

What does not have a lid?

What leaks?

Flat Stacks on kitchen counter

Food containers are like sock drawers - there are always 1 or 2 that are no longer part of a matching set! It's one of the many reasons why we have switched our food containers to the great solution of Flat Stacks. Every set is colour coordinated and stores up neat and tidy.  We also divide up leftovers after supper into separate containers for lunches, which saves time in the morning (because lunch is already packed). We also like the collapsible feature, which makes it easier to transport home at the end of the day from school without taking up too much space in the backpack (more room for homework - insert Mom grin here).

Well, time to get to more purging and organizing!

What are some of your back to school traditions?

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