DO THIS Before Buying Back-To-School Clothes

No doubt back-to-school (BTS) shopping and preparations can send even the most budget-conscious family into financial hell. I'm constantly trying to find ways to save, repurpose and trade my son's toys and clothes. I had a garage sale last weekend, that wore me the fuck out, that not only cleared out our junk and clutter but helped pad the budget for BTS shopping.  

The goal was to shed the crap and clutter weighing my family and house down. This includes all of the clothes we all no longer needed. I have a super method for plowing through the clothes quickly. The goal is to clear out the crap, make as much money as possible, then use it as a guide to my back-to-school shopping budget. Let's just say, creativity keeps my family clothed. 

So, if like me, you live on a budget, have limited closet space, and would like 50-75% of your child(ren)'s school clothes paid for, keep reading...

Here is how this whole thing works. I have two or three storage tubs for each of us and two for our coats as well. I start by emptying out the storage bins into four piles; Keep, Donate, Dump and Delusional. Let me explain...


This is, of course, the clothes I/Ollie/FTD plan on wearing for the season. This pile also has the Spring Break t-shirt from 1996 that holds too many memories to part with, the tops I spent too much on, and the hideous grandparent gifted sweaters I have to keep readily available for surprise invites and drop-ins.


This is the pile of clothes needs to belong to someone else. Hopefully to paying customers at the yard sale... This pile is everything that will never ever be worn again by your people. The more you let go of, the more you will make, so be honest with yourself.  This pile also holds the Christmas, birthday and awful baby clothes I will NEVER EVER put on my body or my child's. Thankfully, my trash is someone's treasure. After all, someone bought these fine specimens of shit clothes thinking they were superb. These same people are also on 


This pile is the worst of the worst.  While it is meant for the city dump, it should be burned to ensure these articles of clothing never see the light of day again.  This one holds the clothes I painted the wall and myself in, things I wore until they fell apart. Literally. Things even the Goodwill will not take. You know it is bad when Goodwill throws the bag back in your car, screaming "LEAVE!"  Again, for examples go to


This happens to be a very special pile. This pile is beautiful. All of my favorite clothes that I cannot fit into anymore,  or Ollie's clothes I want to save because parting with them would break my heart love so much I cannot part with are piled, very high, here.  Why do I call it the delusional pile and keep it separate from the keep pile?  Because I am so incredibly delusional, I think I will be a size 4 again, or that somehow I will be able to pull off that twenty-something look at thirty-something. No, really, I think it possible!  What if this whole, "Wait until you start chasing a toddler, the pounds will melt off," is true?  Granted the whole, "Breastfeed and the pounds will melt off," proved to be a load of horse turds. But, maybe, just maybe, the toddler marathon will get me into my pre-teen denim!

ONce finished sorting through the clothes, Put away the delusional, Dump the crap and start preparing for the yard or sidewalk sale. Believe it or not, clothes are the best selling item at a garage sale. You've got a good chance of selling most all of your clothes, and best of all, making enough to cover 50-100% of this season's back to school shopping. 

TIP: Now that the closets are fully clean, hang all of the new clothes with the hanger hooks facing you, once you take the garment off the hanger I turn the hanger back around. This way, at the end of the season whatever has not been turned around should be donated or dumped. 

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit