Organizing Tips for Back to School Success

By Lisa Giesler, Certified Professional Organizer –

Many families are in a frantic rush by now to get the kids ready for school and college by shopping for school supplies and clothes. The truth is many do not know what is in their cluttered cabinets and closets. The items that I find when organizing are clothes with tags still on from two years ago, several brand new packs of markers, packs of paper and the list go on.

The cycle of wasting time and money shopping for new supplies continues each year until the clutter becomes overwhelming. How does this happen? For some people, it feels easier to buy more than to face the task of decluttering, but at some point, you need to get organized for the new school year.

Here are five tips to help you – and your kids – get ready for the new school year.

1. Go through all of the spaces that contain school supplies, and bring them to one location.

2. Discard the dried up markers, broken crayons, used up notebooks, torn backpacks, etc.

3. Make a list of everything you have, and then, make a list of materials your child needs for the coming school year.

4. Go through your children’s clothing and determine what items they didn’t wear. Find out why.  Remember, it doesn’t save money to buy clothes on sale that your children are not going to wear. Also, keep in mind that too many clothes can be overwhelming to your child, and you may notice they always grab the first outfit on top or in front. Then, either donate the unused clothing or store for another child.

5. Take your lists of school materials and clothing needed, and buy only those items on the list.  And remember, the Texas Sales Tax Holiday Tax-Free Weekend is August 8th through 10th and applies to most school supplies under $100.

Now you are ready – and organized –  for the new school year.  For more organizing tips, visit

Stock Up Tax Free

According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, many school supplies if priced less than $100 are tax exempt during the Texas Sales Tax Holiday Tax-Free weekend August 8th through 10th including:

300-schoolstff• Binders

• Book bags

• Calculators

• Cellophane tape

• Blackboard chalk

• Compasses

• Composition books

• Crayons

• Erasers

• Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic and manila

• Glue, paste and paste sticks

300-cloths• Highlighters

• Index cards

• Index card boxes

• Legal pads

• Lunch boxes

• Markers (including dry erase)

• Notebooks

• Paper

• Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes

• Pencil sharpeners

• Pencils

• Pens

• Protractors

• Rulers

• Scissors

• Writing tablets

Visit for more information on tax exempt items.