The One and Only Back to School Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Is your family among the 49 million households preparing for students to go back to school soon? A new school year is an exciting time, filled with potential for learning, achieving, and making new friends.
It’s also a stressful time for loving parents in charge of procuring the supplies needed for this great adventure. This time of year is always a toss-up between shopping early or waiting for the sales in the hope of saving some money.
Last-minute shopping is never ideal, especially when accompanied by a looming, immovable deadline. Rather, prepare yourself in advance with our back-to-school checklist to ensure you don’t forget any essentials.

Essential School Supplies

Your child’s school will likely provide you with a list of recommended supplies according to your child’s grade. Most of these lists will include the following priorities:

Writing Implements

The lower grades require more colorful and expensive stationery than the higher levels. In kindergarten, your child will likely need an array of colored pens, pencils, paints, and markers as well as abundant supplies of glue sticks.
An old t-shirt comes in handy for art class, and they might need a book bag that slides onto the back of their chair, too.
Older children need the basics like pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers, pencil sharpeners, a hole punch, a ruler, scissors, and a math set for geometry. Correction fluid is another must if it’s allowed in your child’s school.
Kids of all ages need a pencil pouch for their stationery items. Buy this last, so you know what size they’ll need to hold all their goodies.

Paper Supplies

Your child needs an abundant supply of paper to write on and keep their work organized. These include:

  • Notebooks
  • Files
  • File dividers
  • Post-It notes
  • Plastic or paper folders
  • Index cards

Don’t forget a diary or calendar for them to keep track of their tasks and sports engagements. You’ll need to cover all their books to keep them in good condition, too. You can buy pre-made book covers, or use paper, plastic, and tape for DIY book covers.
Depending on the school, they might need a dictionary and a thesaurus, too.


Finally, choose a school bag that’s large enough to suit their needs, without inflicting permanent damage to their back. Most grades have a recommended calculator, and your child might need a few extras if they’re taking additional classes.
For instance, if they’re enrolled in visual arts, they’ll need additional art supplies. If they’re taking a foreign language, they’re likely to have an extra dictionary on their list.

College Supplies

If you’re shopping for college, you’ve got carte blanche when it comes to school shopping. After twelve years of guidance on what to buy, you’re bound to have a good idea of what works for you when it comes to stationery.
The thing about college is that lessons move at a much faster pace, so it’s wise to invest in technological help wherever you van. A laptop is vital for college students, and a note-taking app for your phone comes in handy, too.
You’ll need an external hard drive for keeping all your notes together and several flash drives for assignments, printing, and presentations.

Back-to-School Checklist for Tech

Technology is central to the education industry nowadays. If is anything to go by, even less mainstream types of schooling are embracing technology in their school curriculum, nowadays.
So, while your child’s school will likely provide most of the major equipment they need to get ahead in this aspect, there are a few things you can buy to help streamline their journey.
If you have a computer or laptop and printer at home, you’re giving your child a head start when it comes to research and putting top-level school assignments together.
These are some tech essentials to make your life easier:

  • Laptop or desktop PC
  • Printer, paper, and ink
  • Laptop bag
  • USB memory sticks

While these are niceties if your child is attending a well-equipped public, charter, or private school, they’re essential if you’ve decided on homeschooling your kids.

Sports Kit

Essential sports equipment is next on the list. They’ll likely need a standard outfit for gym class, and various outfits depending on the school sports they’d like to do.
If they make the school team, you can buy the relevant sports uniform from the school later. They also need a gym bag to keep it all together.
Be sure to find out the approximate cost of this kit, and set some money aside for this purchase. Otherwise, you could get caught off guard the day before a big match.

Day-to-Day School Supplies

Pens and pencils aside, smart students also need some extras to help them make the most of their time at school.
For starters, they need clothes that comply with the school rules, or a complete uniform if they attend private school. Allow your child to have a say in the outfits you choose.
After all, they’re better informed about what’s ‘cool’ nowadays than you are. You don’t want to give their peers any room for ridicule, school is difficult enough as it is.
Does your child take lunch to school? They’ll need a few lunch boxes and juice bottles to see them throughout the semester. Be sure to invest in spares to make up for the inevitable losses during the year.

Ease Into the New School Year

Thanks to our back-to-school checklist, you’ll find the start of the school semester goes off without a hitch, and with very little stress.
Start shopping in advance if you want to ensure you get the break you need after an eventful school break filled with busy kids.
So pour a cup of your favorite soothing beverage, put up your feet, and start planning your school shopping spree with an online search for the best deals on school supplies.
While you’re at it, browse some more of our blog articles for creative tips on how to make your life happier and hassle-free.