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July 30, 2012


Did you notice? Retail stores are starting to load in back to school supplies. Really. Doesn’t it seem like school just ended?

Whether or not I want to believe it, subconsciously I’m apparently ready for back to school (BTS). Before I even realized it, I picked up a new-with-tags Harajuku Mini for Target hoodie and five pairs of kids’ pants a few weeks ago at one of my favorite Goodwill locations (Cornelius).

A few back-to-school looks from local Goodwill retail stores

And we’re not talking light-weight summer capris or all-season wear. I zeroed in on corduroy, heavy camo cargos (for Nathan) and denim jeggings (for Vivian). My favorite part of this super-early back-to-school spree? The price, of course:

$17.95 total for all six items, including tax!

If your family is anything like mine, we have spent these insanely hot days in the cool comfort of our blessedly air-conditioned home, getting a jump on cleaning out the dressers for fall. From the looks of my recent haul, we are not alone.

All five pairs of pants I snagged look essentially brand new and carry brand names such as Benetton, J. Crew, Tractor and Papo d’Anjo.

Here are few tips for shopping ahead for back to school at Goodwill:

Take your time: While finding designer labels for $2.79 (per piece of childrens’ clothing) is exciting, take a moment to look for signs of wear and or stains. This is especially important for the knee areas of boys’ pants (prone to rips, snags and wear).

Know what you want: Both of my children are narrow in the waist, so we tend to have to size up for length. That means we must have adjustable waist pants at all times, so we can custom-fit at the waist.

Be realistic: Chances are, your 9-year-old son isn’t going to care that those brown cords retail for $42 or more at J. Crew. Perspective is always a good thing, especially when it comes to kids.

What are your tips for back to school shopping at Goodwill? When do you start?

– Rachel

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