These creative ideas (and free printables) will help you organize school supplies before heading back to school.

How to Organize School Supplies and Save Money - chalk board and apples

It’s time to head back to school, which means it’s time to load up on school supplies again! Pencils, crayons, backpacks and books… There are so many supplies on every teacher’s list, and after sending most of them off to school, you also need to have some at home for homework time and projects. How do you organize school supplies to keep everything straight as the school year progresses?

Here are our favorite school supply organization methods from top home bloggers. Read through to find a free printable, too, that will help you organize those supplies.

Here Are Our Favorite School Supply Organization Methods

How to Organize School Supplies and Save Money - arts and crafts supply cart on wheels

An Art Supply Cart on Wheels

In my house, we have an art supply cart. It holds everything my kids need to do their work at home. It can be wheeled around the room to accommodate several work spaces. I keep it stocked with all the necessities and try to rotate out supplies as markers dry out or crayons need to be replaced. A label for each box helps everyone in the family put things where they belong when it comes time for cleanup.

An Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer

Here’s another school supply organizing idea that’s pretty genius. A Bowl Full of Lemons re-purposed an over-the-door shoe rack to corral supplies. This is helpful because you can close the closet door and hide everything from view. And still, every item has its place!

A Decorative Mason Jar

Or you could show them off! Everything looks better in a Mason jar. Add labels and a cute ribbon and all of a sudden your simple supplies are now stylish!

A Homework Station Tray

Melissa over on Polka Dot Chair has a place for everything in this tray-turned homework organization station.

How to Organize School Supplies and Save Money - empty frames display children's school artwork

Empty Frames with Clips to Display Artwork

I know as well as any parent that every child will come home with all sorts of papers and projects. Pretty pictures can be displayed on then the fridge. In my house, we like to move them to our gallery. Simply attach clips to empty frames like we did here to hold school art work for a bit.

File Boxes for Storing School Memories

Then when it’s time to take them down, tuck the most important school papers away into a file box like Rebecca at Simple As That did here. Keeping all those special mementos for each child in a specified tub will help cut down on the paper clutter and keep memories lasting.

how to organize school supplies - download free printable school supply labels

Free Printable School Supply Labels

If your kids’ teachers are the kind who require that you label each school supply item right down to the individual crayon or pencil, you’re definitely going to want to download our free printable school supply labels. This PDF download includes two different designs and multiple different color variations so you can find the right fit for your kiddo. Simply edit the PDF to include your child’s name, print them on adhesive paper, cut and get to sticking!

Okay, you’re all set to organize for this school year. Now let’s stock up on those supplies!

Read Also: Get Organized for Summer with Free Chore Chart Templates

How to Save Money on School Supplies

How to Organize School Supplies and Save Money - pin

Here are nine ways to shop and save on school supplies for your student so you can support those teachers this school year.

1. Shop early.

If you already have an idea of what supplies will be on your kids’ lists, try to shop all summer long. Look up last year’s list or check for your current supply list at the store. Keep it on hand while you’re out and about in the summer. Most likely the list hasn’t changed much from year to year. Anytime you head to the store, check for deals, online coupons or clearance items of supplies.

2. Shop around.

If you are shopping early it’s best to check out all the possibilities. Give yourself enough time to check school displays at different shops to compare the deals.

3. Price match.

Give yourself some time and head to Walmart or another store that will price match. You can bring ads from all the other sales and get the best price in one stop.

4. Shop in bulk.

Have more than one student? Buy large quantities of items like pencils and glue sticks and split them among children. Buying bulk items and sharing them can help cut the costs of those more expensive supplies.

5. Shop late and stock up for next year, too.

A total contradiction from our first suggestion, but if your school starts later than others, or if you can wait until the last minute, it could also pay off. Stores will be clearing school supplies to make room for fall and Halloween on their shelves. It happens fast, so get in there at the perfect time and swoop in on some major deals.

This is also a great time to stock up on supplies to keep at home or use in the middle of the year or even next year. Teachers often ask for supplies as they are depleted through the year – things like dry erase markers and glue sticks for those elementary kids.

6. Buy better.

The cost of supplies is more than just pencils and rulers. Every kid needs a backpack and sometimes a lunch box. Try to skip the flashy character backpacks that may be cute and inexpensive but will fall apart halfway through the year. Students are so hard on those things! Try to invest in a good backpack and lunch sack that is sturdy, can be washed and used for more than one year hopefully. Washable is a key word here, especially if you have had a child try to take home their already opened juice box like I have.

7. Shop online.

Check online for sales throughout the summer, too. Amazon Prime Day falls sometime in July and often includes deals on school supplies. Online is also great for buying supplies in bulk.

Another great thing to buy online: suggested reading books, if your school doesn’t supply them, and supplies to stock your teacher’s treasure box.

8. Think outside the big box stores.

People will shop the big box stores first. If every parent in your town is picking over the best deals at the big stores, you will be forced to buy the more expensive items. Think outside the box and check your grocery store, the office supply stores and drug stores. You will have a better selection and you may find some overlooked deals.

9. Stay organized.

You do not want to over buy or mix up your items. Once you have purchased an item, check it off your list. If you have multiple students, start putting their supplies in their backpacks to keep track. Try to figure out what may be used communally by the class and what will be used only by your student and start labeling those items–especially back packs, lunch boxes and sweatshirts. These are things you don’t want to have to replace if they are somehow misplaced.

More Back to School Organization Tips

Now you’re stocked up for school! Here are some other ways you can get organized for the school year:

  • Add after school sports and activities to your calendar now.
  • Work on nailing that morning routine.

Back to school time can be fun, hectic and so emotional! Make sure you have all the tools and organization ahead of time so you can enjoy another start of the school year and milestone.

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About the Author

Kendra Yoho

I am a stay at home mom to 3 wild, courageous girls. Married to my best friend. A Midwesterner at heart; living in the Southwest. I enjoy shopping (too much), a DIY project, and singing or rapping in my car like no one is watching. I want to be an adventurous traveler, but these days you will most likely find me snuggled in bed watching a scandalous hour long drama.

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