Get organised with our ultimate back to school checklist

It’s that time of year again – the school holidays are almost over and the kids will soon be heading back to school. I’m sure we’ll all enjoy these last few weeks with our children, but they can also present a mad rush for many parents who are scrambling to get everything in order for their little ones. Whether your kids are heading off to school for the first time or not, our back to school checklist is ideal for anyone on a budget. If you remember these essentials, the start of the new term will be a breeze.

Back to school checklist: Let’s start with their school uniform

Perhaps the most important part of their first day back at school and your back to school checklist is their uniform. Aside from the basic school uniform required, there are a few other accessories you’ll need to make sure you pick up beforehand. The school will be able to point you in the direction of your local school uniform provider, but sometimes you can pick up cheaper alternatives at your local supermarket.

  • 5 x Shirts (or polo shirts) – one for every day of the week
  • 3 – 4 jumpers or cardigans or a mixture of both…the 4 is because they always lose these!
  • Shoes – make sure they meet school guidelines
  • 5 x pairs of plain socks (white or black)
  • 3 x trousers, shorts and/or skirts for all-weather
  • 3 x vests (if they like to wear them under their shirts…handy for colder weather!)
  • A coat
  • A backpack or bag

The importance of good shoes

You can never underestimate the importance of a good pair of school shoes. As well as being important for the health of their feet, children can be incredibly conscious of the type and style of shoes they are wearing – particularly at the start of the new school year. But it’s not just style that matters – but fit too.

There’s a lot to think about, and the number of different types of school shoes on offer can be a little daunting. But in a nutshell, when buying a pair of new school shoes things to think about are:

  • Shoe size – including the right width for your child’s feet
  • Fit
  • Style
  • Material
  • Comfort and support
  • Durability
  • Ease of putting on and taking off
  • Ease of cleaning

With all that said – I wanted to highlight Lelli Kelly– launched in 1992 in Italy, a brand well known for putting the fun and funky back onto little girl’s feet (sorry boys!). They have an excellent back-to-school range with fun designs that every girl will want. School shoes come in 3-width fittings – E for a slim foot, F for an average fit and G fit for the girl with a wider/high instep, in a variety of colours and a choice of styling. Choose from a classic look, fun diamante or interchangeable straps which can be colored in from the Colourissima Collection.

Lelli Kelly LK8640 (DB01) Colourissima Star Black Patent School Shoes, £54.90

Don’t forget the P.E kit

Along with their school uniform, your kids will be need to carry a P.E kit with them some days. Again, their school will provide you with a list of required items but you could also consider:

  • Sports t-shirt and shorts/skirt (the school may require branded ones) – I usually get two of these
  • Sports hoodie/sweatshirt – again 2 of these are a good idea especially as one will usually get lost
  • Gym bag
  • Gym trainers or plimsolls
  • Sports socks
  • Name labels could also come in handy if your child misplaces anything in the changing rooms (you’ll save money on replacements!)

Stationary must-haves for your back to school checklist

They’ll not survive their first day of term without these items of stationery!

  • Handwriting pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • A ruler
  • Maths equipment – such as a protractor, compass or calculator
  • Colouring pencils
  • A pencil case to store all of their stationery

This is just for starters so be sure to check against your school’s full stationery requirements list.

Important extras for your back to school checklist

It’s easy to forget these everyday items, but they’ll make your child’s first day back at school run much more smoothly.

  • A refillable water bottle to help them stay hydrated
  • Any snacks or their lunch if they aren’t having school lunches
  • A hat, scarf and gloves for the colder months that are approaching
  • An umbrella – they’ll definitely need one sometime in September
  • Name labels and plenty of them!
  • Hand sanitiser

Back to school tips

As a parent, there are a some back to school tips that never go out of fashion.

Get them into a routine right away

Whether they’re in primary school or high school, a before and after school routine will help them to develop positive studying habits to benefit their learning. This could be something as simple as encouraging reading and homework at a certain time every night.

Remember it is important to take breaks

Your child’s learning is fundamentally important, but it’s also important that they have fun and enjoy themselves, and not be overscheduled. Whether that be in the evening during the school week or on the weekends. Giving them something to look forward to, such as playing a sport with friends, will subsequently improve their learning.

Do you have any tips to share with other parents? What else would you add to this back to school checklist? You can share them in the comments below!


Here’s your chance to win a pair of Lelli Kelly Colourissima Shoes worth £54.90. Featuring a black patent leather upper and three sets of interchangeable straps, removable bows and as this is a Colourissima shoe you can also colour and decorate it yourself with the felt tips provided with the shoes for extra fun and personalisation. They can also be changed into a gorgeous party shoe with a quick change of straps too. Practical enough for school, beautiful enough to look great at any party – the perfect do-it-all kids’ shoe!

Enter on our giveaways page here

Background photo created by freepik –


  1. I live in New Zealand where the kids must wear uniforms to school, so no choices, not even for shoes or socks. Plus we get a school supply list that spells out exactly what they need.

  2. Fan of how organized and prepared you are. Great you included the break time as it is also important on anything.

  3. This list remembers me of my school days. I remember going shopping with my mother for clothes, and what a struggle it was to get something in between what I wanted and what she wanted.

  4. Such a useful list.. I will definitely share this to my mommy friends, they will love it.

  5. That’s quite a list, for sure. I learnt the hard way that leaving clothing and footwear until the last minute is a big mistake so now get those early in the school holidays.

  6. We buy uniforms, stationary etc in the first week of the holidays. The kids start going to bed earlier and waking earlier during the last week too!

  7. Oh you’re list is amazing. I have completely just enjoyed the holidays with my girls and then realised we have a little over two weeks till they go back and I have NOTHING prepared yet. So I’ve screenshotted your list and will be heading to our local uniform shop and spending a small fortune. As so much was lost last year but labelling really does help it come back to you!

  8. We’re already back (scotland) and have been more prepared than usual, despite a last minute dash shopping with my teen the day before she started back.

    That said, you can never have too much or be too prepared for the return to school.

  9. I’ve pretty much organised everything for the start of the school year, it’s just the school shoes that are left to get.

  10. Super organised this year. Just a bag to get for my son who starts secondary school in September, hence me entering this competition. Already labelled all the uniform ready which is so unlike me!

  11. I have not been very organised this year as I am recovering from a hysterectomy so been abit last minute

  12. Feeling overwhelmed looking at your list! I have most of it to buy but can share the cost with my children’s dad x

  13. I love to be organised with school uniforms especially this year as my eldest is starting secondary school so many things required.

  14. Everyone is all sorted other than writing names in uniforms, I always manage to leave that until the last minute!

  15. I’ve still got stuff to get but I’ve been getting a few pieces of uniform and stationary each week.

  16. We are always very well organised, and make lots of ‘to do’ and ”to buy’ lists which we stick to.

  17. Mammoth task this year with my son starting his first year at primary and my daughter her first year at secondary school; I timed that badly lol. Getting there though, I’ve purchased the main things including the shoes so just to tag it all now with their names before school starts in a few days.

  18. Love these tips. I would say don’t start clothes shopping too early in the holidays! I love to be organised and have everything all ready well in advance. However last summer my daughter had a big growth spurt after I brought all her uniform. None of it fitted and I had to start again buying the next size up!

  19. This is a great list! I think my suggestion would be to stockpile bobbles…I don’t know what it is, but bobbles are constantly disappearing into the black hole that is this house and we can never find any when it comes to doing my daughters’ hair in the mornings (or my own for that matter!)

  20. Good tips here. Have a designated place for keeping all school stuff together – uniforms, bags, coats, pe kit etc. It really helps knowing that everything is where it should be and means they can be a bit more independent too.

  21. This is a great guide! My must have is definitely a name stamp, it’s so much easier than sticking labels on and is more eco friendly
    Too! My advice is to try and get the children back into a school routine around 8-10 days before they return to school x

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