Take Stock – How To Do A School Uniform Audit
Cutting The Cost Of Uniform
Have you bagged any school uniform bargains this summer? Bargain school-wear is only a steal if you actually need that item in that size. I speak as a woman who accidentally bought eight pairs of school trousers for my son one year because I kept forgetting we already had enough…
Those days are behind me now (probably) because I have A System. I now audit both Tartan Boys’ uniforms once a year, which lets me note the gaps that need immediate plugging, and the ones that will need plugging over the next year or so. I can shop around for the best prices, at my leisure. This has improved both my sanity and our budget. Want to try this yourself? Here’s how it’s done.
Get The Paperwork Sorted
Start by putting together a master list of all uniform items – remember shoes, PE kit, socks, etc. as well as the more obvious items. School handbooks and websites should provide you with a full list. Make multiple copies of your master list – enough to see each child through their school years.
Now get a folder and put in a divider for each child. Slot each child’s uniform lists behind their divider, and label one for each year of school they have left. (Obviously, skip the dividers if you have only one child of school age.)
Take An Audit
Haul all their uniform out and sort it into three piles – items that still fit and are in good condition; items that no longer fit but are in good condition; items fit only for the bin. Take the bin pile and chuck it out now.
Now go through your uniform lists for the coming year and tick off the items you already have. Note any that need new buttons, dry cleaning, etc. as you go. Put these aside to fix up later and put the rest away.
At this point you may still have some items in reasonable repair that just don’t fit any of your kids. Take anything that is smaller than your smallest child, bag it up and send it to the charity shop/school fayre/etc. With everything that’s left, go back through your folder and check off the items you already have for the years ahead. Some of the items your kids are wearing this year will do younger siblings in years to come (blazers, for example) so pencil these in too. The pencil part is important in case you have to “retire” a garment sooner than expected.
You are done – time to get shopping. Fill in the gaps and keep in mind your lists for future years – if you see a great deal on school trousers, for example, you will know exactly how many to buy and in which sizes. This only works if you keep your kids at the same school forever – if there is any chance of your moving out of the area there really is no point stocking up on school shirts six sizes up. Been there and done that too…
That’s it. It’s not brain surgery, but it does make it easier to cut the spiralling cost of kitting out your kids.