Back to School with Goodwill

  • Alison Cate |
  • | News

The beginning of the school year is many things: a little scary, a little thrilling, but most of all, it should be FUN! Our Goodwill of Central Iowa stores have what you need whether you’re starting kindergarten or college. Here you’ll find lots of tips for shopping Goodwill stores for everything from backpacks to dorm room decor!

High School fashion

Greta spends a large part of her day at Central Academy so she wanted to find pieces she could layer, sharing, “Some rooms are freezing and some are super hot.” The denim jacket and dress will keep her comfortable no matter the temp.

The ninth grader surprised herself with the pencil skirt and graphic tee look saying, “It’s not something I would wear every day but for a special event, it’s so cute!” All items were found at the Ankeny store.

Next, we followed Goodwill of Central Iowa’s summer youth interns, Jiana and Paradise (also both starting ninth grade this year), as they put together different styles for the school year in our Johnston retail store and ended up taking home some adorable new looks!  Since both girls are athletes, they gravitated toward the like-new (and name brand) athletic wear but also branched out a little with some new-to-them styles. That’s one great thing about shopping with Goodwill, you can experiment with fashion without dropping a lot of cash.


Natalie also traveled to the Ankeny store, which did not disappoint in providing great new clothes for the busy year ahead. Natalie is involved in a project called LOL, Literacy on Level, a program she started with friends that distributes books to elementary school students. She also does a bit of after school babysitting, so each of her looks were centered around comfort (see the red Chucks) and being kid-friendly.


All four teenagers spent less than $20 on their outfits!

Dorm room decor

Moving into a dorm room can be daunting, but with a little planning and some creativity, your new space can look great and feel like home.

  • Layering lighting is a must for the dorm room dweller. Florescent overhead lighting can be harsh, but adding a few lamps to the room will help establish a cozier vibe. And, with this (pink!) desk lamp, you won’t bother your roommate when you’re cramming for that mid-term exam. Go get it at our Urbandale Store!
  • Trays are great for corralling desk necessities, jewelry and everyday accessories (sunglasses, keys, student ID). This black and white one (also found in Urbandale) will go with everything!
  • We found this chest at our Valley West store. It’s the triple threat: serves as storage, can be used as an end/coffee table (just add a tray) AND looks way cool.

Just Starting Out

And of course, we didn’t forget the little guys! Meet Louis, he starts kindergarten this year and is super psyched. His mom is super psyched particularly about the backpack, shorts and shirt she found at our South store in Des Moines, and the fact that she paid less than $10 for all three!

For all students, young and older, here’s to a great start to the new school year!

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