We’re finally getting the kids back to in-class learning and that goes for university and college bound kids in our families. It may be your kid’s first year and we’re pretty sure you’ve got that essentials list covered by now. Trust me, as a mom of a fourth year university student, by Thanksgiving you’ll have a few more items that will be requested that didn’t make it onto the initial list!

Since we’re all still trying to get through this pandemic, cleanliness should be top of mind at all times. Trying to get a bunch of young adults to keep on top of things with their busy schedules is important. Having the right tools readily available will “set them up for success”. The cleaning wipes and solutions  for quick clean ups are already on the list, right?

Whether your kid is moving into residence or staying off-campus there are a few affordable and useful items that are often overlooked and you may want to add to your last minute shopping list…or wait till Thanksgiving. But you will want to check retailers NOW since many have BTS promotions happening (yes, also check Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Staples)

VACUUM: A hand held upright stick vacuum is a quick way to manage dirt. We’ve discovered TINECO ($199.98 at Walmart.ca) that is a great and affordable option for students. This cordless vacuum comes with two additional head options: a crevice brush and a dust brush to get into harder to vacuum areas. It can also run up to 25 minutes on a full battery charge. A wall mount bracket keeps it safely secured in storage when not in use. The bagless dust bin makes it easy to quickly empty out with one simple touch.

BUT FIRST COFFEE: If your kid is already getting through the day with a cuppa Joe or two then you may want to invest in a NESPRESSO Vertuo – an affordable compact coffee maker that’s also compact in size to fit on any kitchen counter or dorm room. Just think about how much money is spent on one coffee alone at somewhere like Starbucks! Not just that, their roasts are robust and their capsules can be recycled (they offer a pre-paid mailable pouch that will send the capsules to a proper recycling company).  BTW, there are some pretty decent promotions at time of publishing this story as we’ve discovered the Nespresso Vertuo Round Head (several colours available) available for $99 at time of publishing (regularly $249).

STREAMING FAVOURITE ENTERTAINMENT: As the pandemic continues, kids may find themselves spending more time indoors. Entertainment streaming has been a great way to unwind and be inspired. But with all the choices out there wouldn’t it be nice to have it all seamlessly and conveniently available through one service? The new ROKU EXPRESS 4K ($49.99)streaming device offers access to all the popular streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, RedBull and so much more) plus a lot of free content (movies, shows, sports, news etc). It’s designed to give users control to both free and live tv and paid streaming services in one tool so you can forget about cable fees. Customizable for the user and easy to set up with one simple remote. Don’t have a 4K TV? There are other Roku options to explore as well.

KEEPING FIT (MIND AND BODY): No denying that moving away from home and often for the first time is stressful. Coupled with the school load and navigating a new social life, it’s all a recipe for stress.  Getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercise is all important and so is learning how to manage stress is a lifelong learning.  The latest FITBIT CHARGE 5 ($229.95) is the brand’s most advanced health and fitness tracker to help users stay on top of fitness, stress, heart health and overall wellbeing. The thinner, sleeker design offers the convenience of features users want access to the most. Also, with the Fitbit Premium subscription, there’s access to more than 500 workouts (including popular ones like Daily Burn, barre3, PopSugar), plus mindfulness and nutritional content (recipes too!). The new Daily Readiness experience that’s coming so, users will be able to understand if their body is ready for a workout or if the body should priories recovery instead. Also now available in a more vivid and vibrant colour screen display. Coming out this Fall. Currently you can pre-order.

JUST BREATHE: We don’t often think about air quality but lately it’s been top of mind. Dorm rooms, apartments, or um, multi-student houses can be old and musty. They also can have lingering allergens and a breeding ground for mold spores not to mention airborne germs that carry viruses. Then there are all the “smells” of student life – gym equipment and clothing that sit or days, shared kitchen etc. If the indoor air pollution is not managed studies have proven that the lingering effects can cause health issues. You’ll want to look for ones with a HEPA filter also the space in which the air purifier can cover. Looking for affordable? Check out the Rowenta Air Purifier, HEPA Air Purifier for Home, 4 Layers of Air Filtration, 300 m3/h, White, 3040 ($201 spotted on Amazon.ca for Prime Members at time of publishing this story)


TUNE OUT TO TUNE IN: It’s inevitable that when you’ve got roommates schedules will be all over the place. Some college and university courses will still be online and others will be in person. Roomies will come and go and tests, exams, assignments will require a lot of concentration. Helpful to have Noise Cancelling Headphones or EarBuds handy to block out others. AirPod Pros ($329 at Apple.com) have active noise cancelling ability to help you stay focused and continues to adjust as you wear them. But there’s also transparency mode for times you still want to hear what’s happening around you. They are super compact and comfortable and great if they are within your price range. When you’re looking for headphones best to go for wireless. Lots of options at Staples including these JBL Live 650 Wireless Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones ($169.99 at time of publishing).