Photo: AmherstCollege via Flickr
Do you have a kid who’s away at school?To my mind, students are the easiest folks to buy for.
There are so many things you can give them that will make their busy lives easier—and cleaner and more organised.
It's doubtful that your child's dorm room is equipped with a vacuum (it's even more doubtful that the room has been vacuumed since September).
The Eureka Boss Lite Cordless 96JZ Vacuum Cleaner ($59.95) is perfect for cleanups.
This lightweight, bagless vac converts into a hand vac for quick messes, and it has a convenient wall-mounted charger. (Get 10 per cent off your purchase with GoVacuum.com coupons.)
All the takeout and trips to the convenience store sure generate a lot of plastic bags!
Encourage your kid to use the Orka by Mastrad Bag Dispenser ($11.95) from ReUseIt.
This clever device will let him reuse those bags and provide him with a colourful and clutter-free room. (Get 20 per cent off orders of $35 or more with ReUseIt coupons.)
Now that you're not doing your child's laundry, his or her clothes probably aren't as fresh as they once were.
Help those dirty garments smell sweet with Fresh Threads Drawer Fresheners ($19.99 for nine fresheners), available in three yummy scents: Subtle Citrus, Classic Clean and Soft Amber.
They're great for drawers, closets, gym bags, suitcases--you name it!
Your student is surely clamoring for the new iPad Mini (starting at $329) or a comparable tablet.
But if the price tag is too steep, go for the next best thing: accessories for the gadgets he already has.
A cool addition can sometimes make an old accessory feel new again--at least for a little while, anyway. (Plug into savings with Apple coupons.)
Most of us protect our devices with sleeves, but choosing a case for someone else is tough.
Why not give a Caseable gift certificate?
I recently had the chance to test out the service, and I love the case I made for my MacBook Air.
(Mine has a snakeskin pattern with a hot pink zipper, in case you're wondering.)
Caseable make covers for every kind of laptop and tablet. Prices range from $44.90 to $69.90. (Get 20 per cent off your order with Caseable coupons.)
A portable keyboard will help your kid get more mileage out of his or her tablet.
The Scosche Flexible Bluetooth Keyboard ($35.32) from Walmart is foldable, water-resistant and works with any Bluetooth-enabled tablet.
The keyboard is compatible with Android, Windows and Mac OS X systems and is easy to charge via USB cable. (Get Walmart coupons.)
Because I work remotely and travel a lot (never mind the fact that I've lived through two multiday blackouts), I firmly believe that everyone should own a portable charger.
It's great for college kids who forget to plug in at night and then wake up to find their devices out of power.
My all-time fave is the i.Sound Portable Power ($48.24), available at Buy.com.
It holds a serious amount of juice (8,000 mAh) and has five ports, so students can charge their smartphones, MP3 players or tablets and then toss everything in their backpacks and go! (Save with Buy.com coupons.)
I love The Container Store's Mini First Aid Kit & Mini Sewing Kit ($6.99 each or $13.98 for both) for life's little emergencies.
The Mini First Aid Kit contains everything needed for the occasional mishap: cotton swabs, nail clippers with file, scissors, tweezers, safety pin and bandages.
The Mini Sewing Set includes needles, five colours of thread, safety pins, buttons, scissors, a thimble and a needle threader.
Basically, it will save the day should your child lose a button or rip a hole in her favourite shirt. (From now until Christmas, get free shipping on stocking stuffers costing $100 or more with The Container Store coupons.)
For those random skin woes like extreme dryness, scrapes and rashes, the Ultimate Body Salve ($9.99) from SkinFare is a must-have.
This handy balm comes in a cardboard, push-up container and soothes, heals and nourishes the skin with one swipe.
They may not need a proper tool kit in the dorm (assuming that there is a maintenance crew on hand), but a compact multi-tool might be just the thing if a screw needs tightening, a splinter needs tweezing, and yes, if a bottle needs opening.
The Leatherman Style CS ($22.95), available at Eastern Mountain Sports, is the perfect pocket-size gizmo for those emergencies--and it's available in four colours!
(Get free shipping on orders of $48 or more with Eastern Mountain Sports coupons.)
If you think your kid needs something more substantial, you can't go wrong with the Fixa 17-Piece Tool Kit ($7.99) from IKEA.
This inexpensive but sturdy kit contains a hammer (with a separate rubber face, so it can be used as a mallet), wrench, pliers and a screwdriver with multiple bits.