Starting college is a huge step in a young adult's life! For many, moving onto campus will be the first adventure in living away from their childhood home. Dorm living can be a terrific experience that fosters independence, but it also comes with a few headaches — namely lack of space and few amenities. Here are six handy helpers that can make the transition to dorm (or apartment) life a little easier…

1. Single-Use Laundry Pods

Although the per-use cost is a little higher, these little pacs are much easier to carry than lugging a bulky detergent bottle to the laundry room. Using these pre-measured detergent doses will also ensure that your student doesn't overdo it with laundry soap.

2. Electric Tea Kettle

Having a dorm-room source for hot water that doesn't take up as much space as a microwave is a boon for late night study sessions, and early morning eats. Not only is hot water convenient for tea & cocoa, but it will also work for instant oatmeal, noodles, and quick-cooking grains.

3. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Great for keeping shelves, desks, and windows sparkling! These cloths are super efficient for dorm use because they only require water — no additional sprays or cleaners. Perhaps the ease of use will encourage your student to keep a tidy space?

4. Basic First Aid Kit

Help your child avoid treks across campus to the health center by packing a basic kit for minor ailments. Bandages, anti-bacterial cream, and over-the-counter pain relievers will take care of many first aid needs. Be careful to limit the number of medications to only the most basic/common, and remind your student to only take the recommended dosage.

5. Reloadable Gift Cards

These are a convenient alternative to carrying cash, and might even replace mailing boxes full of snacks. Look for local coffee shops or eateries that offer gift cards that can be reloaded online. Your student will be able to treat themselves to some much needed caffeine, or an off-campus lunch, without breaking their budget.

6. Surge Protector With USB Ports

Every college student has multiple electronics that often need to be used and/or charged at the same time. Two-in-one surge protectors offer ac-outlets and USB ports to give flexibility in powering-up, and make the most use of dorm room outlets.

Most importantly, remember that dorm rooms are typically VERY small, and aren't meant to mirror the comforts of home. On-campus living is a great time to embrace minimalism! Encourage your college student to think about what they really need, and to get creative about how to live comfortably in a small space.