It's that time of year when parents are preparing to send your little ones — now big ones — off to college. Whether it's your first or fourth time, preparing your students for life on their own can be a challenge. If you've left this task to the last minute,we have put together a list of some dorm room must-haves and some add-ons to make their room feel like a home away from home.
* Towel off with Simply Vera Vera Wang Simply Soft Bath Towels. These spa-quality bath towels are made of cotton and viscose blend made from bamboo fibers, which provide incredible absorbency and durability. $13.99 to $39.99 at kohls.com.
* Essays, projects and exams are always keeping students up late. To avoid bothering your roommate the Purple Gooseneck Clip Lamp with Bulb is a good addition. The lamp clips on to any desk or countertop, and the gooseneck allows for easy lamp head positioning for precise illumination. $9.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond or bedbathandbeyond.com.
* Sleep tight with the Essential Home Belize Complete Bed Set, which includes comforter, bedskirt, shams, pillowcases and sheets for a coordinated look. $29.99 at Kmart stores or kmart.com.
* Space is definitely an issue in a dorm room and using all areas for storage is a must. The Real Simple Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer holds 12 pairs of shoes securely in place and fits over any door for hassle-free hanging – saving valuable closet space. $19.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond or bedbathandbeyond.com.
* Show your school team spirit while keeping food cool with the Compact Fridge, which offers a beverage dispenser and sliding shelving. Available in many college team logos. $569.99 at Kohls.com.
* Secure your valuables with the Go Vault - College Dorm Safe. $21.99 at DormCo.com.
* Keep tabs on what's yours with the Brother P-Touch PT-1290 "Simply Stylish" Home & Office Labeler, which features a 15-character LCD display, typewriter style keyboard and Auto Tape Detection feature. $39.99 at Brother.com or available at select Staples stores.
* Whether your student is looking to take advantage of the facilities on campus or at home, he/she will need a Pop–Up Hamper to lug laundry. The set of two holds two full loads of laundry each and features Airflow mesh fabric to help ventilation and a side pocket for storing detergent, fabric softener or other necessities. $14.99 for set of two at Bed Bath & Beyond or bedbathandbeyond.com.
* Cook dinner or make popcorn in minutes with the Kenmore Countertop Microwave. The 1.1-cubic-foot unit has microwave oven and pizza oven capabilities and performs at four temperature settings. $109.99 at Kmart stores or kmart.com.
* Store your shower essentials in the Wire Bath Over-the-Showerhead Caddy. Vintage-inspired, the iron wire caddy can hold your shampoo, soaps, towels and more. $29 at PBteen.com.
* Get more space with the Bed Post Shelf. The shelf keeps all your bedside items within reach. $14.99 at DormCo.com.
* Organize everything you need to get ready for class or a night out with friends with the Perfectly Prepped Hair Accessories Organizer. This compact unit has slots on top, plus a drawer below for clips, accessories and more and is designed with a built-in outlet. $99 at PBteen.com.
* To protect students from the unknown history of their mystery bed, use the Therapedic AlwaysFresh Puresleep® mattress pad and sheet set. The waterproof, odor-eliminating pad (sheets available in navy, gray, taupe, ivory, and white) captures and absorbs stains and eliminates unpleasant odors. $44.99 for an XL twin at Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
* Avoid missing classes with the Real iLive Intelli Set Clock Radio with Dock for iPod. It also has a gradual alarm to wake up with the radio or songs from your iPod. $49.99 at Kmart or kmart.com
* Snuggle up with the Nordstrom "Embroidered Vine" Decorative Pillow or toss it on the couch for some decorative flair. $58 at Nordstrom at Garden State Plaza, Paramus, or shop.nordstrom.com.
* Kick back in the Pool Painted Dot Large Beanbag. The plush beanbag inserts are eco-friendly and the cotton-canvas slipcover is removable for machine washing. $60 to $189 at PBteen.com.
* Make it easier to stay fit with the Oster MyBlend Blender. Fill, blend, go and reuse all in the same bottle making individual sized protein shakes and smoothies simple, quick and convenient with one-touch blending. Available in pink, orange, blue or green. $29.99 at Walmart, Kmart and Target stores.
* Students don't have to look like they just rolled out of bed with the Sunbeam Touch Up & Go Finishing Iron. This lightweight, portable iron promises quick set-up, heat-up and no need for an ironing board. Includes hot storage case with two lint rollers and spray bottle. $29.99 through Direct TV.
* Stay toasty warm with the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw. The EliteStyle II controller features three heat settings and a convenient three-hour auto-off feature. Available in a variety of colors, prints and patterns. $49.99 at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco and Macy's stores.