57 Dorm Room Items You Can Shop For On Amazon

57 Items You Can Buy On Amazon For Your College Dorm Now, And Get Before Move-In Day

Get everything you need without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

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With the fall semester fast approaching it's about time to start getting ready to make your new place yours. Amazon offers what you need to make your dorm your new home. Style it to show your personality. With Amazon, if you have Prime you get free two-day shipping on all eligible products. Amazon offers a six-month free Prime trial for students with a .edu email. After your first six-months, they continue to help students by offering them continued membership at a discounted rate of $59 a year. Don't forget to use Amazon Smile so you can give back to the charity of your choice while preparing for your dream college experience. With Amazon offering you everything you could possibly need and more, it's a deal that's hard to pass up.

Here are 57 items Amazon has that will fulfill your dorm shopping list:

1. A laptop

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My boyfriend was in desperate need of a laptop for his classes but didn't have the money to buy a new one when his stopped working. Through Amazon he was able to buy an Asus laptop and pay it off over five months.

2. Shower caddy

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If you're living in the dorms a shower caddy is a must buy. It also helps keep all your bathroom stuff organized and in one place. This way when you're ready to shower you just need to grab the caddy and go. I recommend the Attmu Mesh Shower Caddy. It was always quick to dry. Large enough it held everything I needed, and I always kept a lot in there. It never got moldy and lasted me the entire year.

3. Your textbooks

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I recommend having Amazon as one of the sites you always check when shopping for your textbooks. Sometimes I would use Amazon even if I found it cheaper elsewhere if the textbook was able to be sold back to them. I was able to sell several of my Amazon textbooks back to Amazon once I was finished with them. You can also rent your textbooks through them. The other great thing about them is that a lot of the textbooks are prime eligible so if you're someone who waits until classes start to see if you actually need all the books then you can get your books to you in a timely manner without breaking the bank.

4. Laundry hamper

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I bought a combo pack of PRO-MART DAZZ mesh laundry hampers for my dorm room. The smaller square one I put in my closet to hold all my shoes and then I got a taller one for my clothing. I checked the measurements of bed and decided I wanted it half lofted. The taller of the baskets fit under my bed keeping it out of the way. I had to go downstairs to use the laundry and the baskets never broke. I still use them now that I live in an apartment.

5. Bedside caddy with velcro’s

I bought a bedside caddy to attach to my dorm bed, so I could keep notebooks, textbooks, and pens when studying. It's also useful to hold remotes, your phone, calculators, and your glasses. If you don't buy one with Velcro it will often fall off and you'll have to readjust it as I learned. I recommend the Fancii 10 Pocket Bedside Caddy. It's large and lasted me the whole year.

6. Waterproof speaker

Having music in the showers is really nice and it's definitely worth investing in a waterproof speaker. I have an iHome speaker and it is super portable and works great

7. Silverware

I didn't want to use plastic silverware as I'm big on limiting my waste. I bought a set of Bon Brasserie 20-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Silverware and kept them in my dorm room to use when I made food in the microwave or bought it from the campus store downstairs. They were easy to wash and worked great!

8. Bowls

Perfect for roman, soup, or of course ICE CREAM! I bought a set of eight of Fresco 28-ounce Plastic Cereal/Soup Bowls in four assorted colors.

9. Wallet

My days of large wallets ended when I started college. I needed a smaller more portable wallet to carry with me. I bought a ZHOMA RFID Blocking wallet. I would attach it to my lanyard where my keys were.

10. Shelving

Ashley Lytle

Instead of buying and transporting a shelving unit. I bought the Whitmor Storage Cubes – Stackable Interlocking Wire Shelves.

11. Key rack

I hung a key rack up in my room where my roommate and I would hang our keys. To get the most out of my space I bought amDesign Mail, Letter Holder, Key Rack Organizer with Dry-Erase Board. It served three tasks taking up minimal space on my wall.

12. Hammock

Ashley Lytle

Get a hammock for those nice days on campus. It's a great place to study or just relax. I've taken naps in mine with friends during summer. I purchased a double Esup hammock and bought my cousin a single Esup hammock for his birthday last December.

13. Tapestry

Ashley Lytle

Make your room your own with a tapestry. It's a great way to decorate your walls with the limited options available. I got this super cute cat tapestry for under $15!

14. Mugs

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For coffee and hot chocolate! There’s also these microwave cakes/brownies you can buy and make in a coffee mug which makes for a great movie night snack.

15. Blankets

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Stay warm and comfy with whatever blanket suits your needs the best. Buy one to take to football or hockey games, or just to keep in your dorm room.

16. Socks

I bought a set of warm socks for winter by Loritta and I love them. They're soft and keep my feet incredibly warm and comfortable.

17. Snacks

Most of the snack packs offer options to buy once or to subscribe and get them however often you want. Their content varies also. I bought a snack pack over a month ago for my two roommates and I and it still isn't gone.

18. Umbrella

Don't get soaked trying to walk across campus, buy an umbrella! I bought my friend this Harry Potter themed one for Christmas.

19. Portable charger

There's usually at least one on sale through Amazon's lightning deals. I have two. I always have one charged up this way to take with me.

20. Bedrest

They're a comfortable tool to use when studying in bed.

21. Desk lamp

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Pick whichever lamp fits your style and be able to study late at night without bothering your roommate with keeping the room light on.

22. Pillows

Ashley Lytle

From regular pillows to throw pillows to further show your personality and style, Amazon has it all.

23. HDMI Cable

Great for hooking your laptop up to your TV to stream movies.

24. Hidden book safe

Dorm rooms aren't always the most secure so keep your stuff safe and hidden with a secret safe inside a book.

25. Loofah

A shower essential. There's some really good combo pack deals to be delivered straight to your dorm.

26. First-aid kit

Be prepared for any emergency or minor injury by keeping a first aid kit in your room. From a paper cut to falling and hitting your head make sure you have the tools to care for yourself.

27. Drawer storage organizer boxes

Get some foldable drawer organizers to help make use of the drawer space you have. I used mine to separate clothing types to utilize my space and make it easier to find what I needed.

28. Hydro flask

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Get one that can keep stuff hot or cold to get the most out of it.

29. Bookends

Keep your bookshelves organized and from falling over by buying some bookends. It's also a great way to personalize your room even more.

30. Sunglasses case

Keeps your glasses from breaking while in your bag and allows you to more comfortably carry them around until you need them.

31. Desk organizer

Get something for the top of your desk to help keep your pens and other office supplies organized and out of your way.

32. School supplies

Amazon has all the school supplies you could need every day of the year. If you run out of anything in the middle of the semester, all you have to do is go order it on Amazon and it will arrive within a couple days with prime.

33. Keurig

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Your Keurig would be good for coffee, hot chocolate, cider, tea, and roman noodles!

34. Clothing

Amazon has a program where you can order clothes, try them on, and then return what you don't want.

35. Fans

Fans are essential especially if you don't have air conditioning in your dorm.

36. Foldable chairs

It's a great way to utilize space. When you have guests over or want to relax in a chair you can take it out but when it's not in use it can be folded up and put away not taking up a ton of your limited space.

37. TV stand

Don't bother buying one from the store and transporting it back to your dorm. Amazon will deliver it to you and all you have to do is transport it to your room and set it up.

38. Mini fridge

Another college essential. Personally I love the ones that double as a dry erase board!

39. Futon

Since dorm rooms are so small, you have to utilize space any way you can. A great way to do that is with a futon. Have a couch that can turn into a bed for any visitors you may have.

40. Command strips

I highly recommend having some in your room at all times because they're so useful.

41. Christmas lights

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A great way to decorate your room while adding another light source to your room.

42. Cups

Milk, water, juice, or whatever drink you want requires a cup to drink it.

43. Microwave

A must-have for those cheap microwave meals or for heating up leftovers. Amazon has all the options you need to fit the rules your residence hall has.

44. Phone charger

Buy an Amazon basic charger and it comes with a 12-month warranty which replaces your charger if it stops working during that time period.

45. Power strip

Another tool to help you function within your dorm room.

46. Headphones/earbuds

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Sometimes you can't get any privacy in dorms and having a way to escape and shut out the world can be nice. Also handy for when your roommate is trying to sleep but you want to listen to music or watch Netflix.

47. Waterproof laptop case

Protecting your laptop from weather damage and an easy way to carry it to wherever you need to go.

48. Air freshener

Residence halls can get smelly and having an air freshener of any kind can truly make a huge difference.

49. Firestick

A great way to watch movies or stream Netflix. Bring your Prime experience to your TV.

50. Bedding

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Get the perfect bedding to match your style on Amazon from their hundreds of selections.

51. Mattress pad

Dorm beds aren't always the most comfortable. Buying a mattress pad can truly make a huge difference in your level of comfort. My boyfriend used on his floor under his bunk to create a sweet hangout spot. He covered it with blankets and put his TV at one end of the mattress pad. He then tucked a blanket under his mattress to drape down. This created a nice little hangout cave for him to feel like he had some privacy and also served as a second bed at times when he had guests over.

52. Pots and pans

Some residence halls have kitchens for you to use. Making your own food sometimes can be healthier for you and offer an opportunity to get away from the same old dining room food you've had before. It might also be more convenient than traveling across campus to eat at the only open dining place late at night.

53. Plates

Another essential for eating food or meals in your dorm room.

54. Towels

If you don't have any to take from home, Amazon has a large selection to fit your needs.

55. Bathrobe

My biggest fear was my towel falling as I traveled from the showers back to my room and if you have a similar fear I highly recommend investing in a bathrobe or two. I had two. One that was fluffy and warm for the winter and another that was lighter for warmer months.

56. Baskets for storage

Another tool to help you utilize most of the space given to you. Keep your stuff organized and quick to find in an easily cluttered space.

57. Hangers

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I don't know about you, but I feel as if I can never have enough hangers. Here's a quick hack to keep your clothing from falling off. Buy some rubber bands and wrap them around the ends of the hangers. This helps prevent your clothing from sliding off.

Cover Image Credit:

Ashley Lytle

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5 Companies That Still Use Slave Labor

Let's talk about the modern slave trade.
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Growing up in a country where freedom is always a right and expectation — whether you live in the United States or one of the other 86 "free" countries — it is easy to believe that, compared to the well-known 1800s slave trade, we are doing pretty well when it comes to civil liberties, freedom, and overall social welfare. Documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations, meaning that the vast majority of nations have agreed that every individual has the right to basic human dignity.

Despite this significant progress, however, there are 45.8 million people enslaved today, more than any other time in world history. The United States Department of Homeland Security has launched the Blue Campaign in light of this growing industry, hoping to raise awareness of the human trafficking that persists in local communities. Additionally, you can watch this video for a summary on the Global Slavery pandemic. I will write about the problem of human trafficking in the United States on another day; however, global slavery affects us whether it is in our city or halfway around the world. In fact, companies that you purchase from every single day use slave labor for their work instead of paying employees a fair wage.* Don't believe me?

Here are five companies that are using slave labor to make their products TODAY, and where you should shop instead.

Nestle

Nestle is one of the largest companies that has consistently carried out human rights violations all over the world. Not only did they illegally take water from California during the drought in 2015, but in the 1970s they got third-world mothers to use infant formula by selling it at reduced prices, and then when the mothers could no longer breastfeed, they raised the price of formula so much that many children were malnourished and starving.

Their most recent problems revolve around slavery in the cocoa industry. In 2009 several former child slaves sued Nestle because they were trafficked and forced to work on Nestle farms in Cote d'Ivoire. Another suit was filed by former child slaves in 2014, stating that "Studies by International Labour Organization, UNICEF, the Department of State, and numerous other organizations have confirmed that thousands of children are forced to work without pay in the Ivorian economy." In 2016, the Fair Labor Association executed an assessment of Nestle in Cote d'Ivoire. They claimed that 70% of Nestle farms were not trained on the prohibition of forced labor. Further, they stated that "there is no process in place to monitor, report, and remediate cases of forced labor at the farms." With this in mind, they did find evidence of potential forced and uncompensated labor. Additionally, they found evidence of child labor—many of these children never enrolling in school — in which children were getting paid little to nothing, and often working in dangerous conditions.

INSTEAD: buy from Ben & Jerry's or Theo. They will satisfy your sweet tooth and are Fair-Trade guaranteed.

Nike

Nike has REALLY cleaned up their act in the last several years, but with a standard of no slave labor, they still have quite a way to go. In 1992, activist Jeff Ballinger published an exposé in "Harpers" that revealed the story of a child in Indonesia working in disgusting conditions, and for a mere 14 cents per hour (far below the minimum wage in Indonesia at the time).

Since then, Nike has begun to report supply chain information. The most recent report claims that, in 2016, only 86% of their factories were up to the minimum standards they set. Though they give a good indication of how far the company has come, these standards are set by Nike and assessed internally, making it difficult to compare standards to a universal one.

INSTEAD: shop at Patagonia! All products here are Fair Trade Certified!

Starbucks

Starbucks claims a mission for ethical sourcing, meaning their company policy requires them to abide by a standard of "ethical sourcing" that they have created. They only have two Fair-Trade coffees available for purchase. After the development charity Oxfam reported that Starbucks was depriving Ethiopian coffee growers of $90 million every year, Starbucks was challenged by the public eye to “clean up their act,” and did so by creating their own “ethical sourcing” standards, that they implement themselves, and certify 99% of their coffee with. Whether or not these standards are viable, they are not Fair Trade Certified at this time.

The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of locations and goods that use forced and child labor. Starbucks lists coffees from countries such as Guatamala, Kenya, Costa Rica and Panama; however, none of these single-sourced coffees are certified by them as “Fair Trade.” Rather, they are all regions that are known to use child labor.

INSTEAD: buy the Starbucks Italian Roast and Café Estima; they are certified by Fair Trade! You can also order online from Café Justo, Jurang and Equal Exchange —entire companies dedicated to producing Fair Trade coffee.

H&M

A 2016 report stated that as of December 31, 2015, 31 out of 72 H&M suppliers were using illegal contracts. In other words, these contracts allowed for wrongful termination. Now I know what you are thinking: the current system of hiring/firing in the U.S. is full of problems, and it takes way too much work to fire a bad employee in most cases. Well, the situation in countries like Cambodia and India are a little different. Often times, employees of H&M will be forced to work for excessive overtime hours—far beyond the legal limit—with no increase in their weekly take home pay. They are also often working in sweatshop conditions, with no breaks and unsanitary environments. Moreover, the contracts allow the factory to fire a worker for refusing to work these long hours. In fact, a garment worker in Cambodia stated: "We often get sick around once a month. We don’t eat enough and work too much trying to maximize the piece rate. Also, we don’t stop to go to the bathroom. We often work through lunch breaks or go back into work early, so there is hardly any time to rest."

INSTEAD: shop at one of these other retailers that are guaranteed to have fair-trade labor!

Walmart

Well, this one is probably the least suprising yet. According to a 2016 report by the Wage Alliance on Walmart's value chain, Walmart refused to sign the 2013 Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that 200 companies signed following the collapse of Rana Plaza. It also stated that all 14 factories in Cambodia were studied, and they all violated local overtime laws consistently, with some forcing 14 hour work days without overtime pay "in sweltering heat, without adequate supply of clean drinking water or any breaks." These same conditions were expressed by workers in factories in India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. The report continued to list countless instances of workers given severely less than they were promised, or even cases where owners of factories fled without paying workers at all.

INSTEAD: OK, I know it's hard to pass up Walmart prices. However, here is a full list of companies that are fair trade. Even if you start small, I know you can find a way to cut back on your slavery footprint! Want to know how many slaves work for you now? Visit the Slavery Footprint mission to find out.

*I use the term “fair wage” because many people who are enslaved are trapped in a cycle of debt bondage. This means that an individual or family works for pennies per hour to pay off an ever-increasing debt. Oftentimes this debt is passed down for generations. To learn more about debt bondage and other forms of slavery, visit the non-profit End Slavery Now, here.

Cover Image Credit: iragelb / Flickr

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The Reason Why Everyone Needs To Stop Shopping At Forever21

The secret behind the low prices in fast-fashion has a hidden dark side in manufacturing.

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We all know the brand; the blinding traffic-light-yellow bags with the black font that takes over every mall. We know Forever21 for its trendy crop tops, it's $3.90 leggings, the cheap band shirts, and basics. What we don't know, however, is how they can keep their prices so low.

Fast Fashion has long been abusive to the use of underpaid labor in manufacturing facilities, and Forever21 is no exception.

By listing themselves as a retailer, Forver21 avoids responsibility for unethical practices in their manufacturing processes. They outsource manufacturing to companies who underpay their workers and provide poor working conditions, and not just around the world. There are manufacturing facilities as close as Los Angeles. Forever21's "Social Responsibility" page boasts about recycling plastic bags and collecting donations, as well as donating clothing of their own to those in need. However, the section on manufacturing falls farther down on the page.

The section opens with the statement that Forever21 "care[s] for [their] employees and for the employees of hundreds of vendor manufacturing facilities that we work with throughout the world. [They] want all of these employees to work in safe and healthy environments." Yet, the statement does not provide any promise or commitment to doing so.

According to the Los Angeles Times, "manufacturers say that no matter how tightly retailers squeeze their margins or how frequently the state penalizes them for contractors' unpaid wages, many can't turn down a buyer with the budget and scale of Forever 21."

According to Goodonyou.eco, Forever21 is "one of the only fast fashion brands to still refuse to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety – a legally binding agreement which requires brands to ensure safe working conditions in supplier factories." The agreement works to monitor remediation, ensure safety inspections, and facilitate factory inspections. The same article also claims that "they've also made no significant progress towards paying employees across their supply chain with a living wage". The Los Angeles Times claims that in an investigation of 77 Los Angeles garment factories from April through July of 2016, it was discovered that workers "were paid as little as $4 and an average of $7 an hour for 10-hour days spent sewing clothes for Forever 21" and other fast fashion brands.

The question is, why don't we talk about this more often? What if we really considered how the price of one item can stretch down the supply chain. Would it make us reconsider purchases we make? Would we be willing to spend more money on clothes to know that the people who make them are earning a sufficient wage?

To be the generation who makes a 180-degree shift is going to be challenging, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. The next time you're thinking about buying something new, try the thrift shop or borrow from a friend instead of buying something new and cheap at the mall. You'll be doing more than yourself a favor.

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