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Avoiding Dorm Disasters

Whether your college-bound teen will be living in a dorm for the first time, or returning to school, there are ways to help them keep their rooms clean without your constant reminders.

Laura Dellutri, known as the "Healthy Housekeeper" and author of the book "White Couch, With Kids!?" is a frequent visitor to the Saturday Early Show. She offers a crash course on ways to keep dorm rooms clean and organized.

Here is her advice:

Utilize The Small Space To Their Advantage:
No matter where your child goes to school, it seems like there's never enough closet, drawer, or storage space, and that leads to clutter! Put and end that problem with an over-the-door closet organizer; they can use it to store everything, from paper to food to cleaning supplies. It takes up a lot less space, and looks a lot nicer, than those plastic milk crates every college student seems to own.

  • Product: Functional Fabrics Closet Door Organizer, $21.95,

    Make Laundry Less Painful
    Let's face it: most college kids don't like doing laundry. So, they often let it pile up all over their room until they run out of clothes, or until they can bring it home (so their parents can do it).

    Put an end to that with the Tide Backpack Duffle Bag. It's an all-in-one storage unit/hamper and carry-all for dirty (and clean) laundry. They can even hang items like detergent and fabric softener sheets off the bag, so it's even easier to carry everything to the dorm's laundry room! And, you can even buy them smaller detergent bottles that offer two times the concentrated formula, so there's no need to lug around a huge bottle. Just be sure to encourage them to carry the bag to the laundry room, not back home!

  • Product: Tide Laundry Duffle, $19.99, major mass retailers

    Take The Ick Out Of Sharing A Shower And Bathroom:
    Yuck! Many a student has complained about the dorm bathrooms ... especially the showers, floors, and fixtures. Not only can they be gross, but they can also be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Don't forget about those sloppy roommates who are always spilling things, and/or may have some nasty habits.

    Disinfectant wipes are a quick, easy way to clean up these messes (and many others) without having to use a lot of elbow grease. Simply throw a container in your bathroom caddy. While you're at it, throw in a pair of flip flops, too.

  • Products: Mr. Clean Wipes, $2.49-$2.99 for the 27-count; $4.49-$5.49 for the 62-count, major mass market retailers.

    Cook Something Without Having To Clean Anything:
    Not every college-bound student knows how to cook. Even if they do, they probably aren't too keen on the cleanup it often entails (who is?). But, what if they get sick of the dining room fare or get hungry when it's closed (for instance, late at night)?

    Well, there's a solution: a small electric grill that cooks frozen foods in minutes, and never needs to be cleaned (the food cooks in a disposable bag that catches all the grease)! It requires even less effort than that old college fave, the George Foreman Grill!

    While we're on the subject, how about a portable refrigerator that can keep food cold and warm? It's a much better place than your closet or under your bed to store that leftover pizza.

  • Product: Sunbeam Rocket Grill, $129.99,
  • Koolatron C18 Thermoelectric Cooler/Warmer, $169.99,

    (Thanks to Little Miss Matched — — for providing the bedding and pillows used in this segment)