Kandi Burruss and Her Daughter Riley Share Their Back to College Amazon Essentials

The Real Housewives of Atlanta star and the college sophomore know exactly what you need for the new semester.

By Marenah Dobin Aug 14, 2021 11:00 AMTags
E-comm: Riley and Kandi Burruss off to college shoppingGetty Images

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Whether you're returning to college or if you're heading to the dorms for the first time, there are a lot of things to pack, especially for a small room. That's why you need to be smart with your purchasing decisions and do the most to maximize your space. Recently, The Real Housewives of Atlanta viewers saw Kandi Burruss get her oldest daughter Riley Burruss ready for college. Little Ace Tucker sweetly offered to teach his older sister how to clean her dorm. A year later, Riley is starting her sophomore year at NYU. She and Kandi have both learned a lot about what to pack and they're true experts this time around.

"I feel like we got this down. We know what people need to buy, for sure," Kandi said during an Amazon Live session. Riley shared, "I just finished my freshman year of college so I lived in the dorms first semester. I lived out of the dorms second semester so there were a lot of different things I needed to get and learn. I am now going into my sophomore year at NYU and I am off campus."

Keep on scrolling to see the must-pack Amazon items that Riley and Kandi recommend for college students.

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LED Desk Lamp, Colorsmoon 2 in 1 Dimmable Office Table Lamp with 35 Light Settings, Built-in Wireless Charger & USB Charging Port

Kandi insisted, "This is the perfect desk lamp because you can put things on it and you can charge your phone. Listen, the way that it's made, it folds down easily. It's perfect. For me, I always need a charger right next to the bed, so the phone and the bed together is perfection and much-needed. I don't even think you'll find another lamp that's better than this. It's practical and you just need it. People lose chargers all the time, so you definitely want that desk lamp. It just makes it easier for you."

Walsh WSR31TS1 Compact Refrigerator

"I know some dorms do have their own kitchen and some dorms do not. I didn't have a kitchen, it was just a room. So, of course, a mini fridge was necessary," Riley said, adding, "I would recommend getting a mini fridge with a separate freezer compartment for you ice cream and other frozen foods." 

Kandi recalled, "I noticed on move-in day that every single family rolled up with a mini fridge on their way to the dorms. Please don't let your child be the only one who does not have a fridge of their own. That is really important. Trust us."

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor

Riley continued, "Of course with the fridge, you need the microwave. This was also necessary if you don't have a kitchen." Kandi explained, "If you want to keep your kids on a budget and make sure that they're not going out to eat every day, you definitely need to make sure that they have their own microwave and own refrigerator in their room."

This one has 23,700+ 5-star reviews from Amazon shoppers.

Amazon Basics Electric Glass and Steel Hot Water Kettle - 1.7-Liter

Riley revealed, "The main reason I got this kettle is because I saw a trick where you can make ramen just inside the kettle, since, of course, I didn't have a kitchen. You can just put the ramen inside when the kettle started boiling. It's just saving space so you don't need a stove or anything. Also, I love tea so I needed a kettle anyway because tea is always a savior."

4 Pack Portable Reusable Grocery Bags

"For college students that are coming to New York, there is a tax on the bags when you buy groceries. They do charge extra so I decided to use Amazon and order some reusable grocery bags. This is a pack of four with different colors.," Riley said.

Kandi added, "There are so many people who really care about the environment so they just want to bring their own bags so they're not wasting paper or wasting plastic. So, that is an excellent idea and an excellent find."

Clever Fox Planner Premium Edition – Luxurious Weekly & Monthly Planner to Increase Productivity and Hit Your Goals

"A planner is definitely necessary. I think a planner that you can write in and keep track of stuff is definitely important," Riley said. 

U Brands Contempo Magnetic 11

"I'm a huge fan of a dry eraser board. I have one in my office. For a college student, I just felt it was important to get something that's smaller because you don't really know how much space they have. It just makes it easier for them," Kandi shared.

Riley explained, "It's just easy to write down things, especially tasks that you need to get done. You can just erase when you're done." This one has 18,400+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.

UpFox Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Cordless - Mini Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner Rechargeable for Car, Home, Office, Pet Hair Travel Cleaning

Riley said, "This is very small, it's handheld so you don't have it taking up a lot of space. It's just easy. You spill something and you quickly clean it up with your handheld vacuum cleaner. I wouldn't recommend a full vacuum cleaner because it just takes up too much space."

Simple Houseware 3-Tier Shoe Rack Storage Organizer,

"Closets in my dorm were actually super small. I brought this over to my apartment too because it's so necessary to have. Here, I feel like you have to work vertically for storage. This keeps all your shoes in one place and really maximizes your space, which is really why I love this. I might even order another one," Riley said.

This 3-tier shoe rack has 9,600+ 5-star Amazon reviews and it's just $21. 

Utopia Bedding Adjustable Bed Furniture Risers (8 Piece Set)

Riley said, "I would recommend these. Without the bed risers, you can't fit drawers under your bed. This just gives you more storage space. We are all about maximizing space over here."

Kandi insisted, "They're very helpful, I'm telling you. Get them." This set has 15,700+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Underbed Storage Containers (Set of 2)

"You can use these with the bed risers," Kandi said. Riley insisted that they're essential to "maximize your space."

Kandi recalled, "Riley did have some drawer space, but if you need more, these are perfection. Those are actually cute too," advising shoppers, "Get the risers with the under bed storage containers. Don't get one without the other. Get them both."

Simple Houseware Over Door/Wall Mount 6 Clear Window Pocket Organizer

"I got this when I got my dog. I wish I got it earlier to maximize my space. I have it in my apartment. I keep dog food in there, his vitamins, laundry detergent. If you're in a small space, you need extra organizational stuff," Riley said.

Kandi shared, "I have some at home too. It doesn't matter how many closets or pantries you have, you always need more space. We keep all the pantry snacks in one of these, which is really convenient." These come in a few different colors and they have 12,700+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Collapsible Tall Slim Laundry Hamper with Washable & Breathable Mesh Liner Waterproof & Dustproof Laundry Cart on Wheels

Riley admitted, "I made the bad mistake of having one that was backpack would be easy, but I recommend this one with wheels on it so you won't have all that weight on your shoulder. I recommend this one. Learn from my mistakes."

Kandi advised, "You can also take the bag out, so it's like a two in one."

HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer with Wireless & Mobile Printing (CZ993A)

Rile said, "I have this portable printer set up on my desk. This is needed just because you may have a printer on campus, but if you're anything like me, I get my work done super late and I need to make sure I have my stuff printed before class. You can connect it to your phone and your computer."

Kandi shared this pro tip: "If it's charged up, you can take it anywhere to print, even in the back seat of your car or at an event if you need to print out flyers at an event."

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper (1,500 Sheets)

"I would recommend this copy printer paper from Amazon. It comes with a lot of paper. I definitely recommend getting this. It can last you a really long time. Definitely get it," Riley said. She's not the only one who recommends this paper though. It has 58,200+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder

Riley shared, "I don't like sitting in my desk all day. Sometimes, I just want to chill in bed, even if it's just to watch a movie on my computer. You can just lay this on your lap. It's comfortable. You can put your phone, computer, and mouse on this. You can use it in a dorm or at home."

This lap desk is available in six colors and it has 20,800+ 5-star Amazon reviews.

Apple AirPods Pro

Kandi recommended, "If you don't have any, just go on your Amazon account and get you some." Riley interjected, "I can't even leave my apartment without taking these. Walking to class, these are necessary."

And, if you need a little more convincing to pick these up, they have 199,600+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Amazon Smart Plug

"It's a space-saving design. You always want a smart plug," Kandi said. Riley pointed out, "It works with Alexa."

"So if you want to say 'Alexa, turn off my lights, it can turn off everything.' It's not just a regular plug, people," Kandi promised. Kandi and Riley aren't the only people who view this as an essential More than 363,000 Amazon customers left 5-star reviews raving about this Amazon Smart Plug.

If you're looking for more Bravolebrity product recommendations, check out these items that Married to Medicine star Dr. Jackie Walters always keeps in her bag.

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