by Oliver St. John
Who will clean up after your children, do their laundry or bring them snacks when they go off to college this fall?
Relax. Students can now outsource everything, from grocery shopping to laundry to businesses often run by, you guessed it, more enterprising students.
Laura Vanderkam, author of time-management book 168 Hours, says student entrepreneurship is part of a trend aided by social media savvy, and also a good way for kids on student loans to make ends meet.
But it's not going to save other students time, because they probably wouldn't have bothered with cleaning and cooking anyway. "I'd say it's more about Mom being assured that you're not living in total squalor," she says. Preventing just that:
•Laundry-free linens. No matter how gross sheets get, some students never wash them. College moms since 2009, Beantown Bedding founders Joan Ripple and Kirsten Lambert released a solution July 30: Bedsox, biodegradable sheets that go into the compost instead of the wash, available online at $25 a set.
"Basically, what it boils down to is, college students are lazy. They'd like to have clean sheets, but their moms aren't there to wash them," says Lambert.
•Clean room. Nate Andorsky's own messy room at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., inspired the student cleaning service he founded with Mike Waterman, in April 2011. He says DC3 can do 60-70 cleanings a month because one crew can clean many dorm rooms in a single trip. Cleanings start at $39.
•Snack delivery. For a $1.99 delivery fee, students at University of Texas in Austin can order snacks from MunchyMart.com. And just about anything else, from Doritos to frozen burritos, but also beer pong tables, kegs and condoms, says Arshad Rehman, 24. He founded the business in January as a senior. His student employees deliver until 3-4 a.m., but they won't bring booze to dorms.
•Clean laundry. Jeremy Young helped found HillFresh Laundry in 2011 as a Hamilton College sophomore in Clinton, N.Y. He says students are too busy to do laundry. However, Wendy Leone pays $349 a semester for HillFresh to wash and fold her 19-year-old son's weekly laundry, because he doesn't know how to do it himself, she says.
•Pack and move. Students at Cornell University pay $38 an hour if they miss the dorm move-out deadline. Can't meet the deadline? Students can pay $67 an hour for student-run Big Red Shipping and Storage to box up all the items in their rooms and load them in the car. Bubble wrap is extra.