Efficient small-space dwelling is a true artform, especially when it comes to living in a college dorm. Packing your life into a tiny room (or half of one, or a third of one!) 鈥 and still making it feel like home 鈥 can be daunting, we know. But fear not! There鈥檚 actually one piece of furniture that will make *all* the difference: the collapsible storage ottoman. Today, we鈥檙e partnering with Walmart to show you five nifty ways to utilize the genius cube that is the Mainstays Collapsible Storage Ottoman. Scroll on and thank us later :)

walmart-ottoman-maddie

The more, the merrier when it comes to ottomans 鈥 especially when they come in so many different colors and patterns. You can store stuff in 鈥榚m (duh), use them as surfaces, sit on 鈥榚m and stow them away when they鈥檙e not in use.

walmart-ottoman-4

Keep reading for five super smart ways to utilize this nifty piece of furniture.

DIY A HANGING FILE CABINET

walmart-ottoman-files-9

Say what?! This guy is the perfect size for a hanging file cabinet! Store all of your class notes 鈥 even ones from previous semesters 鈥 in a neat and discreet place. Bonus: If and when you move out, it will be super easy to transport these.

walmart-ottoman-files-1

Materials + Tools:
鈥 hanging file folders

鈥 2 spring tension rods, 11-inch to 18-inch width

walmart-ottoman-files-2

Install each tension rod inside the ottoman. Make sure it鈥檚 a snug fit.

walmart-ottoman-files-3

Hang each file folder. That鈥檚 it!

walmart-ottoman-files-6

Neat, huh?

GET SMART ABOUT CLOTHING STORAGE

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-8

TBH, dorms *never* have enough built-in storage for clothes. Make fabric-covered cardboard dividers and transform the ottoman into a storage space for small garments.

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-1

Materials + Tools:
鈥 cardboard

鈥 fabric

鈥 straightedge

鈥 adhesive spray

鈥 measuring tape

鈥 utility knife

鈥 pencil

鈥 fabric scissors

Instructions:
1. Measure the hypotenuse of your ottoman.

2. Measure and cut the cardboard to this size so that it will fit snugly at a diagonal in your ottoman.

3. Cut the fabric a little larger than your cardboard鈥檚 width and a bit larger than two times the length.

4. Spray one side of the cardboard with adhesive and firmly adhere to the fabric. Then spray the outer edges of the other side of the cardboard and adhere the fabric edges. Cut off excess fabric if necessary.

5. Spray the rest of the cardboard, then adhere the remaining fabric so that it is fully covered. Trim off all excess fabric.

6. Repeat these steps with a second piece of cardboard and fabric.

7. Draw a straight line in the center of each divider, about two-thirds the length of the cardboard. Cut along this line with a utility knife.

8. Connect the two dividers at this seam, then fit them into the ottoman. You鈥檙e done!

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-2

Measure the hypotenuse of your ottoman.

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-3

Measure and cut the cardboard to this size so that it will fit snugly at a diagonal in your ottoman. Cut the fabric a little larger than your cardboard鈥檚 width and a bit larger than two times the length.

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-4

Spray one side of the cardboard with adhesive and firmly adhere to the fabric. Then spray the outer edges of the other side of the cardboard and adhere the fabric edges. Cut off excess fabric if necessary. Spray the rest of the cardboard, then adhere the remaining fabric so that it is fully covered. Trim off all excess fabric. Repeat these steps with a second piece of cardboard and fabric.

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-6

Draw a straight line in the center of each divider, about two-thirds the length of the cardboard. Cut along this line with a utility knife. Connect the two dividers at this seam, then fit them into the ottoman. You鈥檙e done!

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-11

Fill 鈥榚r up!

walmart-ottoman-cardboard-7

MAKE IT A SNACK STASH

walmart-ottoman-snacks-1

You can鈥檛 solely exist on dining hall food. Stow your dry treats and microwavables in the ottoman, then store it next to the mini fridge. Voila 鈥 a DIY pantry!

walmart-ottoman-snacks-2

Psst 鈥 be sure to have some durable dishware in your dorm too. What about your midnight snack needs?!

STOW EXTRA BEAUTY PRODUCTS

walmart-ottoman-toiletries-1

When it comes to communal living, shelf real estate is a v. precious commodity. Pack all those extra, occasionally-used beauty products away 鈥 your roommates will thank you.

walmart-ottoman-toiletries-2

USE IT AS EXTRA STASH-ABLE SEATING

This one is a no-brainer 鈥 use the ottomans as seating! Build 鈥榚m up for those group study seshes in your room, then collapse and store under the bed after company leaves.

walmart-ottoman-build

Easy, peasy. Ottomans FTW!

Psst! Short on time? UseWalmart Pickup! Order your ottomans online, then pick them up at the Walmart location nearest to your school.

What other uses can you think of for a collapsible ottoman? Share ideas with us on Facebook!

This post is a collaboration with Walmart.

Author, DIY + Styling: Maddie Bachelder
Photography: Chris Andre