Oh Arkansas…. where the weather is warm and bright…. unless it’s cold and raining, or storming, or blazing hot and humid. If you’ve lived in Arkansas even a short amount of time, you get it, you’ve lived it, you’ve endured the 4-seasons in one day phenomenon.

That being said, it creates a nightmare for your wardrobe. I live in an older home, built in the 60s. It’s quirky, homey and full of craftsmanship – but that all stops at the closets. They are small. I tried packing up “off-season” clothes and storing them in the attic, but let’s face it – in Arkansas, sometimes you need your summer clothes in February. You learn to dress in layers, in case your 30-degree morning turns into a 70-degree afternoon.  Yes, I often to go work in a sleeveless dress with tights and accessorized with a scarf, then a blazer or sweater.

What this epitome of seasonal flexibility leads to is a closet that’s bursting at the seams. I don’t own a lot of clothes, but it doesn’t take much to pack a 1960’s closet, especially when it’s shared with your husband. So, I’ve learned to get crafty and creative with my space-saving ideas.

The first step is the easiest and yet most difficult – admit to myself I am not going to fit back into that cocktail dress I wore once 7 years ago. It’s time to donate it, along with that cropped sweater my aunt got me for Christmas and the 4” stilettos that looked super cute with the cocktail dress – when I could still walk in heels.

Next, get rid of all those extra hangers!  You know, the ones all tangled up and taking up space. You can donate the plastic ones. On the other hand, if you NEED hangers, Goodwill usually has some on the shelves, closet-ready. Some cities will also recycle your old hangers. You just need to check with your sanitation department.

If your closet only has 1 rod, add another below it for shirts and skirts. Tension rods or shower curtain rods work great. Just keep the weight in mind. A lot of heavy sweaters can pull it down.

Have an old night stand or chest? So many times we find one at Goodwill or have one we aren’t using…. It might look little “rustic” but still, it’s very functional. Either refinish it or tuck it away in your closet. We found one at the Goodwill in Cabot for under $10. It’s short enough to still allow room to hang clothes on a rod above it. It would be great for organizing shoes or storing shirts and other items that always slip off your hangers.

You can also maximize space with the old chain or soda tab trick. They let you hang multiple items vertically instead of taking up room on the clothes rod. You can also add shower curtain hooks to a hanger to help organize scarves, belts, even purses. We actually found one already made while at the store in Cabot.

Shoe racks are also fairly easy to find in thrift stores, both the ones that sit on the floor and the ones that hang on the back of your closet door. Don’t forget about that little piece of valuable real estate!

These tips might not help you negotiate Arkansas weather, but they can help you keep your sanity while preparing for any possible scenario Mother Nature can throw at you. If you have some other tips, email them to marketing@goodwillar.org. We’d love to share them!

Shoe Rack

Shoe racks are a great way to organize your shoes and save space.

bin of clothes hangers

Goodwill sells hangers if you need more, or you can donate your extra plastic hangers.

tie rack

A tie rack or shower curtain hooks, attached to a clothes hanger, are great ways to organize belts, scarves and other items.