Clean Closet, Clear Head

Remember that Friends episode where Chandler discovers that Monica has a jam-packed closet. He discovered the flaw in her neat-freak DNA.

“You’re messy,” he snickered.

My home office has a closet that isn’t as bad as that, but it is a catch-all for anything that will fit. The only condition is that we have to be able to close the door to hide the mess behind it.

Today, I decided to open that closet and clean it out. I needed something to distract me from all of the news programs, and this seemed to be a good way to pass the time. I texted this “before” photo to my sister, turned on my favorite ’80s playlist, and went to work.

The first thing I saw was that poor teddy bear wedged at the bottom of the closet. The poor thing. If I wasn’t so tired right now, I’d give him a name and an entire backstory as to why he was banished to the bottom of the closet without a second thought.

Feel free to let your imaginations run wild with your own backstory in the comments…

Meanwhile, my sister texted me back and asked what the closet was originally designated to hold. Good question! I had to think back to when my kids were still at home. We added the closet so the kids had a place to put their toys away. Prior to this room becoming my home office, it was a playroom and then a man cave where my son could play his video games. But, now both kids are out of the house, and their toys remain.

For a while, my husband and I rationalized that we would keep certain toys for our nieces and nephews who are all younger. Now, when the youngest comes over, she would much rather play with our dog. This gave me permission to get rid of board games, train tracks, Lincoln logs, and so on.

Besides the toys, there are other things hiding in that closet. I admit that over the year’s the closet’s purpose expanded to include my growing jigsaw puzzle collection and cleaning supplies.

Then, we bought a Costco membership. And then the pandemic hit and we stocked up on lots (and lots) of toilet paper and tomato sauce.

The more I cleaned, the more I found things I thought were long gone. I found the good electronic vegetable chopper, a mini popcorn popper, three boxes of Ziploc sandwich bags, and a sleeve of clear plastic glasses. Sadly, this was the most exciting part of my day.

I also decided the closet would still be a catch-all, but I’d give more thought to what I put in it before tossing it and shutting the door. This is my plan for the moment, but I know full well that I could be back to a messy closet by the end of the year.

I now have a clean closet, a nice donate pile, and a large bag of trash. There is also a small group of items from my old kitchen that I stashed away in there. Since I’m not ready to part with them yet, I’ll have to find a spot for them near the kitchen.

Hmm… maybe the hallway closet. Just kidding!

A large stuffed teddy bear that was originally at the bottom of the closet. Also, the teddy bear is happy to be free and he forgives me. .




5 comments on Clean Closet, Clear Head

  1. Anne Z
    October 10, 2023 at 1:56 pm (2 months ago)

    I like to tackle closets and make the donate pile and eBay pile. Lots of old treasures have made $$ for me over the years. Good for you and onward!

  2. Julie JordanScott
    October 9, 2023 at 8:03 am (2 months ago)

    What a cute teddy bear. I find clearing space helps me find stuff and ultimately be more creative in the long run. It’s like the fact I pre-make my breakfast now. I thought pouring a bowl of cereal was fine but planning ahead has made a huge difference. Love it. 🙂 Always fun to read your posts.

    • Elisa
      October 9, 2023 at 1:25 pm (2 months ago)

      I agree – a clean space also gives me a clear head that allows for more creativity! Thanks for the compliment about my posts. That means a lot to me. XO

  3. Tamara
    October 9, 2023 at 3:48 am (2 months ago)

    A vegetable chopper and a gigantic teddy ;-))))
    I once participated in a “junk drawer challenge”. Not sure what the exact purpose was, but we had fun posting the most exotic items we found.
    Good for you to clean out old stuff and make room for new things and experiences. You do know that this activity was more than a household chore, right?

    • Elisa
      October 9, 2023 at 1:27 pm (2 months ago)

      Yep! It was absolutely more than a household chore. It feels so good to accomplish something at home. if I was working, that closet would still be a mess! And yes, my mind feels free to create new things.

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