Spring Cleaning Bash: Master Closet

Last Wednesday, I announced that I would be participating in a special Northwest Blogger Spring Cleaning Bash. As the month progresses, you can keep an eye for subsequent posts over at the Spring Cleaning Bash page. Additionally, you might be interested to follow our joint Frugal Spring Cleaning Pinterest board.

I’m excited to be going first and tackling the Master Closet. This seems like a good place to start because for most of us, it’s where we start the day: picking out something to wear. I don’t know about you, but this sort of thing can make me very grumpy indeed:

100_7249 (600x800)I came up with a new saying a couple days ago: Messy is Stressy. And nothing is stressy-ier than walking over all this stuff just to get to my clothes:

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There really isn’t a magic solution to cleaning this crap. Basically, you’re going to chug down a cup or two of coffee, crank up the music, put on your game face and get to work and stop making excuses. In my case, I pretty much HAD to start with clearing off the floor because I couldn’t get to anything else without taking care of that step first! What was on the floor, you wonder? Here are a few nuggets:

  • Random socks. (There were a few happy moments when I realized singleton socks could now be reunited with their missing partner.)
  • Easter eggs, some broken, some intact. (Don’t ask.)
  • A tube of half-shredded gift wrap. (Not sure how this got in my closet.)
  • Hangers. All kinds.
  • Workout clothes.
  • Other miscellaneous stuffs. 

So small vent. Ever notice how when you go to “clean” stuff ends up getting messier in the process? So “yay” I cleaned up my closet floor, but then for awhile this was my bathroom:

100_7260 (800x742)Once I had the floor cleaned, I decided I really needed to have my workout clothes more accessible in the closet. Having them in a bin in the back of the closet has resulted in me basically “tossing” clean piles of workout clothes in a heap back there because I couldn’t walk over all the stuff to get to said bin. Plus, I’m working out a lot more these days and it’s an important goal of mine to stay fit. So, let’s make sweats, shorts, and running shirts easier to find! This was also a good opportunity to go through all those workout clothes I don’t wear anymore. I had a few shorts where the elastic was all crumbly. Time to say buh-bye.

100_7257 (599x800)Next, time to look at the shoes. I have so many that I never wear and that were dust covered! Some of them I paid good money for back in the day I worked in an office, but don’t get worn at all anymore. I laid them all out so I could see what I had and decide what to keep.

100_7264 (731x800)Then I cleaned off my shoe rack and thoughtfully put the pairs back on I had plans to wear. The others went in the donate pile.

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Now that I had everything up off the floor, I could get to the back of my closet, which is where I keep my toiletries stockpile. That includes shampoos, soap, tooth care, deodorant, and the like. I carefully went through everything and put together a nice bag’s worth of excess that I’ll be donating. I prefer to keep this stuff neat and tidy – there is no reason to have 600 things of toothpaste!

I also went through all my purses, and cleaned them out. In the process, I found checkbooks, stamps, coins, and other random useful stuff. I also organized my scarves. Here’s what the back of my closet looks like now:

100_7263 (600x800)One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is how I’m dressing. I feel I’m more apt to throw on a t-shirt and jeans, but I’d love to step it up a bit! So once everything was cleaned out, I went through all of my clothes and put together a huge donate pile of the stuff I no longer wear (or no longer should wear). I realized in this process I’m a bit of a clothes hoarder! I found a couple dresses from high school as well as t-shirts that were pushing 15 years old. Yikes!

After all my sorting was done, I decided to put my “cutest” clothing options front and center. I also worked on putting the “cute for spring” options most prominently. After all – I’m spending all this time working out, so I should dress nice, right? What’s the point of getting fit if you’re just going to throw yourself in baggy jeans and a sweatshirt?

100_7269 (677x800)I would say the whole project took me less than two hours start to finish and I was left inspired to put outfits together! The only thing I’d like to put in there now is maybe a nice smelly air freshener to keep the air sweet in there.

Here’s a view of the cleaned closet:

100_7270 (600x800)And one more view:

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There’s one last part of this post I’m excited to share with you. See, I had some nicer clothing, shoes, and handbags I wanted to donate.

100_7267 (800x603)I wanted to be able to pass these onto someone who could really use some nicer clothing. Immediately I thought of my friends at WWEE (Washington Women’s Employment & Education). WWEE is one of my most favorite non-profit organizations in the Puget Sound! Here’s what they do:

WWEE empowers women and men to create better lives for themselves and their families.  We accomplish this by teaching them the skills to find – and keep – jobs that provide a genuine living wage.  On the work front, WWEE teaches job-readiness, computer and workplace skills training.  On the home front, we help with housing assistance and support services to low-income residents of Pierce and King Counties

WWEE has this great closet of professional clothes for their participants to choose from so they look nice for job interviews, internships, etc. What better place to donate my clothing to? Here’s a look in their closet:

WWEEIf you are cleaning out your closet and have some items that are more suitable for a work environment, please consider bringing it by WWEE! In speaking to Janie, the Development Director, this week, women’s sizes 18-24 and women’s shoes 10-11 are in particular demand. They also accept men’s clothing!

Janine shared with me this photo of one of the WWEE participants “before:”

wwee2And “after” selecting some clothes from the WWEE closet:

wwee3Talk about a win-win, right? I get a clean closet and I get to help folks out in the process, too. If you are interested to learn more about WWEE or make your own clothing donation, please visit WWEE’s website. Their life-changing program was also featured on Kiro 7 News back in December.

So there you have it! One clean closet! Now, I wish I could say the rest about my house, but one room/space at a time, right? Make sure to follow along with the rest of the Northwest Bloggers Spring Cleaning Bash through March!


  1. says

    Nice job Angela! I hate having the mess while you are cleaning, it always stresses me out. I really like how you organized your shoes. Thanks so much for starting us off!

  2. says

    You inspired me. I cleaned out my drawers/closet and tossed some things and created a pile to donate. I had a baby in late December and while pregnant I didn’t want to spend much on maternity clothes and luckily fit in most things all the way through but I decided to sort through everything afterwards. Not only do I own my favorites now, but they are nicely folded and as we keep working to get debt free over the next few months I can start to draft a list of what I really want to own when I have more clothing budget.

  3. says

    Thank you so much for sharing WWEE. My mom just recently gave away a bunch of blazers and work items, and I was wishing I had some place like this to take them. I will definitely remember this post for the future.


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