10 Awesome Things I Found When I Cleaned Out My ClosetElizabeth Brown

Photo via Visual Photos

I live in a tiny bungalow apartment in Hollywood with my husband, dog and three cats.

It’s a seriously tight squeeze and when it comes to storage space, my 6’x1′ closet is pretty much all we’ve got.  Anything that we don’t want just sitting out in the open gets tossed in my closet – back and to the left.

Something took hold of me last week and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to clean out my closet for the first time in about 7 years.  My “Journey to the Center of the Closet” consisted of 72 full hours of dragging, dumping, sorting – and skeletons are the LEAST of what I found. What I didn’t expect, though, were all of the pleasant surprises. Cleaning out your closet is like an episode of “This Is Your Life” and just like life, it ain’t all bad.

Check out 10 awesome things I found when I cleaned out my closet:

1. Fake Beard: I bought this beard two years ago when I was taping a video sketch with some friends in 2009. I still can’t decide if it suits me or not. I’d probably better hang onto it for another two years.

Photo by Liz Brown

2. My Passport: Good thing I haven’t left the country since my honeymoon. If I’d needed to pull off a bank heist and then flee to the Cayman Islands I would have been totally screwed.

3. Frog Purse! One of the crafty old dames from the Ladies’ Auxiliary in my hometown of Northfield, Vermont made this and I still think it’s pretty awesome. I’m definitely using it as my handbag if I ever get to walk a red carpet out here in Hollywood.

Photo by Liz Brown

4. A Cat: My little manx kitty Scooter loves to hang out in my closet. I don’t blame her. It’s kind of the only place in the house where she can get a little bit of privacy. She sleeps right above where I hang my clothes, which means everything I wear is pretty much covered in shed cat fur. I try to pass it off as a “look”.

by Liz Brown

5. Free Weights: Oh! Yay! My weights! So I can start, like, exercising again and stuff. Like—every day. Awesome. *Looks around suspiciously and then tosses the free weights into the back of the closet with a resounding tha-thunk.*

6. Christmas Wrapping Paper: When I bought one roll of wrapping paper too many last Christmas, I was determined to hang onto it until this Christmas to save the $3.50. Unfortunately, my cat Scooter decided to use it as a scratching post.  Lesson learned closet organization gods – I am not in a spatial position to offer $3.50 worth of a wrapping paper a 12 month lease.

7. Ka-Ching: An unused $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble? Seriously? This has been in here for HOW long? This must be what people with savings accounts feel like!

8. My Secret Obsession: Apparently, I’m a greeting card hoarder. I buy adorable, expensive, clever embossed greeting cards which I never send. Oh look – there’s an unsent “Happy Mother’s Day” card right next to an unsent “Happy Birthday Mom” card. Yikes. I think I need to send my mom some flowers.

Photo by Liz Brown

9.  Master of Disaster: Look! It’s my unframed diploma for earning my Masters Degree in Social Welfare! It is likely the only thing that I will ever own that’s worth $60,000!

10. 10 Paper Grocery Bags full of garbage: They weigh at least five pounds a bag which means that my closet just lost 50 pounds. Beat that “exercise and good nutrition”.



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  1. @Sue Got my Masters in Social Work from UCLA. I wouldn’t recommend it! :)

    Liz Brown | 8/22/2011 03:08 pm
  2. where’s your master’s from?

    not that the article wasn’t amazing, i’m just in the process of looking into grad school.

  3. @Angela You read my mind! I can’t believe I didn’t include that in the piece! ;)

  4. Have the chorus of Eminem’s “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” stuck in my head now…

  5. Fake moustaches, pfff… It’s full on fake beards all the way!

  6. I’m into the beard as well, but what really got me excited was that frog purse.

  7. @Marilyn You know those stuffed animals are going to find their way back to your house and attempt revenge for the trashbag incident, right? :)

  8. Sounds like quite the therapeutic purge!

  9. The beard of slimming. Definitely keep it.Been through the same experience having to downsize for a move. My childhood stuffies laid an awesome guilt trip on me for thinking of donating them to our local thrift store. It worked for a while but accusatory stares aren’t as effective through heavy duty garbage bags.

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