<< When I stand in the closet it sounds like a tin can. >>
Of course it does; you are essentially talking in a rectangular barrel. Proper miking for amateur use is the mike no more than 2" from the lips. A couple of feet away is asking for trouble.
<< from I tried it out with my XYL in the other room and she could hear me in the other room due to the echos. My voice has a tendancy to carry, probably the teacher in me. She is understanding and just doesn't want to silence me as she has her ticket as well, but doesn't want my voice echoing down the hall to the bedroom late at night. :-) >>
That's why the headset and boom mike. Forget the classroom voice and learn to speak in a conversational voice as if the person is sitting right next to you.
There is an excellent article on this subject by WB2WIK/6 if you check the previous articles listing. Well work the time to read it.