While closets as we know them are relatively new to the storage scene, people have always had a need for a place to put their stuff. Ancient Egyptians stored their possessions in reed baskets, and any Roman soldier worth his weapons had an armorium, a crude wooden box, to store them in when he wasn’t fighting.
Caskets and coffers came on to the scene in the 14th century, and those ultimately morphed into the armoire that we are familiar with today. And while it wasn’t unusual for European royalty to have rooms of clothing, the concept of the walk-in closet didn’t come to light until much later. By the 1950s, however, even modest homes had reach-in closets for storage.
Today, closets are as important in American homes as kitchens and bathrooms. And while humble in its origins, today’s closet can be full of nooks, crannies, cubbies and shelves, not to mention chandeliers and islands.
Chances are there are several closets in your home or office that you pass by daily. Stop a minute and take a look. You’ll see that your closets offer more than just a place to throw your stuff.
Schools and offices have numerous supply closets for storing…wait for it…supplies. But if you think about it, what is the pantry or spice cabinet, really, other than a supply closet? Got a stash of craft supplies for yourself or your kids? They’re probably in some kind of supply cabinet. Whether at work or at home, the challenge with these spaces is how to organize the numerous small items that are typically kept in them, says Lasting Order’s Amy Payne.
“Organized supply closets can be a timesaver because they give you a quick glimpse of items on hand, as well as items in short supply,” Payne says.
In 1872, according to the Godey’s Lady’s Book, every lady of the house wanted her linen closet located on a wall next to a chimney where a fire burned daily to keep mildew from growing in household linens. Today’s linen closets usually are situated in or near a bathroom, but they still contain tablecloths, sheets, towels and other household linens.
Purging these spaces once in a while prevents the accumulation of torn, old and stained items, and helps keep them neat. Grouping like items is key for organized storage, Payne says.
Mark Twain may have coined the saying, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes,” but for we Hoosiers, that is the honest-to-goodness truth! As a result, we own long coats, short coats, raincoats, capes, jackets, vests and an assortment of hats, gloves and earmuffs to keep us warm and dry in anything Mother Nature throws at us. Thank heavens for the coat closet. Not only is it a place to keep your personal outerwear, it’s a bonus for storing coats when visitors drop by.
The challenge with this closet, Payne says, is that too often we don’t throw away out-grown coats or items that have exceeded their stylistic expiration date.
“An occasional purge will help keep this closet neat,” Payne says, “and if you donate the unwanted items you can help keep someone else warm and dry, too.”
The word “closet” has been around since the 17th century, but then it was a term for a small, private room that was adjacent to a bedroom where a (usually wealthy) person could go read, pray or enjoy works of art in private. Over time that concept grew into the storage spaces we know today.
“Closets are one of the most important spaces in our homes, and one of the easiest to get out of hand,” Payne says. “But you can have a serene space if you take time to organize it.”
If you look at trends in closets, you’ll find many of them now feature sofas or cushioned niches for relaxing, as well as infinite options for storing clothes, shoes and accessories. It seems what comes around, goes around.
Want to know more about closet storage solutions? Check out our blogs at lasting order.net for tips and suggestions for keeping your closets in order.
Don’t let your closets get you down. Call us at (812) 858-2457 today for a free phone consultation on creatively organizing your storage spaces!
Written by Lee Ann Roeder for Lasting Order