The History of Closets and Why We Have Them Today

closet to home office

Do you ever stop to think about where the closet came from and why we have them today? Chances are, you probably don’t give it much thought but the history of closets is actually quite interesting. Join us as we explore how closets came about and why they’re such an integral part of our homes today.

Most people nowadays take closets for granted. They’re just a standard part of almost every home but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the first closets were actually quite rare and reserved for the very wealthy. So, how did we go from having no closets to having them in just about every home? Let’s take a look. 

The History of Closets

The first recorded reference to a closet was in the 13th century when an English royal court member mentioned a “closet” or “privy”. At this time, closets were actually just small rooms or chambers where people could go to relieve themselves in privacy. It wasn’t until later on that closets began to be used for storage. 

The word “closet” itself comes from the French word “claustre” which means secluded place. This likely refers to the fact that early closets were used as privies where people could enjoy some privacy away from others. Over time, the meaning of the word changed to refer to a small room or space in general, not just one that was used as a privy. 

The closet as we know it today originated in the 1500s during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Before then, clothes were simply stored in chests or on hooks on the wall. However, Queen Elizabeth was a bit of a fashionista, and she wanted a place to store her vast wardrobe (which included over 3,000 dresses!). As a result, she commissioned her carpenters to build her a “press,” which was basically a large cabinet with shelves. This press became known as the “Queen’s closet.”

The Queen’s closet was so popular that it soon caught on with the rest of the nobility, and eventually made its way into middle-class homes as well. Today, closets are an essential part of any home, and we can thank Queen Elizabeth for that! 

It wasn’t until the 16th century that closets became common in English households. Before that, most people simply didn’t have the space for them. However, as houses began to get bigger and families grew larger, there was more of a need for storage space and so closets became more commonplace. 

The Present

Today, closets come in all shapes and sizes. They can be anything from a small nook with a few shelves to a large walk-in closet with enough space to store everything you own. No matter what size or shape your closet is, one thing is for sure – they’re here to stay!

Closets are such an integral part of our homes today that it’s hard to imagine life without them. However, they weren’t always so common. In fact, early closets were actually quite rare and reserved for only the wealthiest of households. But as homes got bigger and families grew larger, there was more of a need for storage space and so closets became more commonplace. Today many people upgrade their closets by getting a custom closet which gives them much more storage space. The custom closet comes in all shapes and sizes but one thing is for sure – they give you lots of storage space and keep you organized! So the next time you’re looking for something to wear, take a moment to think about the history of closets and appreciate your closet and all it has to offer!