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Modern closets can be built into the walls of the house during construction so that they take up no apparent space in the bedroom, or they can be large, free-standing pieces of furniture designed for clothing storage, in which case they are often called wardrobes or armoires. Closets are often built under stairs, thereby using awkward space that would otherwise go unused.
In current British and Pakistan usage, a wardrobe can also be built-in, and the words "cupboard" or walk-in-wardrobe can be used to refer to a closet. In Elizabethan and Middle English, closet referred to a larger room in which a person could sit and read in private, but now refers to a small room in general. In Indian usage, a closet often refers to a toilet. This probably originated from the word water closet, which refers to a flush toilet.
Broom closet: A closet with top to bottom space used for storing brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, cleaning supplies, buckets, etc.
Coat closet: A closet located near the front door. Usually used to store coats, jackets, hoodies, sweatshirts, gloves, hats, scarfs, and boots/shoes. This kind of closet sometimes has shelving. It only has a rod and some bottom space used for clothes stored in boxes or drawers. Some may have a top shelf for storage above the rod.
Linen closet: A tall, narrow closet with shelves in a bathroom used for storing towels, sheets, washcloths, and toiletries.
Utility closet: A closet most commonly used to house appliances and cleaning supplies
Walk-in closet: A storage room with enough space for someone to stand in it while accessing stored items
Wall closet: A wall closet is a closet in a bedroom that is built into the wall. It may be closed by curtains or folding doors, which clothes can be stored folded on shelves.
Wardrobe: A wardrobe is a small closet used for storing clothes.
Pantry: A pantry is a closet or cabinet in a kitchen used for storing food, dishes, linens, and provisions. The closet may have shelves for putting food on.
Custom closet: A custom closet is a custom made closet that fits the room in your house.
Closet tax question in colonial America
Though some sources claim that colonial American houses often lacked closets because of a "closet tax" imposed by the British crown, others argue that closets were absent in most houses simply because their residents had few possessions.
- Wire shelving: Moderately difficult to install, wire shelves cannot hold much weight without giving in, but are cheap.
- Wood shelving: Difficult to install, wood shelving is sturdier and more expensive than wire.
- Tube shelving: Easy to install, tube shelving involves few pieces and requires no cutting or measuring.
- AskOxford: closet
- "Old Stone House". National Park Service.
- "Stuff and Nonsense". The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Association.
- "Wire Shelving vs Wood Shelving", by Mark J. Donovan, HomeAdditionPlus.com
- "Choosing the best closet system", from ConsumerReports.org