Think of the houses built before the 1970s. Most of them had closets smaller than the ones we see in homes built today. In many cases, the older the home was the smaller the closet was. Before the turn of the century, many homes had no closet at all! Clothes were folded and stored in a trunk or chest of drawers. In fact, the clothes hanger wasn’t even invented until 1869, after which people started hanging their clothes in armoires or freestanding wardrobes.
Today, many people like to buy older neighborhood homes and renovate them. For these homeowners, one of the first projects to tackle is expanding the tiny closets that have almost no storage space. The closet door is small and the space behind it is the same size as the door that opens into it.
But have you ever wondered why? It’s because that was ENOUGH! People used to have far fewer articles of clothing than what we have today. When I ask my audiences what a good-sized closet is today, they invariably say a walk-in closet and some even laugh and say an entire room.
Entitlement is a word that is freely thrown around to describe and place judgment on the Millennial generation. However, I’d say that today we
ALL could be described as entitled – especially by the generations before us!
Think about it. How many of you would be willing to pare down your clothes so they’d fit in a 3’x2’ closet like our grandparents once used? Oh, and don’t forget Grandma and Grandpa shared that space. Most of us – including myself – would not be very happy if we couldn’t have 2 (or 10) pairs of our favorite jeans, as well as shirts and shoes for every season in every color.
That’s not a Millennial thing. We all, dare I say, feel entitled to a closet with enough space to accommodate our expanded wardrobes. In this scenario, do you see how what you probably view as a reasonable expectation, others from previous generations would consider a luxury? So the next time you find yourself thinking “Those darned Millennials are so entitled!” – take a second and think about what’s in your closet.
About the Author: Leah Brown is a Talent Retention Strategist for Crescendo Strategies, a Louisville-based firm committed to reducing unnecessary employee turnover for clients across multiple industries. Leah is a contributing author to the recently released book, Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave and How to Keep Them Longer, available on Amazon.