If you’ve ever owned a home that was built a century or more ago, you know that, though such homes are often amazingly well constructed, their owners find themselves forever short of closet space. (And electrical outlets, but that’s another story.)

I’d always assumed that, I don’t know, people had fewer clothes then, or they liked buying armoires, or wardrobes. (Those old wooden ones are beautiful. And you can now get lovely antique ones for cheap, since no one thinks to use them anymore.)

But I recently discovered the answer to the closet mystery that I didn’t know existed. I was on a tour of the Edward Steves Homestead, a three-story Victorian mansion in San Antonio, Texas.  According to the tourguide, back in Victorian times, houses were taxed based on the number of rooms within — and closets were counted as rooms!

Talk about tax policies having unintended impacts on people’s lives.

So there you have it. If you decide to buy a Victorian, this can be a fun fact you pass on to your houseguests, as you show them to the armoire.