My dolls are displayed in rotating groups, so my storage system was organized to decrease the time spent changing displays and increase the time enjoying the results.

For practical reasons, organized storage requires less space, is more portable and easier to modify as the collection evolves.

The basic system:

Most dolls are kept in their original boxes without unnecessary packing materials or shipping boxes

Dressed dolls without boxes are wrapped in tissue and stored together

Fashion dolls of similar scale are stored near each other

Play line dolls are mixed together and undressed

Clothing and accessories are separated by scale and also manufacturer if that’s helpful

Clothes are further sorted by style within each group

Clothes from a doll line that works as well or better on dolls from other lines, are further separated by:

body shape (the baby doll style dress that looks naughty on one doll looks suitably sweet on another)

style (a sparkling gown looks sophisticated on one doll, but cheap on another)

Rarely used pieces of the collection stored separately in a different bin or at the bottom of a container to:

avoid spending time sorting through them to find what I want

reconsider later for resale or to use in a new way

Apart from practicality, my system helped me to increase creativity and satisfaction as I:

enjoy using what I have

spend less time fixating on the next “Holy Grail”

now find it easier to stick to a budget


Organizing may help to discover:

forgotten or mislaid items

unnecessary duplicates or similarities

what might be added to make the collection more practical or complete

new, growing or discontinued patterns in the collection

With an inventory list the collection can be reviewed at any time to:

recall the contents of each container

reconsider pieces in the collection to modify, sell, auction, donate or toss

monitor items as they are loaned, swapped, sold, auctioned or donated

consider options for insurance or shipping

Additional containers can be used for:

old or used dolls that need to be cleaned, modified, etc.

items to sell, auction, or donate

doll stands, furniture, backdrops, etc.

fabric, ribbons, strings, beads and pieces of old jewelry to make accessories