Monday, April 4, 2016

Collection Storage, Display and Organization - Series Finale

Finally, the third installation of our Collection Storage, Display and Organization series. I know I promised for this to be posted soon, but as usual I put too much on my plate, and everything just went crazy. So so sorry, dollies... I hope you will let me get away with things again ;P

For this series, I am so thankful to have our dolly friends share their stories and journey so that we can learn a thing or two and make this doll life even more colorful. It true that there is treasure everywhere, and I find them in these lovely people:

Anika, FordModolls, VanessaArianneConnieVanaDebbieTerriBriniRobertBubblesRebecaDiademaMelanEdelLeslieEliMarcelaGeorgia GirlKatieJaviKenyaJelynMichaela and of course, jSarie.

I could say that this part would be perfect for those who wouldn't have much time to read the super long part 1, or part 2, for in this post, I am aiming to summarize what works from our dear contributors, list down a few unique tips, and  finally, let you in to the dream world of our contributors, as they share their fantasy doll organization. So, let's get it on!

What works for most collectors...
Arianne's awesome doll storage system
For our dolly friends, the most popular ways to display their collection include putting them in wall-mounted or stand-alone shelves, glass or acrylic-paneled display cabinets, diorama set ups done by the collectors themselves, and their work desks. Our collectors put their dolly faith on one or a combo of these solutions to avoid dust, preserve hairdos and lashes of their dolls, and provide inspiration for everyone who comes into the doll room.

For storing dolls away when not in use or play, what seems to be the de facto in the storage solutions department are plastic storage containers, stock boxes, closets and cabinets, drawer-type containers, and shoe boxes/shoe organizers. These inexpensive containers provide safety, easy access, as well as low-maintenance storage for the dolls.

Since there's a myriad types of dolly must-haves, segregating them according the categorization that works for you is a must. For most of our dolly friends, dolly must-haves are sorted into doll clothing, shoes / footwear, jewelry, bags, hats and other head-worn accessories, diorama items and other essentials.The most popular storage solutions for doll clothing include plastic drawer-type containers, plastic bins and air-tight plastic bags for separating each clothing category.

Grouping dolls is a also common system for these collectors. When displaying or storing their collections, most of our friends separate their dolls according manufacturer/ doll type/series, by type of clothes or themed outfits, by doll features (hair color, character/sculpt, articulation, skin tone, nationality), by special selection (usually displayed in rotation), by project/ diorama setup/ photo story characters, and year released. Through segregation, it makes them easier to locate the doll they are thinking of the moment come photo shoot or play day.

Now, it seems like knowing these basics already makes us so ready to organize, or reorganize our collection, yes? But wait, before we head to the nearest office supply store to grab these storage products, we might as well want to be reminded of a few small but very important things. All these solutions can give us the ultimate benefit if the dolls are displayed or stored away in the some specific conditions as recommended dearly by our contributors.

Firstly, dolls should be stored nude, or at least in light-colored clothing, or non-staining footwear. It would help in preserving their quality if they are stored in upright, or standing position, with hair secured in hair nets, or saran wraps, and with desiccants or silica gel packs popped in each sealed container. Our dolly friends also warned us to store or display our collection away from direct sunlight, sunlit windows, or areas exposed to heat. And last but not the least, it would be nice if we store them in containers that are free from dust and acidic moisture.

Quirky tips that might work for you, too!

Some of our collectors also have special ways to organize their collection. Read on to see if you can use them, too =)

Displaying/ storing dolls in rotation is one great way to give equal love to all our dollies. Some of our friends like Edel, Ford, Kenya and jSarie love this system.

Eli suggests we repurpose materials like cardboard, rubber bands and laces that we get from our doll packaging. She cuts cardboards and slips them into doll clothes to avoid wrinkles. Eli also uses her rubber bands to make sure each of her doll shoe pairs stay together.

Speaking of recycling materials, Connie uses boxes from other packaging for storing her nude dolls upright.

I like that Connie can easily find the doll she wants in this simple yet very effective setup
Diadema also stores her doll shoes by pair, and kept in individual shoe boxes she has made herself. She also makes her own earring organizer, which is made from a sponge. She just pins her doll earrings there after using, and when she needs them again, it's so much easier to pick a pair.

Diadema's DIY shoe boxes
Speaking of DIY, Jelyn also customizes small bags for her chain necklaces. Separating them into these neat bags keeps them from tangling with one another.

Arianne reminds us to always tie together tiny ensembles like a bikini set, to save time come the next opportunity to use this pair.

Georgia Girl recommends wrapping delicate pieces in a towel, while Terri places her precious dolly foods and drinks  between cotton swabs or pieces of towel paper before storing them in tiny organizer compartments.

Dessicants are a sure-fire way to keep moisture away from our collection but Marcela has this rechargeable plush toy with silica gel in it! Rechargeable = awesome, right?

These rather personalized ways of organizing might be something worth trying, but of course as our dear doll friend Ford says, " just store them the way what works for you". I totally agree. Each one has a different lifestyle and it would be much nicer if our hobbies work around how we live our lives, right?

and finally, the Dream System...

Anika says her ultimate dream system would combine all the methods she uses. "I think I'd love a giant armoire maybe with sliding doors that can house about 8 medium sized bins. It will have at least 15 - 20 drawers to hold clothing. There would be hooks to hold all the dangling goodies.", adds Anika.

Diadema's dream doll storage is her my Diorama Boutique. "I'm still working on it though! I have the bags and shoes already placed in my diorama boutique. Dresses are hanged in the boutique cabinet as well. I'm just waiting for the dress rack and hangers to arrive, so I can have my doll storage/ boutique complete!"

Edelmo is desperate to have a toy room because he doesn't only have dolls in his collection, he has many other toys in it. "Also, the doll clothes and accessories are taking more and more space.  A room, with natural light to set a stage for photos, a well organized stock and some big cabinets to keep some dioramas would be great. Of course a big table at the center to have dolly meetings and work."

Georgia Girl defines her dream system as something where everything was accessible.  "Dolls in one area, clothes assorted by color and type (ie all pink pants together, etc), shoes color coordinated; accessories all together by type (all belts together, all necklaces, etc). "

Javi is happy with his system but it would be nice "to add more space! Haha! "

Jelyn dreams of someday placing her dolls in a shelf when she finally gets a place of her own.

Kenya is pretty happy with what she has going on right now. "I just wish I had more vertical space and shelving."

Katie imagines her dream doll storage system to be for her dolls to have a room of their own, with glass cases on the wall so she could display them without worrying about dust. "I'd also love to have some open shelving for room boxes and furniture, which is currently all jumbled together every which way. I'd love to be able to keep a few rooms set up."

Melan's dream doll storage is a full-glass display cabinet with led light.

Rebeca dreams of a small closet for clothes and a box with various holes to place each pair of shoes, each bag, sunglasses ... by color. "It would be amazing!", she says.

Robert says his dream doll storage is an entire room for his collection where he can segregate his dolls, and other items according to color, style and material.

Terri will eventually plan on buying an armoire of some kind for storage.  For the doll clothes, maybe an old library card filing system.  "What a great project flipping one of those might be!"

The other doll collectors are already living the (doll storage and organization) dream, while I, currently bunking on my son's (future) room, dream of a room where I have a small miniature downtown, full of shops, restaurants, and apartments where my dolls dwell. Yup, Lego Movie style, baby!

A blueprint of my dream doll room for my collection's storage, display and organization
This room should be well-lit, particularly of natural light so that the "town" will look realistic in my photos; so maybe this should be built on the rooftop with at least two glass walls facing each other, yes? Of course, the "town" will be at the center, and will serve as my display. The concrete walls will be filled with shelves and a combination of accessible and item type-appropriate storage systems.

Yeah, dream big, they say, right? LOL!

So, there we go, dollies! I must admit that it is really me who benefited the most from this series! Just look at my dream doll room - it's pretty much a combination of everything I learned from this series! But of course, I am hoping you also picked some from what works, some form the quirky tips, and some ideas of a future doll room. We have been so lucky to have generous contributors for this series, and the future topics to come.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you can, please drop a comment for anything you might want to add. I know that in this small community of ours, everyone has something to say, which is for sure very much appreciated.

Again, thanks to our contributors for this series and to you for dropping by! See you on the next Doll Collecting Tips topic - which is about Budgeting for your Collection.

hugs and kisses,


  1. It's great to see so many different ideas in one place! Thanks for putting this together, Shasha! :)

    1. It is my pleasure and privilege, dear.. I am so glad you like it! xoxo...

  2. This is great Shasha!!! I am so happy that you chose to do this! By the way, I love your dream doll room illustrration. That would be awesome!

    1. Hey hey, Georgia Girl! I am most happy to do this because I am actually the one who needs help in my collecting LOL! Thanks for your generous and undying support! Ahhh.. the dream doll room... I started with just the idea of the "town", then after doing this series, I want shelves around the room, too for easy styling and story telling... So exciting!!!

  3. The recapitulation is great. It helps to stay concentrated on the personal room for improvement. Love your idea for your dream room - a downtown would be so amazing!!

    1. Oh, thanks so much, Vana... yes, a downtown, complete with cafes, a park, shops would be so much fun a place to have street style photo shoot <3

  4. So many great tips and ideas from these posts--so glad you posted all of these. :)

    1. My pleasure, Leslieanne.. And this series wouldn't be possible without our generous doll friends... =) Glad you liked the post =)

  5. Hello from Spain: Fabulous proposals to see so many different ideas in one place. Great ideas and very inspiring for my collection. Your dream room is perfect and it is my dream room too. keep in touch

    1. I agree, Marta! So many ideas to try out and they're all very inspiring! =D

  6. I really enjoyed this series Shasha. My dream is to have one big room where I can set up "downtown Moreville" with shops etc. But I'd love to have room to keep some dioramas set up. It's really a pain when I have to pull them down after I do a blog post. :-)

    1. Hi Cindi... I want just the same! Sigh - if only we could also set aside budget for these aside from our beloved dolls =D


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