I realize this a topic that interests only a very specific group of people, but given how much time I have spent talking about it with my mommy friends, I thought it might be a good time to bring it up here.
We love, love, love American Girl at the Real OC House. Our dolls number on the embarrassing side, and then there are the clothes and accessories. Oh, my goodness, how numerous they are! But so cute, how can we resist?!? And then there are the tiny pieces to go with each outfit – the shoes, socks, undies, belts, headbands, earrings, and so on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by American Girl.
Of course, AG sells furniture you can use to “organize” the clothing. But typically, that means a small-scale armoire with space to hang the outfits (7 or 10 at the most), along with a drawer or two to put some accessories. But then the outfit doesn’t necessarily stay together. Oh, and the armoires are usually pretty pricey, too. I didn’t feel like that was a particularly useful solution for our purposes.
I had an old dresser that was in my daughter’s nursery when she was an infant. It’s too large to fit into her big girl bedroom, so she no longer uses it for her clothes. It does fit nicely into our extra bedroom (which I have hopes of eventually turning into her playroom – it’s mid-transformation right now), so I decided to use it for her American Girl dolls, clothes, furniture, etc. Each outfit gets its own Ziploc bag, either quart or gallon-sized, depending on how large or extensive it is. I use a Sharpie to write the name and description of the outfit on the outside of the bag, and tuck it into a dresser drawer. Voila! Instantly organized!
Depending on the number of outfits your little girl has, this system might work for you, too. If you don’t have an old dresser, a cupboard, cabinet, plastic bin with lid that you can tuck into a closet, or baskets that fit on a bookshelf would all work, too. The key is really the Ziplocs, as they keep everything together, allow for labeling, and take up less space than the cute but bulky and flimsy boxes the outfits come in. Plus, since they’re clear, they allow you to see the cuteness that’s inside.
Obviously do not use the plastic bags if you have younger children at home – plastic bags are not safe for kids under the age of 3. And if you have younger kids visiting, make sure they aren’t playing with the AG stuff and plastic bags unsupervised. American Girl is really for older girls, anyhow, because of all the small parts and fragile pieces.
If anyone else has tips on storing doll clothing, please feel free to share. I love comments!