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While American Girl makes the best dolls in the world, there are better storage options from other companies, particularly if you have a large collection. American Girl offers a Two-doll tote which retails for $32. It will hold two dolls and some clothes and accessories. But, if you have a large collection, you will need a lot of them. The tote is made for transporting the dolls, which is not a concern for most adult collectors who just want to store the dolls at home.
Then, there is the American Girl Keepsake Box at $50. It holds one doll and has 3 large drawers and 4 small ones, but again, if you have a large collection, you would be hard-pressed to fit everything in it. For example, if you own all the outfits ever made for Kit, you wouldn’t get her stuff in the Keepsake Box. Kit has had 22 outfits over the years, including her new Special Edition Outfit; she has had 19 pairs of shoes, to say nothing of hair ties, hats, and accessories. I would be hard-pressed to get all of my Kit stuff in just one Keepsake Box. I currently have 10 dolls and an average of a couple dozen outfits for each. If I used the Keepsake boxes, I would either have to cram the stuff in or buy more than one box per doll.
The best storage for the price that I have found is made by Our Generation, the Target version of American Girl dolls. It is called the Our Generation Wooden Wardrobe and currently retails for $64.99, but the first 3 or 4 of them I bought were only $50. It is not intended that you store the doll in the closet, so the available space is all for clothes and accessories. I don’t know about you, but I like to put the dolls out on display. I don’t want my dolls hidden away in a closet or box. I just bought 2 closets in January 2015. I ordered them online and got free shipping. At certain times of the year, they are sold out in the stores and can be hard to find. The reason I ordered online in January, instead of getting them at my local Target store, is all 3 of the stores within a 15 mile radius of my house were sold out. I notice, however, that the online option is no longer available and this closet is now available in stores only.
I really like that there is a bar like a real closet so that you can hang the clothes up. American Girl sells hangers for the clothes, but their storage units have no place to hang anything up! Even in the days when they were selling the wonderful trunks for storage, you would have to fold the clothes. I bought Kirsten’s rosemaled trunk because it is so beautiful and it contains her bed. But, I have to fold everything up and I just can fit her stuff in, since I have her entire collection. Since Kirsten is retired, I don’t need room for expansion, so I am satisfied to keep Kirsten’s stuff in her trunk. But, I really do prefer to hang the clothes up. They get less wrinkled and you avoid the creases from folding.
In addition, to space for hanging the clothes, the Our Generation closet has a large drawer where you can place pants, hats and small accessories. On the left side, there are five cubbyholes where you can put hair ties, accessories and shoes and socks. I have complete collections for Kirsten, Samantha and Nellie, new Samantha, Kit and Ruthie, Molly and Emily, Ivy and Mia. I need a lot of storage, so I now have six closets!
I find one closet will hold about two dozen outfits, including shoes and hair accessories. One of my closet holds all of Samantha’s things, since she has 22 outfits and 11 pairs of shoes. It is the same situation with Molly. She has a whopping 24 outfits and 18 pairs of shoes! Nellie and Emily can easily share. One of my closets houses new Samantha’s clothes and Ivy’s. Kit and Ruthie share a closet, but I must admit, it’s getting a bit tight. If Kit gets many more new outfits, Ruthie may have to move in with Nellie and Emily. I have acquired a lot of Today and My outfits for Mia, so she needs a closet of her own.
Incidentally, I love that the Our Generation closets stack easily and securely. Because I need so many closets, space is an issue. You can stack two closets very nicely, and they really are very attractive, I think. There is another version of the same closet. Instead on the plain white front, it is a pink pattern. Very pretty.
In addition to the Our Generation Wooden Wardrobe, I have a 9-cube shelf with cloth bins that I can put small furniture, hats and many large accessories that won’t fit in the closets. The really big stuff, like tables and chairs, I keep in the room’s full-size closet or when all else fails, under the bed. I hope this is helpful. If any of you have wonderful storage ideas for your American Doll collections, please share them.