The Challenges of a Big Collection: Storage Struggles

I mentioned in my last post that I've been spending some time on getting organized lately.  Yesterday I worked quite a bit on organizing the hall closet, which has been converted into doll sales and repair storage.

It's no longer a hall closet... it's a doll closet.  Heh.

Anyway, today I wanted to finish organizing that closet, but first I need my toolbox out of there.  Not my doll repair toolbox, but my regular toolbox.  I have had plans to move those tools to the garage, but first I needed to make a space for them.

So today we worked on the garage.  And what was supposed to be a quick rearranging of things turned into a full afternoon of working on the garage, because I decided I also wanted to clear some more shelf space for storing doll items, and make a place for our recycling station.

This is what I accomplished this weekend.  The pictures of the hall closet show my progress yesterday, Saturday.  The labeled turquoise bins contain stuff I plan to sell and the bins on the tiny top shelf of the hall closet contain doll show things, primarily payment things (price tags, receipt books, Square reader, PayPal signage, etc.).  I have craft bins and crates of doll repair supplies that will go where the toolbox and records are now.

At the very bottom of the picture, you can barely see the bags of stuff in front of the bookcase that I still need to go through, the messy bottom shelf that still needs some bins to organize it, and the messy bunch of photography backdrops and supplies that represents another project or three.  Hopefully in the next couple of days, that'll all be organized too, and I'll share some more pictures then.

I also have an IKEA stair step Trofast that is perfect for utilizing the awkward closet space back under the stairs, but I still need to replace the bins in the middle section with shelves for easier access.  I'll be using those shelves for storing the larger 50s dolls that I need to work on and sell.  I'm hoping shelves will make those dolls more accessible when there are crates stacked on the opposite wall right in front of the Trofast.

The next picture shows the shelving down one side of the garage.  It's not especially good shelving but was there when I moved in.  I got rid of a bunch of stuff I no longer wanted that was on those shelves, reorganized, and opened up some more space for doll things.  It's not done yet, but it's a lot better than it was.  (Not shown is the recycling station, which is closer to the door.  Also, in the excess space in front of the car is sturdy metal garage shelving with some of my big AG playsets.)

Storage is always at a premium when you have a big collection, especially when you have a big collection of big dolls.  I consider 18" dolls to be pretty big, considering when I collected 50s dolls, most of my collection of was 8" dolls.  Plus, AG has so many big playsets, and I want them all!  Until we get a bigger house, I need to make better use of the space I have.  Picture Mary Poppins's bag, but instead, a condo full of dolls!

I'll share more progress pictures soon, especially as I get into the doll room itself.  I know that a lot of people want to know how to organize doll rooms and large collections, and whether it's possible in a small space.  It's definitely tight, and I have to utilize every inch of storage space in my two-bedroom, 1,000 square foot condo and one-car garage!



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