Monday, January 20, 2014

When the dolls take over

The girls don't have much space for toys in their bedrooms.  Well, Allie has more room but won't once we place a desk in there.  Emily's room is very narrow (you can't fit a bed sideways) so there's definitely no area for toys.  Although, she does keep a few in there.  Almost all of their toys are stored in the playroom or the play area in the basement.  I like for things to be organized and neat, which doesn't always happen around here for obvious reasons.

I found this in the family room the other day.


"Emily, why are all of your doll things spread out here?"
"I'm pretending it's their room."

I'd rather have them playing than watching tv or asking to use my phone or computer so I usually let it be.  Until the end of the day, when it all has to be cleaned up.

The girls each have a bin in the playroom for their American Girl doll stuff.  That was fine at first but now that they've accumulated more clothes and accessories, the bins are messy.  I know that it's cumbersome to have to dig through the bins to find a specific item.



I'm still trying to come up with a better storage solution.  I LOVE these doll wardrobes but that would be $90 x 3.  We also need to straighten out the girls' rooms with respect to furniture first.  Big things should come before little things.  Right now, they are using the headboards and footboards converted from their cribs, which are very rickety, and they really don't have bedroom furniture, just a mish mash of things.  I really want to start with the floors first (big things before little things) but there's no time for that now.  (One day, I will replace the carpet with hardwood.)  It's weird because we moved here when the girls were six months old, which meant that we were in survival mode.  Survival mode because we had three babies turned into survival mode because Rich and I were both working and we had three toddlers.  When you're in survival mode, things like flooring and furniture and decorating your home move to the very end of the list and then you seem to forget about them because something else always seems to come up.

I'm thinking that the playroom will become more focused on doll stuff this next year.  The girls have transitioned to mainly playing with dolls, Barbies and sometimes stuffed animals.  Here and there, they'll pull out other toys - Squinkies are mostly used as marshmallows in tea cups.

Doll related - I bought this table and chairs for the girls for Christmas.  The three items together cost less than $30.  We also have a wooden bench that Grammy picked up at a second hand store for $2 or so.  


Allie asked me to make a tablecloth for it.  She's really into playing restaurant and tea party.  The bare table also works well as a school desk.

I suppose this whole "getting organized" with respect to toys just goes along with my desire to finally have a decorated, organized home.  It's been six years and I sometimes feel like we haven't really made this house ours.  I thought it would be easy because we didn't have to tear out bathrooms or replace horsehair plaster with drywall like we did in our other house.  Funny how three little ones can redefine "easy."


Merks said...

What about making something like this?

You could get one of the billy bookcases from IKEA and put it on it's side with bars so it's easier for the girls to reach. Or just get a few lower bookcases.

nicole said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one crammed into too small of a space without toy storage! My twins also have way too many American Girl doll accessories and when you add Rainbow Loom to the mix it looks like a tornado hit!

maureen said...

I have four daughters who love American Girl dolls! I bought each one of my girls a plastic-three-drawer organizer at Walmart. They are about 10 inches wide and 30 inches tall. I used my labeler (is that a word?) and labeled each drawer Hair Stuff, Clothes, Shoes & Accessories. It really helps when I ask them to clean up and the drawers are easy to move from the bedrooms to the basement, or wherever they want to play with them.

Good luck with tax season this year. I am already feeling the crunch and we barely started!!

Anonymous said...

My almost five year old just got this wardrobe for Christmas from Target.

Still 50 x 3, but better than 90 x 3! It is very pretty, and she loves the little seat that comes with it.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the ideas!

Ah, Rainbow Loom elastics. All over the house!!!

Pink Apple Rose Boutique said...

I've seen a simple cubbie from Target turned into a doll rod unit by adding a pressure rod for the hangers.

Or a shelf with cup hooks to hold a dowel and the clothes hangers hang on the dowel.

Or something like this:

Charlotte said...

you can find some idee for dolls here : and make a search for american dolls.

Erica K. said...

I personally liked to keep all my doll outfits organized and together. I didn't like mixing and matching. My mom would go to the dollar store and buy big ziplock bags and I would put each outfit in a ziplock bag so it was all together. I wouldn't close the ziplock bags either so that air wasn't getting packed with them so I had even more space in those exact bins to store all my ziplocked outfits. Hope that helps a little bit :)

Hayley Cason said...

As a nineteen-year-old who had (well, still have) five american girl dolls and way too many clothes, I found the wardrobes to be terrible. My mom got me two nightstands and they were perfect for my five dolls. Maybe one nightstand each? They wouldn't be as expensive and they're bigger/easier to use than the wardrobes. In my opinion.

Leslie said...

We've been through all kinds of doll organization. My daughter is 9 and has 6 AG dolls - we didn't buy all of them! She actually saved and bought two of them herself, and she won Caroline at Barnes and Noble. Anyway, I post this on my blog about how we finally organized the clothes and it has worked really well. I've noticed it keeps the clothes nicely organized, and when she goes to a friend's house, she can grab the bags of clothes that she wants to bring.

It also was fairly inexpensive to put together.