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You just purchased your first Annalee doll (or maybe it’s your 65th). Whatever the quantity, you want to make sure your doll remains in good condition after you put it away for the season. Annalee dolls are both a joyful pursuit as well as an investment. Keeping your dolls safe while stored away is key to enjoying them later while on display. The ultimate goal should be to protect your dolls so you can enjoy them season after season for years to come.
The felt and wire frame construction of Annalee Dolls requires that you store them carefully for safe keeping. Foremost, make sure your dolls are clean before storing away. This will ensure they stay in quality condition. (See our blog post “How to Clean Your Annalee Dolls.”) Proper storage also will avoid excess dust and dirt from harming the dolls.
It’s important to note that different climates may require specific consideration! Our tips should be used as guidelines, but ultimately the collector needs to use his or her best judgment when it comes to storage methods.
For the best care, we recommend storing your dolls in breathable archival storage boxes. Unlike cardboard or wood boxes, these containers are acid-free and will not harm your dolls. Make sure you don’t overpack the boxes, giving your dolls plenty of space to breathe. This protects their shape, clothing, and accessories. We also recommend wrapping each doll in acid-free tissue paper or cloth for further protection.
We do not recommend storing your dolls in plastic containers. Plastic storage boxes are more likely to attract moisture, which can cause mold and mildew. However, if there are cross ventilation holes with screens over the holes (to keep bugs out) this has worked well for some collectors. Just remember, tightly packed plastic bins with no air flow lock in moisture which could be extremely harmful to cloth dolls. So if plastic containers (or cardboard or wood) are your only option for storage, make sure that they have proper ventilation so that air circulates into the box. We do not recommend storing your dolls in plastic bags inside any type of storage container. For our customers who insist on storing their designs in the Annalee polybags that they’re shipped in, we encourage these bags to be left open at the top and not packed too tightly in the container.
Wherever you choose to store your dolls, keep them out of direct sunlight and in dark or dimly lit, climate-controlled areas. Closets and closed cabinets are ideal for storage. Storing your dolls in enclosed or low-traffic areas will keep away dust and other dangers such as pets and bugs. This will help keep your dolls secure and protected.
Places with dramatic changes in temperature are not ideal for storage (such as attics, garages, and unfinished basements). These areas are more apt to attract moisture, dirt, and pests. Remember, Annalee dolls are made of felt cloth. Bugs can easily put holes in the dolls and their costumes if they are not protected. We also recommend using a bug repellent, such as moth balls or flakes, in the area where you store your dolls. Dryer sheets are also known to keep the real mice at bay!
Before storing your dolls, remember to inspect them for dirt, bugs, or damage. Make sure your hands are clean or wear gloves when getting dolls ready for storage. The better the condition of your dolls when in storage, the more enjoyment you’ll have later when you place them on display. Make sure you protect your Annalee dolls properly so that your investment, and all those Annalee smiles, will last a lifetime.