Someone asked me on another website how I've documented my collection, so I am reposting it here.
I am very, very anal-retentive when it comes to my dolls. After about three years of collecting both vintage items (pre-1979) and the newer items I was buying (this would have been by the late 80s) and (gasp!) taking them out of the box, I knew I had to start documenting them. I am very, very glad that I did.
For the outfits, I put each separate one, plus its accessories, in clear plastic Ziploc bags, and then wrote which doll it was for, the stock number and/or name, and the year on it. For my dolls, each one has a little hand tag on her wrist. You can buy these at an office supply store.
Also, I had some recipe card file boxes and I used index cards to write the name of the doll or outfit on it, and if I still had it, I attached my receipt. My goal is to someday transfer the information on the index cards to a computer disc, but that may have to wait until if and when I retire. Right now all the cards are alphabetized in the recipe card file. (I've never used the boxes for recipes--I'm not much of a cook.)
Oh, and whenever I bought a doll, I photographed her and put the photo and her name in an album. (Again, I started doing this in the 1980s.)
I may well be the only person on the planet who has done this. People ask me all the time how is that I know so much about the 70s, 80s and 90s playline dolls and outfits, and it's mainly because of the documentation that I started in the 80s.