I can't count the number of stuffed toys that DD (now 15, almost 16 y.o.) still has. Definitely more than 25!! We don't have a huge amount of space either, but they are all in her room. I figure she is entitled to keep what she wants in her own space and decorate how she wants, and if that means keeping her childhood stuffies, that's fine. She keeps a couple on her bed. She has a 3-tiered wire basket stand from IKEA that is full of them.
Yes, they were valuable for play. I'm surprised that she can still find a use for them. She's a drama major at a performing arts high school, and she will use them as props in shows. She played with them all extensively when she was a younger. They also inspired her to make her own stuffed toys and she produced some wonderful, exotic creatures while developing her creativity and sewing skills.
I have one stuffed toy from my childhood. I had another but it was destroyed by a puppy years ago.
A few months ago, we donated a large carton of stuffies, getting rid of all that she could part with. We will be moving sometime in the next year (if we can ever find a house *sigh*) and I'm sure she will weed out more then.
So, yes I would (and do) keep 25 stuffed toys, but it's wise to keep an eye on the numbers and work on some control:
- Going forward, instituting a "one in/one out" rule might help. If they want to get a new toy, they will have to donate an old toy to make room for it. If you don't want to keep 25, reach an agreement with them on a reasonable number and try to maintain it.
-Agree on where the stuffed toys will be kept and where they can be played with.
-Have a regular clean-up routine once or twice a day, so that the stuffed toys go back to where they live when the kids aren't playing with them