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-   -   Drowning in stuffed animals! (http://www.mothering.com/forum/315-organize-declutter/1293796-drowning-stuffed-animals.html)

BombleMomble 01-24-2011 03:56 PM

We have two children, 3 and 7, and way too many stuffed animals!  I think that this is mainly my problem, as I find a lot of stuffed animals to be cute and they make an easy memento from vacations or for birthday gifts, etc.  My 3 year old plays with many of her animals quite often - close to a daily basis.  However, I really feel like we could cut down on the number of animals we have.

 

How many stuffed animals is a good number per child?  Also, how do we get rid of the animals that aren't absolute favorites, and make sure that we don't just build our number back up to where we are now?

 

Any advice welcome!  Thanks!

 

BombleMomble


Contrariety 01-24-2011 07:07 PM

Honestly... one each.  I loathe stuffed animals.  If they come in my house as gifts, they rarely last more than a month, MAYBE two at the most.  They never get played with and are just fluffy dust magnets.  Maybe that's extreme, but that's where I'm at. 


clutterwarrior 01-24-2011 08:58 PM

Must admit I prefer to call them 'soft toys'...sounds so much more appealing. winky.gif

 

Well I have got rid of a lot of them....we had so many over the years, with three children, especially having 2 girls first as I think girls like them particularly.  Even as teens they did not want me to let them all go, so I stored some under the house for years, and finally tossed most of them during 2010.

 

My son was given many when he was very sick as a baby but I even just gave all those away, he only has 3 in his room, even those seem to get in the way at times!

 

I think you could just put away in storage the ones you don't see them play with, see if they notice, and if they do, just say those toys are having a vacation for a while, otherwise give them away.

 

And definitely don't buy anymore! lol.gif


marinak1977 01-24-2011 10:51 PM

Yep, I have the same problem. I keep culling the animal herd (never thought about it, but yeah "stuffed animals" sounds creepy). orngtongue.gif I used to love them as a kid and still do, but they take up so much room!
I would gather a bunch of them in a bag and give away for free on craigslist. Actually I'm due for another culling now ack!

bobandjess99 01-25-2011 06:03 PM

i think it completely depends on how attached your children are.  My daughter LOVES her animals.  Like, each and every one.  She plays with them more than anything else.  They are her BABIES.  She would be extraordinarily distressed to have any of her babies taken away from her.  It would be *cruel* of me to do so.  now, ds?  eh.  He couldn't care less about stuffed animal toys. 

So..for a child who doesn't really care about them, sure I think you can cull down to a couple, or even none.  For a child in the middle, probably keeping the favorite 6-12.......and then on the other end of the spectrum...for a kid like my dd, I'd throw away every other toy ithe house, and possibly some of my own clothing, food and/or furniture, before I'd toss any of her babies. 

 

Storage can really make the difference between them being a nightmare and not though.  We have used a variety of methods, and right now, have actually converted a closet into an animal house.  :)


clutterwarrior 01-25-2011 07:55 PM

One important thing to do if you do have lots of soft toys in your child's room, is to wash them regularly, to keep the dust at bay....especially (but not only) if your child has asthma. Although they often say 'surface wash only', I have found that unless they have something electronic inside them to make a noise, they can just be thrown in with sheets and towels and then dried in the dryer. If they have hard eyes that may get knocked around, put them in a lingerie bag first.


Orionsmama 01-25-2011 08:13 PM

One idea that may help out your situation and make the transition a bit easier for the little ones, have them pick out a few of their favorites to keep and have them select a few to take to a local animal shelter. The shelters are always in need of toys for the animals but toys are last on the list due to extreme financial constraints for most shelters. Explain to the kids they are giving a friend to an animal that needs a buddy until the animal can get adopted. It may make parting with some of their "soft friends" not so difficult.


Graceie 01-25-2011 08:14 PM

I would never throw up a child stuffed toy with out being absolutely sure they are OK with it. I know I would be devastated if someone tossed mine even now has an adult


Shannie77 01-26-2011 06:59 AM

I pretty much donate any gifted stuffed animals immediately.  As soon as the animal makes it home I hide it away.  If DD notices and asks I let her have it but usually she doesn't notice.  I NEVER buy stuffed animals and luckily it isn't something most people in my family give as gifts.  DD1 probably has about 3 at a time, with one being a special one that I wouldn't get rid or the.  The other 2 might go if she gets another that she prefers.  DD2 has none - she is 8 months and anyones we got as gifts have been donated.

 

Growing up we only ever had a few stuffed animals at a time, so this is nothing new to me.  My mom let us keep a few favourites but any novelty ones or cheapo ones got the boot. :P


ollyoxenfree 01-26-2011 08:57 AM

 

DD, now almost 15, is finally growing out of her passion for stuffies. She just sorted through them and pulled all that she is willing to let go - it's about 1/4 to 1/3 of the total. We're going to take photos of them all before we cart them away and she'll make a little scrapbook. The rest are living in a 3-tiered wire shelf/rack from IKEA (the kind that usually go inside a closet). 

 

Until now, I would occasionally pull out a stuffie for disposal if I thought she wouldn't notice. I only took one if I knew it wasn't special and if it was particularly disgusting without hope of recovery. These were her special treasures and I can't imagine arbitrarily deciding what she could and couldn't keep. Whenever we moved houses, I encouraged her to sort through them. She was often able to cull quite a few, so I know that whatever survived until now is very special to her. They are tokens from friends she has left behind with each move and places she's visited.

 

At one time, we had a rule that she had to get rid of one before she got a new one, but that proved too difficult. I think if you must control the number of stuffies, creating that kind of agreed-upon rule is helpful. I suppose if your child doesn't particularly care about these toys, it's okay to just get rid of them without any acknowledgement of their feelings or ownership. I couldn't do that to my child though. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


mnnice 01-27-2011 12:29 PM

DS1 has one he is attached to (he's nine)

DS2 two he is attached to plus two soft dolls that he walked around with in a sling all the time last year (he's five)

 

They also each have a stuffed homemade soccer ball that my aunt made them that they love.  But that generates more roughhousing play as opposed to having something to cuddle or play pretend with.

 

We have had lots of others over the years that I have gotten rid off without complaint or drama.


PeacefulSeams 01-27-2011 12:59 PM

DS(7) has a teddy bear that he is attached to. He has had it since birth. DS(1) has a musical dog that he sleeps with at night.  Any others get donated immediately. They don't get played with and just collect dust.


OkiMom 01-27-2011 04:11 PM

My girls LOVE stuffies.. They have quite a few but they play with all of them and they would notice if there was one missing. When they stop noticing/asking about it it goes in the way of all non-played with toys.Combined they probably have at least 30 if not more.


MamaPam 01-27-2011 07:47 PM

We have more than I'd prefer, but all four of my children play with them a lot. Each of my children have a rubbermaid container that fits under the bed for their stuffed toys. Whatever can fit in there is what they can keep. If they receive or pick out a new one another one usually has to leave. The containers help keep the dust under control, since they have allergies.

 


skreader 01-27-2011 08:13 PM

My kids are still rather attached to their soft-toys. We culled some  when they were in the middle of primary school. They are both in secondary school now.  DD (14) has 3 still and she is very attached to them, although she now will leave them at home when we travel.

 

DS (12) - I'm not quite sure - I think 3 or 4. He is most attached to the snake. They keep them on their beds.

 

To avoid building up again. Don't buy any more and tell the relatives PLEASE not to buy any.


lucyem 01-28-2011 09:10 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post

i think it completely depends on how attached your children are.  My daughter LOVES her animals.  Like, each and every one.  She plays with them more than anything else.  They are her BABIES.  She would be extraordinarily distressed to have any of her babies taken away from her.  It would be *cruel* of me to do so.  now, ds?  eh.  He couldn't care less about stuffed animal toys. 

So..for a child who doesn't really care about them, sure I think you can cull down to a couple, or even none.  For a child in the middle, probably keeping the favorite 6-12.......and then on the other end of the spectrum...for a kid like my dd, I'd throw away every other toy ithe house, and possibly some of my own clothing, food and/or furniture, before I'd toss any of her babies. 

 

Storage can really make the difference between them being a nightmare and not though.  We have used a variety of methods, and right now, have actually converted a closet into an animal house.  :)


I was one of those kids whose stuffed animals were my babies so I would agree that depending on the child you have to be careful about pairing down just like you would with any favorite toys.  I was devastated when one went missing.

 

My oldest has a severe dust mite allergy so that took care of us having any stuffed animals in the house.  He has one on his bed that is washed regularly and we have a total of about 3 more floating around because they are special.   If new ones arrive with tags I put them aside and regift or donate.  I let family members know he cannot have them so that cut down on gifts.  Plus being a boy most people do not buy him stuffed animals.  I also never buy them myself.  They are so cute but I make myself stay away from them when we are on vacation :)  


Madalyn 01-28-2011 11:41 AM

Have you seen those bean bag chairs you stuff with stuffed animals? The former stuffed animal hoarder in me likes the idea of those. I had wayyyy too many stuffed animals growing up.



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