Once one stuffed animal enters the home, there is no holding the others back!
Before you know it, the cute and beautiful plushy toys have taken over the floor space. It is almost impossible to organize them sensibly and put them away.
What do you do with them once the kids are tired of them or outgrow them? Throwing them away is not sensible. You can donate them, of course.
But, if you plan to expand the family or think that someone else in the family might need them in the future, you can choose to store them. How?
Below are a few options on how to store stuffed animals long term.
Cleaning and Drying Stuffed Animals
Before storing the stuffed animals long term, they need to be cleaned off dirt and grime and properly dried. Use a mild laundry detergent to wash them in the bathtub or sink. If using a washing machine, use the light or delicate setting. Hang them in the shade on a clothesline for air drying without color fading.
Another option is to dry clean the delicate stuffed animal toys. You do not need to visit a dry cleaner. Use a color based absorbent powder instead. Wheat germ, corn starch, and baking soda based absorbent powders are used for dark-colored, beige or yellow, and white or bright colored stuffed animal toys, respectively.
Put the stuffed animal toys in a clean bag, pour a generous amount of the absorbent powder, shake vigorously, and let it sit aside for an hour. Take out the stuffed animal toys and shake off the powder.
Clear the Stuffing
Plastic pellets, cotton, batting, synthetic fiber, straw, beans, and wood wool are the common stuffed animal toy materials.
The stuffing materials are preferred bedding material for rodents unless, of course, your house is absolutely free from mice and rodents. If not, the best way to avoid the vermins is by removing all the stuffing inside the toys. Slit a small area along the seam and remove the stuffings. It is like deflating a toy.
Throw away the stuffing. If you wish to use the toys in the future, buy new stuffing (readily available), refill it, and stitch.
Of course, this is an optional step. You can store stuffed animals long term without clearing out the stuffing, but there is a high chance they will be attacked and destroyed by vermins. The choice is yours.
Options in Stuffed Animals Storage Supplies
There are various ways you can store stuffed animals. These are:
#1 Space Bags / Space Saver Bags
If you do not have much storage space for the stuffed toys, use space saver bags. These are huge bags that can contain a large number of toys. Stuff them all inside, with or without clearing the stuffing materials, and remove the excess air using a vacuum cleaner.
As you must have guessed rightly, it is a form of vacuum packing which not only saves a lot of space but humidity or change in temperature does not spoil the toys because it does not contain any air. It is also a foolproof way to secure the stuffed toys from bugs and rodents.
You can park them inside a storage cabinet, in a bed box, in the attic, or anywhere else you find it suitable. This way, you can safely store the stuffed animal toys for years.
#2 Plastic Containers
Strong, sturdy, and reinforced plastic containers with lids containing clasps on the side is also an excellent way to store stuffed animals and applicable if you are expecting the kids to reunite with their toys sooner than later.
With plastic containers, you give them easier access to their toys. Simply put the toys in the plastic container and cover it with the lid.
Keep it in the kids’ room, garage, attic, the closet, or anywhere else that is not impacted by frequent temperature changes.
Vermin will find it tough to nibble on the plastic, so this will keep mice out of your storage boxes, that’s for sure. Plastic will also be safe from moisture and humidity.
Do not overstuff the containers to avoid fur spoilage and damage. Keep them in a dry place to prevent mold and mildew. You can even stack the containers on top of each other to save floor storage space.
#3 Acid-Free Tissues and Storage Boxes
Acid-free tissues are specially formulated tissue papers that do not contain acids. It is acids which are responsible for deteriorating stored items over time. The acid-free tissues are used for wrapping keepsakes, albums, clothing, and also toys.
Since you are learning about storing stuffed animals for the long term, wrap them generously in acid-free tissue sheets and then place it in a space saver bag or a plastic container.
You can also use acid-free storage boxes for storing a toy as a collectible. The storage boxes do not disintegrate and come with protective cushioning. All you have to do is figure out the right size of the acid-free storage boxes needed based on the number of stuffed animal toys to be stored.
#4 Bean Bag Chair
Turn the stuffed animal toys into a functional piece of furniture. How?
Buy a bean bag chair shell that is made of fabric and has a side zipper. Start stuffing the plush toys in the bean bag chair shell and zip it. Make sure you do not overload it. Your bean bag chair is ready; use it comfortably. Unzip the bean bag and pull out a stuffed toy when required.
This way, you do not need to scratch your head, trying to find additional storage options. A large number of stuffed toys can easily make two or three bean bag chairs – a wholly practical and functional way to store stuffed animals for the long term.
It will take a few days to declutter and organize the stuffed animal toys. But, isn’t the result worth the time? Sure, it is!