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Æthelthryth the Texan

Stuffed Animal Storage

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The stuffed animals in this house have hit a tipping point and overrun the toy chest. I need different storage options. (The trunk was just repurposed as a costume trunk at any rate.)  With oldest I used the hammock and that got them out of the way, but they pretty much became dust catchers as she couldn't reach them to access. When I went on Amazon tonight to look at options I saw the "bean bag" storage option, but I wondered how well it would actually work in practice. So I'm asking the experts: Which is more practical and is most to actually be used by CHILDREN (not me) during pick up? 

 

Hammock: https://www.amazon.com/Jumbo-Toy-Hammock-childrens-organizing/dp/B00F3JZY1S/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-3&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage

 

Bean bag: https://www.amazon.com/Stuffed-Animal-Storage-Bean-Bag/dp/B075RYRPZS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage&psc=1

 

If you have other options that do not require more floor space than the bean bags I'm open to that too- except for culling the herd. That happens every six months, but more often causes great angst both among the children and the givers of said stuffed animals and I've learned its simply not worth it. It's a short lived phase, so I'm willing to deal with stuffed animal over supply. 

Edited by texasmom33

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Can you put some of them in some sort of hidden storage out of sight out of mind? Like they are taking a rest and we will get them out later?

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Can you put some of them in some sort of hidden storage out of sight out of mind? Like they are taking a rest and we will get them out later?

 

My problem here is we lack overall closet storage, so there is no where really to hide them away. In this house, although we have tons of sq ft, we have very little storage space to get them out of sight/mind. And attics aren't optional here with the humidity. :(  I have no where to hide them where company wouldn't come over and think "why do you have a giant garbage bag sitting in that corner......" sort of thing. 

Edited by texasmom33

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Mine arrange them all in the bottom of the closet, complete with cardboard furniture and bear-sized blankets and pillows and etc.  About 2 years ago I realized this was going to be a serious problem if we kept going at the same rate of stuffed animal acquisition and attachment (read: cannot ever get rid of one), so I put a very firm kibosh on the purchasing of new ones or giving of them as gifts, and warned the kids that if a grandparent or other relative who had been warned about the stuffed animal restriction got them one anyway, it was going right to Goodwill, so don't get attached.  I wouldn't have been so absolutist about it but with 5 (now 6!) kids, we were getting something like 15-20 new animals a year without my ever buying any.

 

Anyway, the bottom of the closet works here, or along the wall between beds.  Our beds are directly on the floor, though - if you have ones with bedframes, maybe they can live right under the bed or something?

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I wondered about the bean bag too. My dh made a stuffed animal zoo which worked well, but then it broke and he hasn't fixed it.

 

 I saw those listed for sale and they were crazy expensive!!!! I was wondering who pays that and doesn't just build it themselves! My ds would climb it and destroy it in two minutes. I'm sort of worried about the net and the bean bags too with him. At least with the bean bag there is nothing to rip out of the walls........but he thinks life is a Ninja Warrior set at the moment. Nothing is safe when Mom's not looking. 

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We went the bean bag route about a year ago. Each kid has two of the Boon ones from Amazon. There are so many more options now! Anyway, they've worked really well. I was worried that my kiddos wouldn't want to use them or would be concerned about their "friends" being squished but they took right to them. They stuffed them right up and use them -mostly for leaning against as those bags are smaller and my kids are bigger (9 & 13).

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Mine arrange them all in the bottom of the closet, complete with cardboard furniture and bear-sized blankets and pillows and etc.  About 2 years ago I realized this was going to be a serious problem if we kept going at the same rate of stuffed animal acquisition and attachment (read: cannot ever get rid of one), so I put a very firm kibosh on the purchasing of new ones or giving of them as gifts, and warned the kids that if a grandparent or other relative who had been warned about the stuffed animal restriction got them one anyway, it was going right to Goodwill, so don't get attached.  I wouldn't have been so absolutist about it but with 5 (now 6!) kids, we were getting something like 15-20 new animals a year without my ever buying any.

 

Anyway, the bottom of the closet works here, or along the wall between beds.  Our beds are directly on the floor, though - if you have ones with bedframes, maybe they can live right under the bed or something?

 

Dd has a bed with a trundle under- and ds has one of those loft beds with a desk under, or under the bed would be a good option. We do have a designated play room though and that's where the stuffed animals need to live. The closet in there isn't a walk in (none of the closets in this house are) and it's currently got those stacking plastic bins to house all of the Imaginext crap we aren't quite ready to get rid of, and Play Mobile so I can't do the closet either. But something has to give. It's like the multiplied over Christmas. Along with dd's doll collection.  :glare:

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I love the bean bag idea, but I would have never sat on it as a kid because I would have felt bad for squishing the animals :/ Maybe for your ninja if would be perfect! I always just had mine (and later, dd’s animals) on shelves on the wall. I also bought a hammock and it was not great. Maybe if I had hung it lower? Idk.

 

Animal zoo is something I would have DEFINITELY bought/made/wanted if I knew it existed!

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For small stuffies, we use hanging shoe storage. (Like the clear, plastic kind that hang behind a door.) We actually hung one on the wall next to DD's bed.

 

That doesn't help much with the big stuffed animals, which we just toss in a tall laundry basket in a corner. But the ones on the bottom get neglected.

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We put 3 rows of shelving in my dd's room attached to the wall and higher up/close to the ceiling.  Her animals were displayed and high enough out of reach that they didn't get played with and left on the floor.  Ones that she played with were very limited.  She had to choose which ones she had to give away if they didn't fit on the shelf.  My thought was if you had to hide them away, why keep them.  I have to say there were some that I wanted her to keep for sentimental reasons that she didn't want.  I ended up keeping them in my room!

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what about one of those pop up netting laundry tote?

 

We've had bad luck with those with the wires popping out through them. Of course, there has been ninja'ing involved so that might be why they don't hold up. Apparently pop up totes are irresistible hiding places........ I also tried those huge plastic buckets with the rope handles, but they're overrun. We have a lot of bigger sized stuffed animals for some reason. Not huge, maybe 18-24" tall types. 

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Dd has a bed with a trundle under- and ds has one of those loft beds with a desk under, or under the bed would be a good option. We do have a designated play room though and that's where the stuffed animals need to live. The closet in there isn't a walk in (none of the closets in this house are) and it's currently got those stacking plastic bins to house all of the Imaginext crap we aren't quite ready to get rid of, and Play Mobile so I can't do the closet either. But something has to give. It's like the multiplied over Christmas. Along with dd's doll collection.  :glare:

 

Ah, we don't have walk-in closets in this house either (except the master, which is silly as DH and I own like half as much stuff as each kid) but we don't do playmobile or imaginext so there is a lot of room in closets.

 

We do move a lot and so we don't have a lot of stuff.  The stuffed animals are pretty much the only toys, besides a few (small) favorites per kid, that we keep when we move.  This is because of the emotional attachment.  In our last move, stuffed animals took up more room than all other kid possessions (except winter gear and books) combined.  Drives me batty.

 

That sounds like a very space-efficient set up for beds, though.  

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Downsize stuffed animals? We have an overflowing hammock. Most items I had nothing to do with. Gifts, hand me downs. I don't know what most people do with them, though. I guess some donation places accept them but that wigs me out as a shopper because many are not washed/intended to go in a washer and you don't know if they could have bugs or how germy they are.

 

I have no idea about bean bags. Some stuffed animals have hard pieces-- eyeballs or whatever.

 

Good luck

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We made a giant "zoo". We used PVC pipes but I've seen it done with wood as well, which looks nicer. Ours is about 2'x2' square and 8' tall (I told you it was big!). We made a shelf in the middle by weaving rope and two sides have thin bungee running up and down to make bars. We anchored it into a corner so it only takes up the 2'x2' floor space. We used to have both top and bottom full of stuffed animals, but now they mostly stuff the top full of stuffed animals and use the bottom as a "jail" during play. You could easily do one on a smaller scale for easier accessibility and less stuffed animals! We just have a TON of them and had the space in the basement playroom.

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The stuffed animals in this house have hit a tipping point and overrun the toy chest. I need different storage options. (The trunk was just repurposed as a costume trunk at any rate.)  With oldest I used the hammock and that got them out of the way, but they pretty much became dust catchers as she couldn't reach them to access. When I went on Amazon tonight to look at options I saw the "bean bag" storage option, but I wondered how well it would actually work in practice. So I'm asking the experts: Which is more practical and is most to actually be used by CHILDREN (not me) during pick up? 

 

Hammock: https://www.amazon.com/Jumbo-Toy-Hammock-childrens-organizing/dp/B00F3JZY1S/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-3&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage

 

Bean bag: https://www.amazon.com/Stuffed-Animal-Storage-Bean-Bag/dp/B075RYRPZS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage&psc=1

 

If you have other options that do not require more floor space than the bean bags I'm open to that too- except for culling the herd. That happens every six months, but more often causes great angst both among the children and the givers of said stuffed animals and I've learned its simply not worth it. It's a short lived phase, so I'm willing to deal with stuffed animal over supply. 

 

 

The hammock was great fun for ds as he tossed the animals up there. Hammock was strung over his bed, so - while standing on the bed - he could still reach the animals when one "needed" to come down. :)

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We prefer these mesh hanging storage compartments. Scroll down for "customer images" to see them in use. https://www.amazon.com/Ikea-Mesh-Hanging-Storage-Compartments/dp/B002PZ3IA2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1517368263&sr=8-5&keywords=mesh+hanging+storage+pink

 

We found ours at Walmart rather than Ikea. I think they were $5.

Edited by IfIOnly
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We have a couple of sets of mesh “apartments†from IKEA. DD has a large collection, mostly of stuffed reptiles. Including an anaconda.

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Downsize stuffed animals? We have an overflowing hammock. Most items I had nothing to do with. Gifts, hand me downs. I don't know what most people do with them, though. I guess some donation places accept them but that wigs me out as a shopper because many are not washed/intended to go in a washer and you don't know if they could have bugs or how germy they are.

 

I have no idea about bean bags. Some stuffed animals have hard pieces-- eyeballs or whatever.

 

Good luck

 

I just downsized before Christmas knowing an influx was coming. Obviously not enough though! But over the weekend we found a trunk full of oldest dd's old stuffed animals and youngest is over the moon with sentimental feelings- because you know, big sisters are the coolest and therefore all of their hand me downs are extra special.  :001_wub: 

 

I think I have at least 2 months minimum before I can cull some more without there being massive amounts of tears. If I remember oldest dd's phases correctly we're at peak acquisition ages. Before long it will shift to other things, and then to my favorite- gift cards and $$$ instead of things that take up lots of space! :) And then I'll be on here posting how much I miss having little kids. 

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I must the the luckiest person in the history of thrift store shopping.  When we were poor especially, I bought everything used.  Everything.  Furniture, clothes, toys, bedding, all of it.  Never one time did we have a bug issue or a rash or anything.  It was always fine.

 

Still buy furniture used, still no issues.  Still buy 90% of clothes used, no issues.

 

Have stopped buying toys pretty much altogether, but I do buy them new at Christmas sometimes.

 

 

 

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I must the the luckiest person in the history of thrift store shopping.  When we were poor especially, I bought everything used.  Everything.  Furniture, clothes, toys, bedding, all of it.  Never one time did we have a bug issue or a rash or anything.  It was always fine.

 

Still buy furniture used, still no issues.  Still buy 90% of clothes used, no issues.

 

Have stopped buying toys pretty much altogether, but I do buy them new at Christmas sometimes.

 

We buy toys used fairly often because ds is a Lego and General Super Hero Collectible Freak. I figure Lysol soaks and wipes or spray on that which cannot be soaked erase a multitude of things. :) 

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I haven't read the other replies so apologies if this is redundant -- but after 18 years of toy storage dilemmas, I finally have the ideal solution (for me) for the final kid. I have one of those facing out bookcases (like for picture books) attached to the wall, and they hold stuffies *really* well. Easy to pick up if I have to do it, clear expectations when I make the kiddo do it.

 

like this:

702c189bd12f7f2cdaa8fc136e7e1b1f.jpg

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I haven't read the other replies so apologies if this is redundant -- but after 18 years of toy storage dilemmas, I finally have the ideal solution (for me) for the final kid. I have one of those facing out bookcases (like for picture books) attached to the wall, and they hold stuffies *really* well. Easy to pick up if I have to do it, clear expectations when I make the kiddo do it.

 

like this:

702c189bd12f7f2cdaa8fc136e7e1b1f.jpg

 

Oh my gosh forget stuffed animals, I want this for my kids' books!!!!  :001_wub:  (Not to mention the serenely decorated and organized room.) 

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We have a high shelf in the 3 yr old's room and a hammack over the middle teen's bed. Neither are used much by the kid. But we keep ones up there not being played with. Little ones can't reach a high shelf or a hammack up high. The few that are played with are kept down low in another bin that she can reach. She can request one from up high, rotating them out. 

 

I made a rule years ago that nobody can give stuffies as gifts anymore. My mother loves to annoy me and buy them anway. And you know they then get attached, and you have to practically sneal them out to get rid of any. 

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I would love something that that book wall, but we have so many doors and windows in each room that we have very little actual wall space! It's so annoying. We do have a similar miniature version of that wall book storage thing above ds' bed for a few books.

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The stuffed animals in this house have hit a tipping point and overrun the toy chest. I need different storage options. (The trunk was just repurposed as a costume trunk at any rate.)  With oldest I used the hammock and that got them out of the way, but they pretty much became dust catchers as she couldn't reach them to access. When I went on Amazon tonight to look at options I saw the "bean bag" storage option, but I wondered how well it would actually work in practice. So I'm asking the experts: Which is more practical and is most to actually be used by CHILDREN (not me) during pick up? 

 

Hammock: https://www.amazon.com/Jumbo-Toy-Hammock-childrens-organizing/dp/B00F3JZY1S/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-3&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage

 

Bean bag: https://www.amazon.com/Stuffed-Animal-Storage-Bean-Bag/dp/B075RYRPZS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1517361150&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=stuffed+animal+storage&psc=1

 

If you have other options that do not require more floor space than the bean bags I'm open to that too- except for culling the herd. That happens every six months, but more often causes great angst both among the children and the givers of said stuffed animals and I've learned its simply not worth it. It's a short lived phase, so I'm willing to deal with stuffed animal over supply. 

 

We have the Boon bean bag. https://www.amazon.com/Boon-Animal-Stuffed-Storage-Gray/dp/B004OR1DYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1517418919&sr=1-1&keywords=boon+bean+bag  It works to get the stuffed animals off the floor/bed to some extent. Yes, my 6 year old needs to be reminded to put animals in there at pick up time. But she has no problems going in and rooting around to find the one she wants to take out!

 

(Note it is almost never used to sit on. Not sure if that is because she doesn't want to squash her stuffed friends or comfort?)

 

ETA: She has gotten to the point where she feels she has "enough" stuffed animals and verbally expresses she wants NO more.  She does get rid of animals some... What we have left are the "Most Special" that she can't get rid of right now!)

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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Wish I knew.  I need something to cut down on dust on the animals too.  Currently we have a lot on shelves, but this doesn't curb the dust problem.

 

One of mine still quite loves his stuffed animals so there is no way to cull them. 

 

 

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Wish I knew.  I need something to cut down on dust on the animals too.  Currently we have a lot on shelves, but this doesn't curb the dust problem.

 

One of mine still quite loves his stuffed animals so there is no way to cull them. 

 

You can run them through the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat and it will kill the dust mites, but it's a huge hassle to go through. (Says the woman also super allergic to dust mites.) So I only do it when I feel like I'm dying after cleaning their rooms. 

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We found that a hanging mesh storage container from IKEA worked well.  It was lightweight, could hold a lot of stuffed animals, and was easy for the kids to access.  http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/childrens-ikea-products/children-3-7/small-storage/ikea-ps-f%C3%A5ngst-hanging-storage-w-6-compartments-multicolour-art-30327997/

 

 

 

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You can run them through the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat and it will kill the dust mites, but it's a huge hassle to go through. (Says the woman also super allergic to dust mites.) So I only do it when I feel like I'm dying after cleaning their rooms. 

 

That's a good idea.  Can't wash most of them....

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We have a big blue trash can in DS’s room that holds all the animals. It takes up floor space but not too much and holds a lot.

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rubbermaid-Commercial-Products-BRUTE-20-Gal-Blue-Round-Trash-Can-RCP2620BLU/204087847

 

Oh that's a good idea! It would help keep the dust out to. And be useable after the stuffed animal phase is over. (Assuming the Ninja doesn't destroy it first. 

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I need to figure this out because I swear to gosh the stuffies reproduce. I see new ones all the time AND I.don’t.buy.them.

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We used nets (hammock) when my kids were younger. Dd has hers nicely arranged on a high shelf over her dresser now. The nets did make it harder to get them down, but like someone else said, ours could be reached if the kids were on their beds, and this was even easier when they had bunk or loft beds which happened at times. They always kept a few down and those were the ones they loved best anyway. Sometimes there was some rotation, but most remained up as decoration not down as play things.

 

No one here could have sat on a beanbag that was full of friends. That would be horrific! 

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Oh that's a good idea! It would help keep the dust out to. And be useable after the stuffed animal phase is over. (Assuming the Ninja doesn't destroy it first. 

 

I love that idea too.  I'd just need like four of them.  LOL

 

Seriously my kid LOVES stuffed animals.

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Oh my gosh forget stuffed animals, I want this for my kids' books!!!!  :001_wub:  (Not to mention the serenely decorated and organized room.) 

 

Seems sparse to me.  I looked at that and thought, "Poor kid.  Is that all the picture books?"   Although as a special place for library picture books, that would have been nice.  

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Seems sparse to me.  I looked at that and thought, "Poor kid.  Is that all the picture books?"   Although as a special place for library picture books, that would have been nice.  

 

It wouldn't fit all the books, but it would be nice to rotate ones in and out and it's just so pretty! We have so many they get buried here. I'd love some way to display them on rotation and make them appeal to the kids. "Strewing" doesn't work here because certain dogs like books too.  :glare:

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When I was a kid I had a ton of stuffed animals. My mom got a wooden dowl (or curtain rod) that was an inch and a half or two in diameter, painted it and then screwed small hooks into it all over it. Then she screwed an eye-hook on the end and put a string through it and hung it from the ceiling. All of my stuffed animals got a ribbon tied around their necks and were hung on a hook on this pole. It was a great idea.

Edited by KrissiK
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When I was a kid I had a ton of stuffed animals. My mom got a wooden dowl (or curtain rod) that was an inch and a half or two in diameter, painted it and then screwed small hooks into it all over it. Then she screwed an eye-hook on the end and put a string through it and hung it from the ceiling. All of my stuffed animals got a ribbon tied around their necks and were hung on a hook on this pole. It was a great idea.

My mom did this too and I lost my mind. Hanging my babies?? :lol:

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You can run them through the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat and it will kill the dust mites, but it's a huge hassle to go through. (Says the woman also super allergic to dust mites.) So I only do it when I feel like I'm dying after cleaning their rooms. 

 

This is good to know. My DD9 is also allergic to dust mites but she still loves stuffed animals and won't part with them. We bought de-mite to wash the favorites in periodically but we have to do so at grandma's house because she has a front loader vs our regular style with the agitator that is not friendly to stuffies. 

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