Help! We're being overrun with...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, May 16, 2008.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    stuffed animals! Big ones, little ones, cute ones, weird ones, ones that sit there, and ones that interact online.

    I have ten 18 gallon totes full of every single stuffed animal that child has received since birth!!!

    Burning them is out of the question and it makes my heart sick that they just sit there buried in the basement. Duckie will not part them. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to display a whole mess of these things? Maybe she and her friends would play with them if they were accessible. :hammer:
  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Do you have shelves in her room? Get a plastic shelving unit. They are about $35. a unit.

    I would go through them and weed out the ones that aren't that sentimental or ones that are too young for her (obviously when she's at school). You can donate them to a women and children's shelter.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Or, a dog rescue- one of our dogs LOVES them. :)

    Oops- just remembered that you were asking for a way to display them- I'd go with the shelves.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know where you could buy one, but have you seen those things that look like a hammock that stretches across a corner of the room? I've seen them used in kids' rooms and they're really cute! They hold a lot of stuffed animals. You can use more than one in a corner too, one a little higher up than the other. It's a good way to display them, they're up out of the way, but they're easily accessible if she wants to play with them.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure if this is what Donna is referring to, but it made me think that a net could be used and then you could just neatly "toss" the stuffies on it.
  6. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    For lighter ones you might consider fishing line and tacking to ceiling and hanging them (not by neck! lol) but you can create loop in head with needle. Really tiny ones you can create a mobile of sort (babyish but works). I don't have any suggestions for bigger ones at all.

    We had the same problem here. I got to the point that I told them if new ones come in then they had to choose which old ones went. If super sentimental ones (like given at birth or hospital stay) they got boxed and put away. The ones given away they never wanted to part with either so it was hard to get them to give up but, as some one suggested women's shelter/abuse shelter here is another thought that might just work for you.

    We got them to part with them by suggesting they donate them to fire and rescue or the hospital. Letting them no that another child who is hurting/upset/scared would get them that really needs them. Somehow they identified MORE with that then a shelter. Especially when they could be active in the giving process and the animals weren't just carted away without them in tow.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Displaying them is going to make a HUGE dust magnet. Would that be good with her allergies?

    Personally I'd favor putting them on display at the thrift shop. ;-)
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    We had the net thing, but they don't really hold that much when you consider the amount you already have. They also have things you can secure into the ceiling that hangs down to the floor and then it has plastic hooks so you can hang them. Doesn't work for the stuffed animals that are bigger than the kid though.

    For a while, we arranged them on the floor starting in the corner and working out and it took up half the room. I just went over them with the brush attachment on the vacuum once a week or so. As she got older, she started weeding through them , but refused to get rid of them. So, they ended up stored in garbage bags in the basement. Sigh. I don't know why. She wouldn't go look at them or anything...just refused to get rid of them.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie has told me these were her first "friends" and she feels as though she's betraying them if she gets rid of them.

    SRL- the allergist said it's okay to keep them out so long as it isn't in her bedroom.
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm with SRL. Save a few that are sentimental and give the rest away to "the less fortunate". You could tell a white like that you've boxed them up and if pressed, can't find that box. I know, that's bad. I really do deserve the "worst mom in the history of moms" title :) But at least I have less dusting to do.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Then- any reason you can't just leave them there a while longer?
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I'm afraid I'm not going to be ANY help to you as the owner of 443 beanie babies, 38 beanie buddies, 3 more 18 gallon totes full of stuffies and a teddy that is patched and as old as I am - and he doesn't tell any of my secrets to this day! He's in the will - he goes with me.

    My Mom had the same problem with me when I was little - huge allergies,but larger love of stuffed animals. (apparently I am not cured). Lol

    BUT - (swallows lump in throat) I KNOW for a fact that nearly 500 beanies had to be worth something. And offered to donate them to a kid with cancer who was asking the community for help. His parent said "Thanks but we're looking for big ticket items." I was crushed - Did she have ANY idea how much that many beanies were worth? - So back in the totes they went. And will stay.

    As far as playing with them ? Why not a nice rug - and drag a box at a time out? Let her play with them and before you put them back in the box tell Duckie - OKAY....If you had to pick 5 favorites which would they be? Put them in the box. And put the rest in a 'new' box. Each time she gets a box of stuffies out - before they get put away - she has to tell you her top 5 and the rest? Go in that NEW box. When you have gone through all the totes dump the 'new' box out and tell her to pick 5 out of that - put the rest back in the new box, each with a hug and a kiss and have Duckie tell all her stuffies that THEY have been chosen to go to (orphanage, red cross for disaster victims, cancer ward at a childrens hospital, victim's advocate at police station for sexually abused and battered kids) Then let her say her goodbyes and wish the stuffies well as they make another child who doesn't have ONE single animal - VERY HAPPY.

    This teaches so many lessons it's just layered with love - especially from the heart of a child.

    If she has THAT many - you may want to call the local paper - and have them do a story on places that need/want stuffies and how caring and generous Duckie was. I understand about keeping them - really. lol
    Our local places like above - have told me they have a need for teddy bears not beanies - lol.

    Curse of the beanies. Maybe Ebay? lol

    Cripes now I sound like I'm in slave trade. haha.
  13. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I would push more to move them out... really I would! But she recently gave seven boxes of toys, several more boxes of books and a bunch of gently used clothing to a family with several kids that had a fire. She was extremely generous, the biggest giver in our Brownie troop.

    I don't feel justified in pushing her at this point.

    As to why not leave them crated up? Because it seems such a shame that these wonderful toys are there and never played with. It's a colossal waste.
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I didn't push the stuffed animal issue, either. We'd go through her toys a few times a year and get rid of what she no longer played with. But, she just couldn't part with her stuffed animals. So, in the basement they went. It does seem like a waste. But, when she's ready she'll let you know.

    I'm still waiting, by the way.....

    Instead of having them all out on display, why not set up the stuffed animals from one tote at a time. Leave those out for a month or so then switch. Then it's not so overwhelming and they'll actually get some use. There's probably even a few in there she's forgotten about.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When she is ready...and not suggesting she is at this point in time, tell her that small stuffies make great donations to animal shelters and the larger ones make great donations to police and fire stations. The animal shelters give the poor orphans a buddy to keep them company and the cops/firemen give victims a stuffed animal to help keep kids calm in the wake of some pretty bad tragedies. I know Jamie carries some stuffed animals in his truck in case he comes across kids who have just seen they dog or cat killed.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    If it were me, and it was at one time, I'd have to put my foot down and find new homes for a majority of those stuffed animals. If you attempt to display them they'll probably take up most of the room. Storage is a pain, and then she doesn't play with them because it's either too hard to get them out or she doesn't think about it.

    Maybe I'm the worse Mom in the world, but easy child had a major deal about her stuffies. When she was little they were People, as important to her as you or I. And she had so many that there was nowhere to put them either for storage or display, and they smothered her if she tried to pile them onto her full size bed.

    So, one day when she went to school Mom bagged/boxed up the ones that I hadn't seen her play with in a long time. If I remember right I think I ended up with 4 of those yard garbage bags full of perfectly good stuffies. No way could I bring myself to toss them. Couldn't sell them because of easy child.

    Since there was no freecycle in those days, I took them to the women's shelter. Now I'll be honest, at first easy child was both furious and heartbroken. But eventually the idea that they went to "live" with other children who needed them more than she did grew on her.

    After that I had a rule, NO MORE STUFFIES without prior permission from me. Otherwise the family would just shower her in them again, and Nichole too because when she came along she loved them as much as easy child.

    I was the major bad guy for a while. But at least those stuffed toys wound up in good places with kids who needed and enjoyed them. And my house was no longer overrun with stuffed animals.

    To this day I hate stuffed animals. lol I think I've bought Darrin and Aubrey each one when they were born and that's it.

  17. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    For my daughter, it was relatively simple. I reminded her how much she had loved playing with her stuffies, how special they were to her. Didn't she think it would wonderful if a little girl or boy who didn't have any stuffies at all could have some of those she had loved when she was a very little girl? After that conversation, it took some doing to convince her to keep her extra special ones, which she still has.

    Maybe you can find a way to convince Duckie to share them willingly. One thing I would do is insist that every time a new stuffie enters the house, an old one has to leave. Be sure and have her go with you when you give it to a shelter or whatever. The appreciation from receiving the stuffie will go a long way in making it easier for her to give some up.

    There is no way I would just get rid of them without her permission or at least her knowledge. It seems to me to be a betrayal of a basic trust.

    by the way -- For displaying try putting up 2x4s (painted the room color) all the way around the room. They hold the stuffies quite nicely and look cute. For ones to play with, a special seating/stacking area on the floor works.