How to Store Stuffed Animals: 6 Simple Tips
Stuffed animals are a lingering and tangible connection to childhood, whether they’re ours or belong to loved ones. Some even carry monetary value too, though not as much as the Beanie Baby crowds were hoping!
Either way, storing your stuffed animals in the short term or for years to come requires different strategies. Let’s check out how to prepare stuffed animals for storage and a few storage methods.
Our 6 Tips For How to Store Stuffed Animals
1. Clean and Dry the Stuffies for Storage
Stuffed animals get worn and dirty in the line of duty, but they’re fairly easy to freshen up for storage. If the stuffed animal has a care label with washing instructions, follow those to a T. If not, you can gently hand wash them or run them in a gentle cycle alone with minimal cold water.
Although some stuffed animals can be dried in a dryer, we recommend air drying them just to be on the safe side. Even the lowest setting on some dryers can be enough to damage some delicate plushies.
2. Repair Damage & Defects
Once they’re clean, damage and flaws in stuffed animals become easily visible. Busted seams can be combated with a needle and thread, but detached body parts or eyes may require more sophisticated surgery to remedy. Missing stuffing can be harder to fix but keeping stuffing on hand may be a wise investment! Add extra stuffing to plump up sad, emaciated stuffed toys. Once they’re all clean and in good health, let’s move on to storage.
3. Store in Sealable Plastic Tubs
Transparent plastic tubs are the best to store stuffed animals in the short or long term, or you can opt for an opaque tub if desired. These tubs typically come with a lid that helps keep moisture and mold out, making it a kind of ‘medium-term’ storage solution. You can even buy several of them and stack them into an organizational system. These tubs do take up quite a bit of space, though.
4. Store in the Attic or Basement
Airtight vacuum bags or sealed tubs of stuffed animals can be safely stored in the attic or basement, both popular storage areas. The key word here is airtight because anything that isn’t could potentially invite moisture into your container.
Needless to say, this can lead to mildew and even mold if neglected. And let’s face it, if you’re putting stuffed animals in the attic, you’re probably not checking on them in a few days or even weeks. If you’re 100% certain your storage solution is airtight, anywhere you have space is fair game—attics and basements are just the most convenient.
5. Short-Term Stuffed Animal Hammock
If your child just has a ton of plushies you don’t know how to neatly organize, we understand. If you can do some basic crocheting, you can make your own crafty, stylish stuffed animal hammock. Simply weave a hammock and tie a jewelry hook or ring around each end.
You can obviously customize or adapt this for storing different-sized stuffed animal collections, with small and large hammocks only limited by your materials.
6. Vacuum-Sealed Bags for Long-Term Storage
For very long-term storage, large freezer vacuum-sealed bags work amazingly to keep stuffed animals and plushies in mint condition. Basic bags come with a hand pump to remove the air from your bag once filled and closed, but fancier ones have a small electric pump to automatically vacuum-seal your goods.
Add a bit of essential oil to your stuffed animals before storing them, and they’ll still be fresh when you retrieve them years later.
Stuffed animals can hold a lot of sentimental value and it can be tough to let them go. Long-term storage in a vacuum-sealed bag or plastic tub are both viable options, or you can craft small yarn hammocks to keep unruly plushies in line for now.
Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory