Stuffed animals play an important role in your child's day-to-day life. Some of these toys attend tea parties or listen as your child reads them a story. They cuddle up at night with your child in bed and are there to console them when they aren't feeling well. As such, if you are preparing to move, you will need to bring the most important ones along with you. Here are some tips on dealing with stuffed animals as you prepare to move.
Thin the Herd
While your child's stuffed animals are not alive, it may seem like they multiply overnight. Most parents are aware of just how quickly a stuffed animal collection can grow and how much space they can take up. However, as you prepare to move, you will want to thin the herd and discard any non-sentimental loved ones that are no longer played with, that have seen better days, or that have stuffing falling out of them. While some thrift stores do not accept stuffed animals that have been taken out of the package, for sanitary reasons, many other organizations welcome them. Look for an organization in your community that accepts new or gently used stuffed animals and uses them for a good cause. Many organizations will clean them and then distribute them to police stations, fire houses, hospitals and women's shelters for scared children. And if you can't find an organization that will take them, or they have been loved on a bit too hard, you can always recycle them by finding a recycling program that accepts textiles.
Remove the Batteries from Stuffed Animals and Toys
If your child has any stuffed animals that talk, sing, move or dance, these toys likely contain removable batteries. As you prepare to move, it is important to remove these batteries. The first reason is for your own sanity. It can be annoying to have to listen to a toy talk or begin singing as you pack it up or when the box begins to shift. Secondly, removing the batteries helps ensure the batteries don't leak or corrode if the toy is going to be exposed to hot temperatures and/or stored for any period of time. You may have the intention of unpacking everything quickly, but life happens. Removing the batteries ensures the battery housing unit isn't permanently damaged if the battery sits and begins to corrode.
Set Aside a Couple of Favorites
Before you begin to pack your child's stuffed animals up, set aside a couple of their favorites. Moving can be stressful on a child, and they will likely look for comfort in familiar items, such as their favorite blankets or stuffed animals. Unfortunately, it's easy to get busy during a move and pack up these items. This can cause your child a great deal of anxiety. Setting them aside ensures they don't get packed up, which allows your child to continue to cuddle with them nightly, no matter where you are during your move.
Packing Up the Stuffed Animals
After you have decluttered the stuffed animal collection and removed batteries from them, you can begin to pack the stuffed animals. If you are going to be moving the stuffed animals from one house to another, and don't plan on storing the stuffed animals in a garage, storage unit or attic for a long period of time, you can place the stuffed animals in cardboard boxes or trash bags. Simply throw the animals in a box or bag until the box or bag is full. Do not try to squish the stuffed animals down to fit more, as you can damage them, cause them to wrinkle or even cause the stuffing to shift around, leaving you with a deformed stuffed animal. Also, keep in mind that stuffed animals make great fillers for your other boxes. If your child has boxes of toys, consider placing stuffed animals between the gaps in the boxes to prevent those toys from shifting or rubbing together.
If you plan on storing your child's stuffed animals in a storage unit, garage, attic or basement for a period of time, you will want to pack them in an airtight container. An airtight container, such as a plastic storage tote, can help prevent the stuffed animals from becoming damaged due to pests, mold or heat damage.
Stuffed animals can take up a lot of space during a move. However, they also take up space in your child's heart, so you have to bring some along. Following the above tips will help make the process easier for you and ensure the most cherished toys arrive at your new home in the same condition they left your old home in. However, if you are short on time or are feeling overwhelmed with the moving process, a professional moving company like Bell Moving & Storage can assist you by packing, loading, and/or transporting your things on your behalf, including your child's stuffed animals.