Halloween has become a huge holiday for home decorations. In fact, each year Americans spend more than half a billion dollars – over $500,000,000 – just on costumes for their pets. And that means a lot of people also are accumulating a lot of home decorations. When November 1 rolls around, you want a strategy for organizing all of those spooky items.
Years ago, we concerned ourselves with primarily Christmas for seasonal décor, and we planned storage for a tree (perhaps), ornaments, lighting, and other decorations in a deliberate way. It’s time to do the same for Halloween.
Before you start to take down any electricity-using items, first check to make certain they are still in good working order. Anything broken or ripped beyond repair should be released right now before it takes up valuable space in your garage, attic, or basement. My rule of thumb for lights is if more than 30-50% of the bulbs are burned out, toss them and buy new ones (shoot for post-Halloween clearance sales or early holiday sales next July or August when they first hit the shelves and your selection is best).
For all other interior and exterior décor and costumes, consider yourself a year down the road: Will you be excited to put out these decorations, or is it time to toss them? The belief that all your possessions should bring you joy applies to holiday decorations just as much as the items that are out and enjoyed daily. Does each item serve a purpose or bring a smile to your face? If so, keep it! If not, either pass it along, donate it, or toss it. Worn out items that are out of style should be donated or tossed.
When undecorating, I recommend that you gather all the outdoor items in one area and all the indoor items in another. After you’ve decluttered your stash of Halloween-themed things, go through and sort each group into categories of items. Costumes and makeup in one pile, indoor lights in another, window décor in a third, and so on. Once you see what you have, compare it to the storage containers you have available? Are they all in good condition with lids that fit? If not, toss them and get new ones. Figure out what needs to be in a watertight container, if any. Once you’ve done this you’ll know how much you have to store, and that is when you should buy storage containers. It’s always nice when everything matches, but there’s no need to buy new if the existing containers work.
Finally, label all your containers, unless they’re clear and their contents are obvious. You don’t need to invest in a label maker – a good Sharpie® pen will do just fine. For convenience, label in the same place on (upper left corner, for example) each container and be sure that side is facing out when you are putting them away. You might have a use for some items for other occasions (such as pumpkins for Thanksgiving or costumes for school plays), and this tip will help you locate the desired item quickly. If possible, store all the Halloween décor in the same location in your home or garage. If not possible, then separate them according to whether they’re used inside or outside. Then store the outdoor items in the garage (or other space) to free up valuable real estate in your home for the indoor decorations.
Your future self will thank you next October when you pull out your decorations to celebrate another Halloween. And with Christmas coming, think of how much of this decluttering you can do on the front end of the holiday and how it will help you estimate your storage needs for these holiday decorations. The same principles apply to your decluttering and organizing: Your decorations should be a source of delight and in good working condition. It will make decorating and undecorating a joy!
Wishing you a happy Halloween,
Certified KonMari® Consultant and
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