KMA Halloween Tips + Tricks
HALLOWEEN may be America’s spookiest holiday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a complete nightmare! This October, I want to give you all of the tricks (and treats!) you’ll need to survive the Halloween season, starting with a basic to-do list of prep for the big night:
Buy candy for trick-or-treaters… and maybe some for your personal stash
Purchase or create costumes for the family, including candy bags
Deck your home with (as my friend Libby calls it) “tastefully tacky” decorations
Create some tasty and ghoulish snacks to share with loved ones
Make your walkway and front porch as clean, safe, and festive as possible
There may be more (or fewer) items on your list, but for now, let’s address these staples. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start checking items off your list:
Hang Special Costumes Up in Plastic Sheets
If you’ve sunk a pretty penny into a nice wig or bodysuit, you likely don’t like the idea of shoving it into a box. In this case, invest in plastic garment bags (like the ones used for dry-cleaning) and hang them up. Some costumes come hung up already, so take advantage when you can!
Use Rollable Garbage Bins to Store Lawn Decor
This is super useful if you have a lot of inflatable or tall, loose decorations. If you decide to store multiple sets together, consider placing matching items in garbage bags first so they don’t get tangled, mixed up, or damaged. Then when it’s time, roll the bin out and start decorating!
Use Google to Scope out Candy Prices
It’s surprising how much the price of candy differs between stores, which is why Google Shopping is a super useful tool. Type what you’re looking for into the search bar and compare prices from brick-and-mortar and online vendors alike!
Create a Year-Round Costume Box
Want to preserve old costumes and maximize the excitement from new ones? Then make a costume bin! Store them in a large duffel or bin so they can use their old costumes (or your useful but unwanted clothing items) for dress-up any time of year. Depending on how many kids you have, you may want to create a costume bin for each child or dedicate certain bins to certain sizes.
Plan Your Trick or Treat Route Beforehand
You probably know your neighborhood fairly well, but it’s still a good idea to map out which streets you want to hit before Halloween night. Plan for safety and convenience, but also consider asking your kiddos if there are any hotspots in town to get “the good stuff”.
Store Your Halloween Kitchen Items Efficiently
If you’re sick of rebuying the same pumpkin-carving kit every year, it might be time to give those tools a permanent home in your kitchen (or another storage area). Think ahead to where you’d look if you wanted to find them, then store them all together in a labeled bag or box. Personally, I keep my holiday-specific tools (scrapers, frosting stencils, themed wrappers, etc.) in a Halloween box in my garage.
Label EVERYTHING You Put Away
Not using labels can lead to frustration and confusion later down the line, so act now! Use duct tape, stickers, or note cards— just make sure they’re on tight and resistant to water. I advise people to label bins on at least 2 out of 4 sides, so the label is visible no matter what direction you turn it.
Have a Spotter.
There are some things you just shouldn’t attempt without backup. So if you’re planning on climbing any ladders or hauling large decorations across your house, do yourself a favor and get someone to help you. (Or at least notify someone that you’re doing it so they can keep an ear out.)
Buy More Candy Than You Think You’ll Need
When it comes to satiating a sugar-spiked crowd of children, it’s best to have more candy than less. So whatever you think the exact amount you’ll need is, buy an extra bag. And if you have some left when the night is over, stash it for yourself or throw it in your kids’ lunches— it’s a win-win!
Be Diligent about String Lights
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a new set of lights, then got lazy and threw them into the box to get re-tangled. Instead, carefully wrap your lights around a cylindrical object until they’re wound up. (I recommend paper towel rolls.) Then wrap it up in a towel so the bulbs aren’t crushed.
I hope you and your family have a fun, safe, and suitably spooky holiday this October! Just remember not to let a little messiness get in the way of your fun… memories will always matter more!