Midwest Minimalist Military Momma

Friday, October 4, 2013

Halloween and the Beginning of the Season of Acquisition: 7 Tips to Enjoy the Holiday Will Keeping Control of Clutter

Halloween is a big deal in our house.

It's always been my favorite holiday. I love the weather, the foods, the movies, the costumes, the leaves, the celebration of everything a little bit spooky. I love pumpkin patches and haunted houses, hot apple cider and the bright blue October skies. I love it so much, the mister and I got married on Halloween.

Halloween decor, candy and costumes are a big business. Americans are estimated to spend 6.9 billion dollars on the fun stuff this year. Halloween in also the gateway into the holiday shopping season. In other words, Halloween is the beginning of the season of acquisition.

I used to think I couldn't get enough Halloween decor, Fall housewares and Christmas trimmings until I ended up with seven large plastic storage bins full of stuff. Stuff I kept all year long--each item being used for a month or two. I made the choice to keep just one box of Halloween and Fall and one box of Christmas. Yet, when I took out my box of  Halloween decorations and started the business of livening up for the holiday, I was amazed at how much festivity I fit into one box.

Halloween aprons and decorations.


1. Focus on doing instead of acquiring.
Spend your Fall budget on going to events like pumpkin patches, parties, football games, movies and haunted houses instead of staying home most of the month with your new decorations. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk or hike and take in the changing leaves.

2. Don't buy complete costume kits.
Everyone knows the best, most memorable costumes are't the ones that come prepackaged. Get creative and come up with your own. Raid your closets or local thrift stores for simple costumes. For kids, if you do end up buying some costume pieces, save them for dramatic play time aka dress up. Pinterest is an excellent place to see what others have done.

3. Let nature do some decorating for you.
Some of the best decorations for Halloween and Fall come from outside. Pumpkins, gourds, corn and leaves can all be used as decorations for fall and either eaten or tossed. These are either cheap or free and bring inside the best of what's going on outside.

4. Set a limit on your stock of decorations.
I set my limit at one standard sized storage tub. Remember that these are things you keep all year round and move each time you relocate. Less is better.

5. Don't impulse shop.
I've been there: a boutique you pop into to browse. They have some unique things you think would look great on the dining table. Or in Target just for a few things and you go and check out the seasonal section just to get an idea of what's new this year. Believe me, I've been there. If you have a weakness for this, try not to put yourself in that position--don't go into the boutique, don't go to the section at Target you don't need to visit. If you can't do that, be thoughtful while browsing and even more so when you go to put something in your basket. Consider your space limit and if this item is really worth it.

6. Decline or donate junk offered to you or your children.
There are lots of opportunities to pick up little toys and trinkets in the lead up to Halloween and on the night itself. You don't have any obligation to take this stuff or to keep it if you do. Chances are your children have enough and won't miss it anyway.

7. Review your stuff before you put it away for next year.
When you take down and put away all of your Halloween decorations, take a look at each item and decide if it's something worth taking up space in your home for another year while you wait for the leaves to change.

One box of decorations can go far. 
Happy haunting, friends.

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