Whether you are picking apples, planning a party, decorating for the season, trick or treating, or watching scary movies, there is something for all ages at Halloween. Here are a few helpful tips for getting organized during this fun time of year.
1. Check Your Calendar – Open up your calendar and start planning ahead – although October has just begun, with all the activities in the fall and weekends filling up, it will be over very quickly. Planning ahead for all the things you need to do, accomplish and attend will help you stay more organized. Enter your absolute dates and schedules first, referring to work, activities, sports, religious, and other volunteer commitments. Once those are in your calendar, be sure to plan some time for fun little trips to enjoy the autumn colors this time of year.
2. Plan It Out! Make a master list including sections for: parties, home decorations, costumes, pumpkin carving, apple picking, school or extra-curricular schedules, and errands to run. Each one of these categories has many sub-tasks and can easily eat up valuable time in the planning details. With a master list, you are more likely keep these tasks top of mind and can combine errands and trips – so you are less likely to have to make last-minute runs that can throw anyone’s schedule.
3. Costumes! Discuss what each member of your family will dress-up as for Halloween. This will give you an idea of how much time will be needed to prepare or purchase costumes as well as how much to budget. Costumes are one of those items that can be quite expensive if you’re purchasing pre-made varieties. To save money, consider home-made, borrowing costumes from a friend or neighbor or going with costumes that are simple and reusable. You can pull ideas for costumes from a number of sources, including fairy tales, video games, comics, cartoons, horror movies, etc. If you want to save money, thrift stores are a great place to find gently-used Halloween costumes.
4. Plan Your Theme! If you plan to host a Halloween party, the first thing you need to do is come up with a theme. Then you can pick the location and put together a budget. Make a checklist of the tasks and the date they should be done. Plan fun activities and games for your party. Bobbing for apples is a one example of a classic game associated with the holiday. Do not forget to set the mood with music. Planning these details ahead of time makes for a smooth event and allows you to enjoy the party too.
5. Get Ready! To get your home ready for trick-or-treaters, make sure your walkways are well lit. Remove objects from your yard that could present a tripping hazard. Be sure your pets are secured and away from the entryway. And don’t forget your own costume! The trick-or-treaters enjoy seeing home-owners in the spirit.
6. Be Safe! There are a few safety tips to keep in mind when going trick-or-treating with your children. Check to make sure that the costumes everyone is wearing are flame retardant. Also make sure that masks are not blocking anyone’s vision and that the length of costumes is not going to interfere with walking. If it is dark, try to wear light colored clothing or put reflective tape on the costumes. Don’t carry fake guns, knives, swords, or other weapons that look real. Make sure they are flexible and can’t hurt anyone. Always carry a flashlight and make sure to stay in a group. Don’t go to homes that are un-lit or un-welcoming. Some people do not participate in this celebration… so it’s best to simply pass them by.
7. Sort and Save! When you return from your treasure hunt – empty goodies on a large table in a well-lit area and go through the loot looking for anything that has no wrapper. Dispose of items that look suspicious unless you know from where they came. My family likes to sort their candies into piles and separate them… putting taffy’s together, chocolate items together, snack items together, gum and lollipops and so forth. The kid’s use the snack items in their lunches for as long as they last, and often, we’ll have chocolate goodies stashed in our freezer until Christmas comes!
Halloween can be a really fun time of year for you and your family. Planning ahead can help you enjoy it much more! If you need help getting your home or business organized for the holidays, contact today!