Now That Halloween Is Over

Recently, Martha Stewart was making the rounds of TV talk shows to promote her creative ideas for Halloween decorating.

She’s a whiz, using Styrofoam pieces, netting, cheesecloth and glow sticks to create creepy-crawly décor perfect for a ghoulish good time.

When Halloween is over, however, how do you create storage for items that you’re sure to use next season?

Stewart and other organizational gurus recommend the following:

  • Purchase Halloween-colored plastic storage bins that are stackable and come in a variety of sizes. Keep your holiday decorations color-coded by using black, orange or purple bins for your Halloween items.
  • Consider purchasing or making dividers to ensure your decorations — hanging bats and cheesecloth ghosts, for instance — make it through storage intact for more creepy fun next year.
  • Keep your smaller decorations or breakables in popcorn tins, and add a label about what’s inside.
  • If you buy storage bins in bulk and don’t want to spend extra to color code your Halloween items, consider purchasing transparent bins so you can easily see what’s in each container.
  • Make sure you purchase bins that will fit into your storage area. Measure your closet, for example, to make sure you’re not buying a bin that’s too large or can’t be stacked in the available space.
  • Think about the material for each item as you attempt to pack it away. Is it worth saving? Will the materials degrade over the course of a year in storage?
  • Organize your decorations by area of your house. If you have items for the front porch, for example, store these items together to save decorating time.

If you love Halloween as much as most people seem to, you might have accumulated more items than you can possibly use.

Here are some tips for cutting through the clutter:

  • Consider donating costumes that your children have outgrown. You may have other costumes that can be repurposed, so consider donating those as well.
  • Look for shabby items, and toss them. Donating to nonprofit groups is a worthwhile endeavor, but they don’t want your trash.

Here’s a great decluttering technique that you can test out as you take down all of your Halloween decorations.

Assemble four boxes, labeled “trash, ” “give away, ” “put away” and “sell.” Give yourself an hour for the task, but set a timer for 45 minutes. Use that time to go through your items and sort them into the boxes. When the timer rings, set it again for 15 minutes, and use that time to clean up and move the boxes to the appropriate spot.

Don’t forget that would love to receive your items to fund its programs for veterans. You can visit the site to schedule a pickup. Easy!