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outdoor decorationsOctober brings thoughts of Halloween, in spite of the appearance of Christmas items in stores. It’s not just small children who love this spooky holiday. Many people spend the entire month looking forward to and planning for Halloween.

To make the most of the Halloween season, you need to get organized.

1. Update Your Calendar

Decide early what Halloween activities you will be attending. Include parties, costume or zombie walks, local fairs or festivals, haunted house visits, etc. If you’re a horror fan, make note of new movie openings, usually the weekend or two before Halloween and movie marathons at your local theater or on cable. Make sure that you have all activities for everyone in your family on one calendar, to avoid conflicts and ensure ample preparation time.

It’s also a good idea to mark out time for your various preparations. Set a specific date for decorating your home and note blocks of time for shopping for costumes or making them yourself.

2. Make Checklists

You probably want to do this step at the same time as #1. As you’re scheduling activities, you’ll want to make checklists of the various tasks associated with each. Here’s just a few common things you’ll need to do in October:

  • Find & go through last year’s Halloween decorations
  • Buy new decorations
  • Decide on costumes for all family members
  • RSVP to parties
  • Get info such as location, hours, admission fees, etc., for haunted houses, mazes, festivals and other activities
  • Send out Halloween cards/notes
  • Buy candy and treat bags
  • Buy pumpkin(s) for jack-o-lanterns

3. Start Decorating Early

It’s October. No need to wait until the last week of the month to decorate. Pull out the fake cobwebs, spiders, ghosts, mummies, and other Halloween decor and start showing your spirit.

Remember, the decorations are as much for you as for your neighbors to enjoy. Feel free to indulge yourself by decorating indoor spaces as well as outside — just carefully pack and store things that you need to get out of the way.

Prime areas for letting your spook out:

  • office or cubicle at work
  • living room/family room
  • kitchen
  • front door
  • front lawn
  • roof

4. Make/Acquire Costumes

kids in costumesCostumes can be the best part of Halloween. The opportunity to express a different aspect of yourself or be something no one would expect usually only happens once a year. Be creative. Push your own boundaries of who you think you are. Or just pick the scariest idea you can come up with. Conversely, pick something that you idealize, such as a fantasy or fictional character you wish you could be.

Costume rentals are a thriving business. You can still buy simple costumes at big box stores, but even they have expanded to more elaborate options. You can also pull together a costume by shopping at thrift and vintage stores or uniform shops and military surplus.

If you’re at all handy, consider making a one-of-a-kind costume or sewing from an available pattern. Be sure to take into account not just the cost of materials versus the cost of buying/renting a ready-made costume. The amount of time it will take you to make your costume is also a factor in the “cost.”

It may seem like a lot of work, but getting organized now will actually cut down the amount of prep time you’ll be expending later in the month. As you complete tasks and attend events you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the celebration of Halloween without worrying that you’re forgetting something.

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