It is November and Halloween is (sadly) in the past. We had great fun decorating all our windows, the foyer and our hall bath this year. And of course, outside for our Trick-or-Treaters. If you missed the post, here is a handy link: Halloween 2021.
But the time has come to take down all those decorations and store them for next year. Now, as you might know by now, I reuse all my decorations every year. And if there was something that didn’t make it on this year’s decorating list, then the time has come to recycle/dispose of it anyway.
So I’ll be packing away the things I want to keep, and getting rid of those items that I no longer want or need.
I just love, love, love plastic storage containers. Preferably the see-through kind, so I can easily tell what is inside. If you read about our Garage Organization Project, you will remember that I used a lot of plastic containers there too. For the garage, I added labels, so that every member of my household can easily find what they are looking for. And sometimes it even helps!
I have two (only two!!!) plastic containers dedicated to Halloween decorations. Now, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of storage, and yes, not all decorations are stored in these. Some of my decorations are too big to fit inside. I store my Halloween Wreath in a zippered plastic bag. My plastic skeletons, candy chute, and foam board items need to be stored somewhere else. More on that in a bit 🙂
Starting the Undecorating Process
The morning after Halloween is when I take down my Candy Chute. This was another DIY project originally designed to be used from inside the house (through a window), but our weather is so nice here in Georgia, that we usually want to sit outside and watch everyone come and go. A nice way to spend a couple of hours, while seeing every costumed Trick-or-Treater. And our Great Dane, Ben, likes greeting visitors too, even though he does not like to be dressed up for Halloween.
So we usually build the Candy Chute display on the day of Halloween. It is propped up with our step ladder, which in turn is draped in white sheets, as to not look too much like a ladder. And then I bring various tables and little props and decorations that were inside all month, out to decorate around the Candy Chute.
So first thing the next morning, I disassemble the Candy Chute display and take all the furniture and small decorations used around it, back inside. I use my foyer as a collection area and start placing everything I want to keep for next year, in here. One of the empty Halloween containers usually contains everything, while I start the Undecorating process.
A “Messy” Foyer
Over the next couple of days, I slowly remove my temporary doorway curtain, and all the other Halloween decorations from my foyer and bathroom (and this year – the kitchen counter) and just dump them in or near the empty plastic container. I have some ziplock bags to hold groups of smaller items together, but I just gather everything and bring them here for now. I remove my Halloween artwork from the walls and bring them here too.
If you know me, you know I do not like messy areas in my house at all. And to me, this is now a very messy area indeed. But, the rest of the house stays organized, as I collect the “mess” in one area only. I can deal with that.
By now, it is time to take down the DIY window decorations. I love, love, love my paper cutouts, and will reuse them as long as I can. My bats, cats and witches are much loved by my neighbors too, so I like to leave them up just a little while longer. I will take the empty plastic container, and go room by room to collect them all. I gently pull them loose from the inside of the window, remove the tape if I can, or just fold it over if it will tear my decoration. And then I place them in the container. For something that provides such a big decoration impact, they sure take up very little storage space! Once they are all in the container, I take this down to the foyer as well.
Collecting Outside Decorations
And it is on to the last area that needs to be undecorated. The outside. Since the lights I added to the front of the house will stay for my Christmas decorations, I can leave those and focus on the smaller items. Headless Guy can be disassembled, and our spider cocoons (they are really fake spiderwebs collected from previous years) can come down from the tree. I remove the batteries from my skulls and pull them up. Lastly, the new foam witch can be removed from her plastic pole, and also move inside. Since I removed a lot of the smaller items already, the rest can be gathered up and brought to my foyer quickly.
Some of the decorations I use for Halloween are actually my normal decor items, that live elsewhere in the house. I keep them separate to take care of them after everything else has been packed away. I don’t have to sort my window decorations – they are now the bottom layer of my container. I just go through the rest of the items in the foyer and place things in ziplock bags and distribute them between the two containers. So I do keep everything Halloween themed together in the two containers: my picture frames, tablecloth, plastic decorations, and even the white sheets I used outside. I have the doorway curtain in a ziplock bag, my fake plastic bugs, and even my plastic cauldron fit into a container.
But some items are too big for the containers. And that is what I use my foyer bench for. And now it makes more sense why I bring all my decorations together in the foyer, right? Bet you were wondering about that! The bench, another item we have updated over the years, stores all my plastic pipes, caution tape, my skeletons, my two black lanterns and Headless Guy. I even keep our bulky costumes in here. Oh, and also the foamboard decorations.
The only item not kept in the two containers or in the bench is the candy chute. I remove his horns and the rest of him goes onto the wall in the garage. He gets the top spot on my storage wall since he will only be needed again in exactly 11 months.
Containers to the Basement
I need two trips down to the storage room in my basement to stow away Halloween. This area could use some more love, but for now, I just pull my Christmas containers to the front and slide Halloween to the back of my decorations group. I am not quite ready to decorate for Christmas – I feel the house (and my family) need at least a week or two to breathe in between – but my Christmas containers full of decorations will be easily accessible when the time comes.
There you have it! Undecorating Halloween does not have to be stressful, cost a lot, or even take up too much time. Till next year!