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How to Have the Best Halloween Party and Costumes on Your Block

candy-jar_300By Barbara Reich
Author of Secrets of an Organized Mom
For children, the whole concept of Halloween seems too good to be true. They get to wear a costume, knock on strangers’ doors, and ask them for free candy. Then they pretty much eat as much candy as their heart desires for an entire night. But for a parent, Halloween can be downright scary.

Your pre-schooler changes his mind four times about his costume, your tween wants to trick or treat with friends (and no parent), and your teenager’s costume seems to be exposing an awful lot of skin. You haven’t even started thinking about the costume you’re wearing to your friend’s annual Monster Mash. How can you enjoy the holiday while making sure it’s fun? Here’s sweet relief in the form of Halloween-helping tips.

Take out your Halloween decorations two to three weeks before the holiday. If you’ve gone to the trouble of buying and storing the decorations, enjoy them for a few weeks as excitement for the holiday builds.

If you’re going to order a costume online, leave yourself enough time for it to be shipped to you and returned if the size isn’t correct. If you’re planning on making a costume, start early enough so you can enjoy the process with your child.

Buy your Halloween candy early. The prices for candy are the highest in the two weeks before Halloween.

This is the perfect time to sort through your child’s dress up clothes. Maybe you can find a costume your child wants to wear or some accessories that can be used. It’s also the perfect time to purge the costumes that no longer fit.

Sort Halloween candy by type and store in glass or clear plastic cylinders of different heights. You’ll be amazed at how pretty the candy looks when stored this way.

Nov. 1 isn’t too soon to take down the Halloween decorations. All things Halloween related should be put away by the weekend following the holiday. Halloween books, pumpkin carving kits, Halloween decorations, and costumes should be stored in a clear plastic box with a lid (size and number of boxes depends on the quantity you have). This should be put away, out of the way, until next year.

Be realistic about saving costumes. If you have a child that loves playing dress up, add it to the stash. However, if there’s little chance the costume will be worn again, donate it.

Barbara Reich is a professional organizer who lives in New York City with her husband, 13-year-old twins, and puppy. She takes a tough love approach to help everyone turn organization from a chore to a lifestyle. Her book, Secrets of an Organized Mom, is currently on shelves. Find out more about Barbara on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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