From front-porch flying bats and ghouls to life-sized skeletons and coffins, Americans are spending more than ever on Halloween decorations and costumes. If you have a scary collection of décor and costumes to store and pull out each Halloween, you'll want to follow these tips to keep them in optimal shape.
Some costumes are costly and elaborate – well worth retaining and maintaining. Before putting your costumes away for the season, launder or dry clean them per the manufacturer's recommendations. Make sure you remove all stains as these can become permanent.
Once your costumes are clean and dry, wrap them in acid-free tissue paper if you are storing them in an air-tight plastic container. Do not use plastic bags, as these can trap moisture. Consider using an orange bin, which signifies Halloween, or write "Halloween Costumes" on an index card and adhere it to the outside of the box. If you are hanging your cleaned costumes to store them, which is best for full-size, long garments or dresses, use clear wardrobe bags and hangers that will not snag lace or delicate materials. Do not try to over stuff a garment bag; this will also help prevent wrinkling. Other tips to follow:
- Stuff bubble wrap in helmets or corset tops
- Store helmets upright to prevent warping
- Store props, such us swords and shields, in a labeled storage tub or bin
For yard or porch Halloween decorations, also consider using orange plastic tubs or bins to store them with large labels taped to the outside. Wash them thoroughly and dry them before putting them away for the season. Some items may be fragile, so wrap them in bubble wrap and if they are small, wrap them in paper and put them inside other items, such as plastic trick or treat pumpkins. Large decorations can also serve as storage "bins." For example, if you have decorative coffins, fill them with your skeletons, small yard tombstones, spiders or other spooky items. If you take good care of your decorations, they will serve you well when next October arrives.