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Discussion Starter #1
Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody .....Organize by "scene" or by "item type"?

Okay- now my whole attic is empty--- Before I haul these goodies back UP there, how should I organize my bins>

Do you prefer to organize your storage bins according to the scene the props go in (blue string lights for cemetery, certain cemetery candles, cemetery scene setters), or do you organize your bins by category (all string lights together, all candles together, all fabrics/scene setters together)?
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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I have to do it by type, because I only have one scene. Last year I did a really crappy job, and couldn't find things that I needed for this year. I'm going to have to invest in Totes boxes to put stuff in, instead of random cardboard boxes and huge Goodwill bags!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lair Mistress- I wish I would have used all SEE THROUGH bins from the very beginning and all in the same size so they could stack and store easier!

I also had a a hard time finding stuff this year---- Before it all goes away I want to be sure I make it as easy on myself as possible for 2015!
 

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We do a little bit of both. For the inside areas we decorate (front entry, dining room shelves/table, mantle), we put them away by scene. So all the dining room stuff goes into the same bin no matter what it is. For outside, some of our stuff is grouped by scene & other stuff is grouped by what it is. Like we'll put skulls/light up skulls all throughout our yard but we pack them away in a couple bins rather than by scene. We do tend to put most of our cemetery accessories & lights away together though.

One thing that I do think is helpful though - we try to make all our Halloween bins the same colors (orange & purple) and we label each bin so we know what to grab. We also label a couple of bins as "OPEN FIRST" and make sure they are in the front of our storage spot. We put some of the fall kid's books in there & some light up pumpkins and such. That way even if we don't have time to sort through Halloween stuff, we can still put a few "fall" things in our window quickly before we get to Halloween decorating.
 

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Lady Of The Lake
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I did like items together because I almost always never use things in the same place as i did the year before. I have bins for lights, candles, curtains-blankets-throws(fabric things), skulls and skeletons etc....but I do also have totes for my designated Poe things, Headless Horseman and so on. So I guess generic things I group together.
 

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I put it away by type - electronics, skulls and bones, birds and bats, candles, small tombstones, fabrics and webs, characters (heads, hands, feet, clothing). The inside house decorations do go in separate boxes, but everything else is in categories.
 

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Here to burgle your turts
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One thing that I do think is helpful though - we try to make all our Halloween bins the same colors (orange & purple) and we label each bin so we know what to grab. We also label a couple of bins as "OPEN FIRST" and make sure they are in the front of our storage spot. We put some of the fall kid's books in there & some light up pumpkins and such. That way even if we don't have time to sort through Halloween stuff, we can still put a few "fall" things in our window quickly before we get to Halloween decorating.
This is a great idea...gonna see if I can sell my wife on this. Do you offer some kind of service to organize people's lives over the internets? ;)

We have to organize stuff by type because we don't have enough storage in the house and the temperature changes we get in the garage would definitely play havoc on our latex masks (I used to store our Spooky Town stuff in the garage but I suspect that the glue on a couple of the pieces took a beating).
 

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By type with things like skulls, string/path lights, flame lights, extension cords, foam pumpkins, masks, etc. Builds and items too big for bins (tombstones, wooden wheelchair, coffins, etc.) store in a cellar room corner in no particular order other than where they'll fit.
 

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Far Away Eyes
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Here's another tip that worked out pretty well for me this past year. Keep one or two "Project Boxes" for props and crafts you want to work on during the year. There is nothing more frustrating than needing something for a project and it is at the bottom of the stack of boxes in the storage area. If you know some of what you plan to work on during this upcoming year, leave those out and keep in a box just for your projects.
 

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Moonlighter
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For those that use Rubbermaid or plastic totes with lids that are not see through, here's a tip I learned. I don't always put everything away in the same bin each time since I get new items each year, or some old items break, etc. I've learned to use scotch tape - you know, the kind in the dispenser that you use for wrapping Christmas presents, etc. You can stick a long piece of scotch tape on the sides or lids of your containers and write on the tape with marker the items you're putting inside. Then next year, if you change something out, you can just pull off the old piece of tape and replace it with a fresh piece without damaging or permanently mucking up your totes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's another tip that worked out pretty well for me this past year. Keep one or two "Project Boxes" for props and crafts you want to work on during the year. There is nothing more frustrating than needing something for a project and it is at the bottom of the stack of boxes in the storage area. If you know some of what you plan to work on during this upcoming year, leave those out and keep in a box just for your projects.
Awesome idea- I had a few projects I did not get to- so I will definitely do this :)
 

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Grand Poobah
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I start off by type. Then I finish by wherever there is space. Each year I start 'finishing' a lot earlier in the packing up process... skeletons in electronics. No problem. Tablecloths with tombstones. A-ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well we are BEAT! Hubby and I spent all day cleaning up stuff today. This year we had SEVEN separate scenes, each one very large.

We started with removing electrical lights and extension cords. Then took down all battery operated lighting things (candles, strobes, color changing lights, etc.) .

Stored all cords in one tote, stored all strobes and black lights in another, all flood lights in their own bin, etc. Fabrics and scene setters in one bin. The things we will use in ALL scenes are in their own bins/totes.

But for the most part, I kept things organized by scene. We have the front yard cemetery, and then the (first ever) back yard walk through which consists of the following scenes:
front entry chamber (fire place, butler, rats, candelabra)
seance/fortune teller room
vampires
mad science lab
witches' swamp
spider alley

Our attic is about 800 square feet of standing room storage. It's nearly empty right now. I want to get up there and vacuum it out, and really think about how to make the most of my storage space before I start throwing everything back up there! It sucks going up and down that ladder, let me tell you!
 

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By type, though I usually have at least one crate of etcetera. I echo those saying clear containers - too late for me but it's a great idea. I'm going to give a try at inventorying everything and paste lists on the crates (at least that's the idea). Every year I try to get a bit better at organizing and I could see the benefits at the beginning of the season, found everything but that one atmosfear DVD I put somewhere special and am still looking for it...
 

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If you switch your displays around, it is easier to organize by type, but if you have decorations that usually are in the same place, it is easier to organize by room. I have a designated dining room box with all my dishes and the tablecloths, napkins, curtains etc. are on top. The bathrooms also have a box. One box is for costumes since I do not need that every year, and if I do use it, I need it later than the rest. Most of the rest can be packed however it fits. One thing that prevents me from packing all my usual mantel stuff together is that a lot of my pumpkins get used straight through Thanksgiving since I can flip them around to hide the faces. That means that I have to pack my Thanksgiving stuff into 2 piles: strictly Thanksgiving & Halloween Thanksgiving. Outdoor decor is packed separately from indoor decor.

The reason that I like to pack by room is so I can just get down 3 boxes and do the kitchen for example instead of 15 boxes at once. Then, once I have setup room by room, I can always change stuff around.

I always make sure that the Halloween boxes end up in front of the Christmas boxes since it comes first. Last year, I was still lurking on the forum and the packing mistake that I made was to not separate out the clearance items that I had bought with an eye to maybe being able to use them for Secret Reaper. I had no idea what I had bought or where it was, so none of it was available to me to possible use for that. This year I will have a project and Reaper box.

I also make sure that candles and latex don't end up in the attic.
 
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