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The Haunting Girl
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Once upon a time it was very easy for me to know what I had when it came to Halloween. I only had a handful of things and it all fit in a few totes that go stashed in the basement. Now I've taken over two closets, a large chunk of a bedroom, and a corner of the basement that keeps creeping outward with each passing year. I've lost count of the boxes, totes, bags, etc.
Now, for the second time, I'm attempting to take an inventory of everything. I'm going through every last container, making note of what's in what, how much I have, etc. I have a spreadsheet with tabs of different categories like lighting, animatronics, props (by size), etc. The sheet details the items, power needs (if necessary), size, theme, storage location, etc. I almost feel like I'm doing that "Konmari" thing, but there is no way I could take every single Halloween item and put them into one space. I am getting rid of a lot of older and unused things.
I've barely scratched the surface of what I own and it feels overwhelming. I'm not even taking inventory of items I consider craft supplies... I've done this once before, but that was years ago and now I have so much more. It has been kind of cool to rediscover things that got buried. I found lots of old things that I can use for the upcoming haunt season. I really felt like my display was getting stale, but I already had so much stuff that I've avoided buying more (also the quality of items today is really bad). Now I have "new" things to put in and it's free.

So, has anyone else tried to keep track of everything they have for their haunts? Or maybe just the big items? I'm guessing that most people just kinda keep a mental note of stuff and it's organized chaos.
 

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I have a ton of stuff. And while some things play just about every year, there are often many things that I don't even remember owning. But that's OK with me since opening a "new" bin or box always yields something that hasn't been out for a few years. Often, it is the after H-Day clearance items that get separated from the herd. But it is always a delight to discover a new thing I'd completely forgotten I'd purchased. Oh look! Six new ghost projection moving lights!!!

More than an inventory, I really could use a repair and maintenance plan for the props I own. So many of them are in need of a lot of TLC at this point.
 

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At my house we decorate inside and out for our annual party. Rarely do we get any ToTs since all the kids have grown.
I always write what's in a tote on a piece of paper or index card which is then taped to the tote. I also store like items together or in a way that makes sense to me. All dishes/serving stuff goes together. All fabric together, costumes and clothes, bones etc. 1 tote for years held all the bats, cats and rats. I also store items in the same place year after year according to what they are. If I need anything pertaining to zombies I know it's in the shed, make up its under the bed, so forth and so on. This has been a real lifesaver more than once when racing to get a specific item that will finish out a look. 3 years ago I had to leave right after Halloween and the husband lovingly put everything away Willy nilly. Haven't been able to find a dang thing I've been looking for since as my tote tags no longer ring true. Last year I was so very frustrated that I didn't touch a single tote. I went with a theme that was a completely different direction than normal and just bought what I needed to pull it off. Witches and wizards ball like an old fashioned fancy ball. Lots of candles, silver, crystal and fabric. It was soooooo low key for me that the neighbors were calling to check on me since nothing scary was in the yard.
This winter I've been working on cleaning out the garage and reorganizing as weather permits. This year is all about skeleton and bones and I'll be going back to my normal dark scary party. Everyone had a great time last year, raised $1,400.00 in donations for the local cat rescue but man I missed the screams.
 

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We are actually quite organized. All of our totes are numbered. We have a spreadsheet that lists exactly what is in each tote, from costumes to wigs, hats, boots and shoes, misc. items. We also have a list of all of our big props and where they are, garage, shed, storage shed, under the addition. Each year we do a full map of our yard and what is going to go out. Then it is just a matter of going to that location, taking it out, and setting it all up. If we didnt do this then it would be chaos every year.
 

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I have started a couple of spreadsheets but never get to far. Even try to organize items in totes that is halfway. But seems like a lot o fyears I'm packing it up in the rain at the campground so doesn't stay like it should. Or when I get help.
 

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Currently, I use clear plastic totes and type out an 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper sign with a list of the contents in each tote and just slide it inside so you can see it from the outside. I update or modify the signs when needed. I am a visual person, so a spreadsheet isn't my thing, but someday, I would like to take photos of groups of similar items and store them in a folder on my computer so if I need to, I can just pull them up.
 

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All of my vintage/antique Halloween items are securely packed in a crate.

Everything else is photographed & posted on a closed Pinterest page. I also write notes on my calendar then transfer the notes to a new calendar for the following year.
 

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They call me HeebieJeebie
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I *used* to keep a paper taped on top of the tote with a general list of the contents & that's kinds of gone by the wayside in the past year or two. My garage looks like a hoarder's dream right now with ALL the stuff - not just my Halloween goodies. We've never had a car in there.
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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kuroneko - you are not insane with the spreadsheet. I have one too.:cool: But its mostly to know what lighting I have, cans , colors, watts etc. I sell alot of my display every year, but keep the essentials - lighting, skellys, pvc, some costumes, some wigs and fabrics some character life size props that I change up year after year. I take alot of photos with my phone of where I have stored things too, so I remember where they are, and so hubs doesnt know where they are! :D
 

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I did my organization in March, the system I use is called pack and track. its a bar code system, and app on your phone.. Tells me what is in each , box, and tote. Time consuming at first but will be easy for me to find what I am looking for.
 

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I know what I have and since I build 90% of my own props and don't buy them at stores, it isn't like I'm going to duplicate.
 

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I did my organization in March, the system I use is called pack and track. its a bar code system, and app on your phone.. Tells me what is in each , box, and tote. Time consuming at first but will be easy for me to find what I am looking for.
This is an amazing idea txcateyez! I just looked up the app and am excited about reorganizing everything but then I thought about once its all out of the boxes and setup how do you handle your repacking at the end of the season? I always end up adding items which inevitably then don't fit in the box. Is it easy in the app to reorganize what is in what box when repacking? Appreciate any insight you can provide!
 

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This is an amazing idea txcateyez! I just looked up the app and am excited about reorganizing everything but then I thought about once its all out of the boxes and setup how do you handle your repacking at the end of the season? I always end up adding items which inevitably then don't fit in the box. Is it easy in the app to reorganize what is in what box when repacking? Appreciate any insight you can provide!
I had the exact same thought and would love to know the same. Thanks!
 
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