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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not a clutter bug by nature but my Halloween collection is seriously out of control.

I spent 3-1/2 hours the other day in the garage/workshop cleaning and organizing. That's Phase One of (I'm guessing) three major sessions.

I have a list of categories to help organization but I just don't have the space anymore. Each year I do a new theme so each year the collection grows. Even with reusing a lot of 'cross over' décor. Costuming is one of the problem categories because clothes take up so much room.

If anyone can share their tips and advice, it would be appreciated. Even just sharing your story so I know I'm not alone. :)
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I need to get my collection organized and do a purge on old stuff I know I'll not use again. I don't change my general outdoor theme that much (typical graveyard display), but over the years I have some prop misses that I know aren't going to be used or stuff that broke down, and I still have them taking up space in my very limited storage area.

And I am a clutterbug, so I really need to get on this!

So no suggestions, but lots of empathy for your situation! :D
 

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Super Moderator
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In 2010, I had the choice thrust upon me when half my stuff was destroyed in a storm that flattened a storage shed.

We never rebuilt that shed.

Since the storm hit in August, we had a really minimal (ok, hugely over the top by most normal people's standards) setup for 2010. I made the decision that I like the BUILDING of things more than the COLLECTING of things.

Since 2011, I focused on 1-2 major builds a year. In 2011, I had the opportunity to sell a piece, and instead made a third build on commission. Since then, I've taken to selling off my builds after Halloween each year.

This decision has let me explore themes that are interesting to me from a BUILDING perspective, but not so much from a decoration perspective.

For instance, the kids really wanted a graveyard, so in 2012, I enjoyed every minute of the challenge of sculpting this tomb, even though it doesn't really fit the direction I like to go with the yard.



It sold swiftly and made enough that Halloween was entirely free that year. Considering this includes the build, a party with over a hundred people, and 1000ish trick or treaters getting full size bars, that's not chump change.

I loved that build so much, I have ideas I want to try out in the future for similarish items. They might not fit MY taste (which leans more harvest themed), but the challenge of the sculpt fascinates me.

Going at each year with the specific plan of selling things really helped when that time come. The decision was already made, everything must go.

Don't know that it's helped storage much, honestly. It just filled up with raw materials rather than completed items.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I need to get my collection organized and do a purge on old stuff I know I'll not use again. I don't change my general outdoor theme that much (typical graveyard display), but over the years I have some prop misses that I know aren't going to be used or stuff that broke down, and I still have them taking up space in my very limited storage area.

And I am a clutterbug, so I really need to get on this!

So no suggestions, but lots of empathy for your situation! :D
Yes, we need to be ruthless! For example, last year was Hitchcock so I have over a hundred birds. Most are styro $1 dollar store, some are plastic, some are unique. I told myself that any bird with any damage at all would go in the bin. I can use birds again in other themes but I don't need ones with white styro showing through, missing legs, etc. Did I do that? Not really. I did toss some but I also kept a lot of substandard ones and loose legs that I could reattach. It was such an overwhelming project that I was worried I'd never finish. So it was easier to just toss them all in a huge box and label it 'Birds'.

Writing about this has helped because it made me realize something. I need to attack each category one at a time.

As for prop misses I know what you mean. There are props that I have never used and probably never will. Like a huge fabric, glittery snake. Some cutesy stuff that just isn't my style. I need to let go of that stuff! It's like clothing that you tell yourself you might wear 'one day'. But every time you try it on, you remember why you never wear it.
 

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bone collector
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You definitely are not alone! For most of us on this forum, I would venture to guess Halloween
has become an wonderful obsession:D IMO, you haunters that do a new theme every year
have it harder; what can I re-purpose, etc. It comes down to really purging out, like Frankie's Girl mentioned.

Ruthless is the perfect word regarding the purge process.

We do a walk-thru haunt & party for 100+on about half an acre. Storage is always an issue, even though we have
a 16x24 shed dedicated to only Halloween, most of the garage is now Halloween storage & my props workshop, plus
extra storage in the permanent 8x8 voodoo swamp shack my husband built last year. Some props, like the guillotine,
stockade, and real casket, are under the house eves along the side of our house, year round. Hehe, the new bug guy
always gets a surprise:eek: My goal is to narrow the haunt scenes down to 15 favs/most complete, weed out the props
that just don't fit in, duplicates, damaged, started another scene concept, etc.. & that are just taking up valuable space~
have a big pre-Halloween yard sale beginning of Sept.

Agreed, the costumes can take up a large space. We are using 4 of the large
heavy duty 48" tall cardboard wardrobe boxes w/metal rod(they're great) plus 4 bins. If somebody
needs a costume, which is a requirement to attend our party, we've got one...and costume changes
for the life sized props as well. Being able to stack everything upwards helps.

Next episode: Halloween Hoarders Edition....
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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Next episode: Halloween Hoarders Edition....

Oh jeez, that's about the size of it for all of us isn't it? And that bad ole One Day monster...that thing is responsible for more than a few cluttered areas my house & yours.

As for costumes & clothes I suggest vacuum bags. Not bags for your vacuum but the plastic ones you can stuff a ton of stuff into & then you suck all the air out of it with the vacuum hose.

I'm sure there are some things you couldn't or wouldn't want to put into them like wings or larger pieces that should be compressed, but for a lot of things they can go right into the bags & they compress to 1/2 of the size.

I use them for beach towels & holiday linens & I can fit all 3 large bags into the top of my very small hall closet once they're compressed.
 

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bone collector
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Oh jeez, that's about the size of it for all of us isn't it? And that bad ole One Day monster...that thing is responsible for more than a few cluttered areas my house & yours.

As for costumes & clothes I suggest vacuum bags. Not bags for your vacuum but the plastic ones you can stuff a ton of stuff into & then you suck all the air out of it with the vacuum hose.

I'm sure there are some things you couldn't or wouldn't want to put into them like wings or larger pieces that should be compressed, but for a lot of things they can go right into the bags & they compress to 1/2 of the size.

I use them for beach towels & holiday linens & I can fit all 3 large bags into the top of my very small hall closet once they're compressed.
That was a duh moment for me~I use the vacuum bags for blankets..never thought of using them for the costumes! GREAT idea!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy dance:D
 

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I have been going through mine with an eye to posting on the local buy/sell/trade lists once it gets a little closer. I also enjoy the building part but don't have room to keep much more! Spouse has made it clear that for every gravestone I build this year - an older one has to go!
 

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Girl Gone Mad
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There is always the Payitforward Surprise to consider to get rid of some things, or join the Secret Reapers.

My problem isn't so much overload as it is that stuff is all just thrown in one shed by my brother in law making it hard to see what I have and what I don't. :mad: So need to straighten that out, and what I can't use anymore, it will be donated to someone here who I know would appreciate it and needs it :D

Just an idea if you don't mind paying a little something for shipping to give to someone from this wonderful web site, someone you know enjoys Halloween as much as you do, and would certainly appreciate and take care of the things you send to them because they understand how much time and money you have put into the precious items.
 

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I just can't throw something out that I've spent time/money on so try to repurpose. Recently I placed a big PVC cage over my autumn clematis. It will be covered in about a month and I can always cut it out if I need it again. Thinking about using my cemetery fencing next to grow tomatoes on :)
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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There's always halloween "staples" you need to keep every year. Skellys,lighting,paint organized by colors, styro,tombstones, fillers (crates,burlap,branches). Those always on lower level of garage. I have saved a lot of life size figures I had bought throughout the years because I can transform them to fit the theme without reinventing the wheel ......but I have sold a lot of stuff from my previous themes because I prob won't do them again. My pirate stash except for trunk or two and my entrance sign, are all gone. Skellies too with pirate clothing. Steel "toxic barrels" were sold off too, my "geiger counters" were sold, a lot of the weaponry too.
So I guess I sell/give a lot of my stuff away, or else I would have no room for storage. I think you should part with stuff you haven't used in a long time. I know its hard, because you think you will need it someday. But I haven't needed any of the stuff I have sold, and prob in part because I don't remember half the stuff that i sold away.....:D
 

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Halloween Nut
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We have a nice size shed in the back yard, which is probably about 10-12X 20ish. It is basically split in two sections with a wall in the middle and power. One side is tires for 4 cars, some power equipment a few tubs of out door holiday lights and lots of camping gear and garden stuff. We put up adjustable shelves to pile huge tubs and the tents and things. The other side is where I store much of my halloween stuff. Not all, but much. We didn't build the shed, it came with the house, but it is great. I wouldn't have it if it were not already here.

One former owner had twin boys and he built a loft in that side of the shed for them to play in. It is carpeted, and when my boys were smaller, they played there too. It has since become my halloween storage. Not all of it, but that is where all my tombstone go for safe keeping. No getting bumped into and damaged. I can also get most of my outdoor items up there too along with skeletons, spiders, lanterns. It is probably 5 feet off the floor and 10X4. I still have all the space under it for skeletons in boxes, bikes, and a huge wooden crate that I imagine I will do something with. My toe pincher slides right in on that.

Not everyone can build a shed for halloween, but my point is try to go vertical. Can you add a wall of adjustable shelves somewhere to store tubs and save precious floor space? Do you have a wall in the garage you could use and still get the cars in? Not that I have gotten my cars in the garage for years, but then I'm better giving advise than following. ... Do you have a furnace room large enough to add shelves or even to place a closet rod to hang your costumes? I bet you could find lots of places to stash things. Now, I need to go get organised myself. If all else fails, you can take si-cotik's advice, and send the stuff you don't need to me LOL
 

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I just skimmed through this thread so I may have missed it if someone has already suggested this; if you have a lot of stuff you aren't going to use again maybe a local organization could use donations of our unused props and stuff for charity haunts. Or, and this is a wacky idea, someone get a kickstarter going to fund a museum of homemade props.
 
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