The candy’s been accounted for, the monsters put to bed: another Halloween has come and gone.

But now that it’s over, what to do with all of those killer costumes you put together? True, if you created your ensemble from pieces of your own wardrobe or old clothes that will soon be donated or tossed, then you really don’t need to worry about storing them. But, if you went all out on yours or your kid’s costume, and there are extra props or elaborate outfits you want to keep on standby for the future, you need some way of putting them out of sight where they will be safe and secure. Here at Extra Attic, we’ve put together a few tips for just such an occasion.

Freshen up!

Before you store away any costumes or accessories, check each item for particular instructions, and then get them all thoroughly cleaned and ready for another wear. After all, no one wants to don a costume that’s had a year to collect dust on top of anything else that might have gotten on it at the last party or carnival! Masks, wigs, and some specialty materials can have certain needs when it comes to laundering or cleanliness, so locate tags and follow the advice on them to get more use out of the items.

Use a little extra padding.

Hats can easily lose shape if not stored properly; we suggest using balled up newspaper or even lengths of bubble wrap to ensure that witch’s hat keeps its structure for next year. You can use the same materials for delicate pieces like costume jewelry and accessories, too. That way, chains and baubles don’t get tangled together, and you save time when you’re getting ready next year.

Line your pockets with a little modern magic.

Garment bags are an excellent storage option for elaborate costumes, or even just dress wear you employed for your costume. But if you want to keep your clothes even fresher and less likely to wrinkle, line each item with a bit of tissue paper. It’s an added protective layer that doesn’t take up much space, meaning you’ll still have room in each bag for more than one item so long as they’re not as bulky as, say, a ball gown or jack-o-lantern get-up.

Contain that concealer.  

It’s perfectly fine to stow away liquid props (provided they’re in a cool, controlled environment and can’t affect anything delicate or valuable if there is some sort of accident), but do make sure you’ve sealed their containers properly before storing them anywhere. Read all instructions for storage, including expiration dates and warnings, and act accordingly. It may seem a bit over-the-top, but opening up a Tupperware container to find all your fake blood or make-up has made a colossal mess is definitely less convenient!

And when your ensembles and smaller props are all tucked into the back of your closets? Contact us for a place to put the more imposing decorations, the large pieces that made your house look like it belonged on Elm Street. Extra Attic is happy to hold onto them until you need them again next October!