Halloween Hints (not from) Heloise

Earlier this year I shared my wisdom as a domestically disabled diva in a Hints (not from) Heloise post. I’m back for another round because it’s October, which means women ages 21-45 have become pumpkin zealots and that Halloween is just around the corner.

So to help you prepare for the holiday season and prove you don’t have to spend a fortune to be festive, I’ve compiled:

Halloween Hints (not from) Heloise

First of all, we’ll start inside. Stop dusting your house right now.* By avoiding the removal of dust, you will accumulate a layer of spookiness and cobwebs that people pay good money to artificially replicate.

*This does not apply to me, of course, as I have to dust everything every weekend—OCD trumps festiveness.

Once you’ve set the mood, there are simple household objects that can make cheap and easy decorations with minimal effort.

For example, if you put a tiny cape on a staple remover—and possibly some googly eyes if you’re really feeling ambitious— you have a quick and easy vampire decoration.


And what Halloween scene would be complete without a ghost or two? Considering my penchant for delightful smells, I suggest you pull double duty and simply drape a gel air freshener with a napkin, add a couple of eyes and voila! A spooky scented spirit to delight the masses. If you’re lucky, the “trick or treat” aroma will mask the slight odor of broken dreams and steamed broccoli that’s wafting through your kitchen.

If you’re only concerned with the external appearance of your home, cease all yard work two weeks ago and move to the next point below.

There have been orange construction cones just down my street for the past month or so (evidently they’re not in a hurry to finish whatever they’re doing.) And while most people simply see an annoyance, I see cheap Halloween candy corn decorations for my lawn.


Now I am in no way suggesting you (allegedly) take something that doesn’t belong to you, but if a strong wind happens to blow a couple cones your way—along with the leaves from your yard into the neighbor’s—that’s simply nature’s way of getting into the holiday spirit.

True, suggesting that you paint them to be exact replicas of the waxy candy might make things look suspicious, but most people will be too impressed with your creative prowess to be upset at the borrowing of said cone —allegedly.

In fact, they will probably stand in your yard clapping so hard it will set off the lame motion-sensored Halloween witch the other neighbors PAID for and put out.


Once your house and yard are set, it’s time to prepare to pass out the treats. Candy can be expensive, and given the fact that everyone else passes out candy—not very creative, now are we?—I have a much more economical and creative solution.


Sometimes you even get jelly and jams.

Set yourself apart from the crowd by passing out more practical samples treats you’ve accumulated throughout the year. Traveling? Make sure to stock up on things like shampoos, hand wipes, coffee packets and jelly from the hotel room.

Stuck waiting in the doctor’s office? Cotton balls, tongue depressors and plastic gloves (do not give to children under age 3) make for hours of creative artistic play.

This step also requires a bit of planning, but if you start now you can be set for next Halloween. And while the kids might not initially realize the benefit of these alternative treats, when their hands are sticky from egging your house, they’ll certainly appreciate the hand wipes.

Happy Haunting.

Any festive hints of your own?

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25 responses to “Halloween Hints (not from) Heloise

  1. You cracked me up! I read your hints over the phone to my sister!

  2. I need to find a pylon…

  3. You kill me!
    I should have told the maids to leave off dusting and vacuuming up kitty tumbleweeds last week. (yep, maids. That is one of the up sides to my occupational lung disease)

  4. Hahaha genius ideas! I especially like the not-dusting thing. Very authentic decorations.

  5. The ghost idea is genius. If I put any effort into Halloween whatsoever I would try it.

  6. Love that last one. My kids will be so happy not to be forced to use all the shampoos and soaps I bring home every time I travel. You’ll probably be getting a Thank You card from them.

  7. That really did make me laugh out loud. I am picturing the faces of the poor hapless kids who come to my door to be met with Tom Ford perfume samples and tiny containers of Stri-Vectin.

  8. Halloween is only just starting to catch on in Australia. When I saw kids trick or treating for the first time about 3 years ago, it was a big WTF moment. We’ve only had kids knock on our door once and we were totally unprepared. We said they could have some eggs or a scoop of protein powder! Haha

  9. Oh why didn’t I keep that pylon I stole as a teen? WHY??

    • For the record, it was returned later in the dark of night (around 7:30 pm, considering it’s getting dark so early now.)

  10. ooohhh… I should probably pin this on my pinterest board….

  11. I never dust because you just don’t know when you might need a spooky atmosphere – it could be any time of the year.

  12. This is HYSTERICAL, Abby!

    And I’m with you, there’s NO WAY I won’t dust.

  13. I’m in the Halloween spirit all year, which is why I have cobwebs in my house all year. Plus, having spiders in said cobwebs keeps the cats busy; no need to buy cat toys!

  14. I stole an orange construction cone once. I put it on my head whilst sitting upon a stationary motorcycle (which also didn’t belong to me).

    I was very drunk at the time.

    If only I had kept it. I’d have had Halloween lawn decorations all figured out… Sigh.

  15. Dusting is evil. Mama used to make my sister and me do it when we misbehaved. Naturally, my sister was always dusting.

    Loved the cone/candy corn thing!

  16. I do give pencils and little toys to the children along with the candy. One time one boy stole a YoYo. When we run low on candy, we’ve been known to throw in some pennies just to pump up the volume..so to speak. I’ve known some people who give out Bible Tracs.. I think those are the neighbors who may get egged..
    As for the samples, they go to homeless people.

    • I remember one Halloween when I was little and we started to run out of candy. We turned to Mentos and mini packages of Kleenex and then we just turned off the lights.

  17. Thankfully no kids trick or treat in our neighborhood so I don’t end up buying 14 bags of candy that i later have to take on all on me own. I mean, those mini reese’s aren’t going to eat themselves. Love the hotel samples lol

  18. I just ask my daughters to replace their high pitched whines with blood curdling screams and request that all spills be referred to as blood splatter.

    hilarious one with the construction cone

  19. Allegedly… :). We rescued a black and orange cat just to save a step in Halloween decorating. Truish story. Ellen

  20. Perfect idea on the treat front! This keeps the candy out of my house because inevitably, no one stops by and I eat it. I also like to turn off all the lights and pretend not to be home.

  21. I love the no dusting one! I try to save strategically placed cobwebs months ahead of time. The store bought ones just don’t measure up!

  22. It’s really no coincidence that Salvador Perez is a black cat. Halloween ambiance? Check. Oh, and the spiderwebs growing in all corners of the porch are really coming along nicely.

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