porch trick-or-treatersImage Credit: DeForest Architects

At one time or another, especially when you first move into a neighborhood, you may feel a slight twitch of anxiety prior to Halloween. Will anyone actually show up at the door? How much candy should be purchased? Is my house going to be popular for trick-or-treaters? Asking neighbors is always a good idea to gather intel about your Halloween trick-or-treater prospects. Some neighborhoods are known for excellent trick-or-treating: easy walkability, dense population, high income, clever decorations, etc. But if you’re looking to get some major traffic to your doorbell here are some quick tips for you and your home. And if you’re hope is to NOT get trick-or-treaters, simply do the opposite of our advice!

 Leave Your Lights On

Not only do outdoor lights provide safety, lights can help lead traffic to your doorstep. Leaving several indoor lights on as well indicates that you are home and are expecting visitors. This week check your outdoor bulbs and replace ones that aren’t working. For a quick addition to your outdoor lights, check your local hardware store for bulbs that can be plugged into an extension cord and staked into the ground.

Decorate, Decorate, Decorate

The homes with no Halloween decorations mean one thing: the homeowners probably aren’t interested in Halloween. You don’t have to blow through your bank account to have awesome decorations. Pumpkins, cut out ghosts or spiders, a holiday wreath or a spooky soundtrack definitely scream that you love Halloween. Holiday lights (as in Christmas lights) can also be strung around trees and bushes, adding to the festivities.  Think about the style of décor as well. If your neighborhood tends to have small children you may want to reconsider the extra gory, super scary decorations. Parents may not appreciate having their children really scared and upset. To save money on Halloween décor be sure to check your favorite stores the last week prior to Halloween and the first few days after Halloween. This is the best time to stock up on next year’s decorations.

Get Awesome Candy

Store bought candy is the best: not only is it considered “safe” (because it’s in the original wrapper) it’s de-rigor for all the kids and adults. Some houses are known for their large sized candy bars, some are known for their variety of candy and others are known for “bad” treats (sorry, most of us do not appreciate toothbrushes or raisins).  Best time to stock up on candy is early September when stores start displaying large variety packs. As we get closer to the 31st the variety decreases (although prices may also decrease). If you are unsure about stocking up on candy, and wondering how long it might last past Halloween, you can check Eat By Date and type in the name of your candy in question.

Leave A Good Impression

Kids remember which houses are “good” for Halloween and which ones to avoid. Being nice, answering the door on the first ring, complimenting costumes and generally being a good host or hostess can go a long way. If you feel that you won’t be able to get to the door in time, are too busy hosting a party to answer the door, or may be out at another party, just leave a bowl of candy outside your front door. Feel free to leave a sign as to how much candy each child can take but be aware that kids may not take the time to read. Remember that this is a fun night and is often the first time a child works up the nerve to say “trick-or-treat” so be patient and enjoy the parade of costumes!