7 Quick Tips to Recycle and Organize Your Halloween Costumes

Halloween is here and it’s time to figure out what to wear and what to do with all those costumes that only get used once. Here are 7 tips to recycle and organize to prepare for the costume craze.

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Out From Hibernation

It’s fall y’all!  You’ve probably gotten out those decorations and costumes out of hibernation by now.  Halloween is almost here!

For me, I like to have everything done by the first of October to make sure there is plenty time to enjoy it all.  (Ahem, (whisper voice) this year is I’m a bit behind, like a lot!).  If you’re like me and are behind the holiday curve this year, I give you permission to give yourself grace.  Life is busy after all, right!?   

Anyway, getting out my decorations I also looked at some costumes that we don’t need anymore.  We tend to keep a few around because we reuse them, so this is typical.  

Last year, my husband and I went to a party as Post Apocalyptic warriors. This was our first adult, no kids party, so I I wanted to have fun with it! I spent so much time on what we wore I just couldn’t bare to let it go. (Yes, I have an entire bin dedicated to this!)

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Halloween costumes are super fun, especially when you have cute kiddos that wear them or a great costume party to go to. The only problem is, they can be very awkward to store and are typically only worn once!  

Fall is here and Halloween is right around the corner. No, really!  Here are a few quick tips for recycling and organizing all the super heroes, princesses and warriors to prepare for the costume craze that’s upon us.


Costumes are usually a one and done item which can create a lot of waste and or clutter.  Rather than just putting them away in a box or tossing them, get creative and recycle your costumes. And if you’re going to keep them, then make sure they’re nice and tidy!

There are plenty of littles and adults that need costumes.  Share the love!  Here are 4 fabulous ideas to reuse and recycle them.

Tip #1 - Make Some Money

Make a little money to put towards a new costume by selling your old one on a Facebook Group, Ebay or Swap.com.  There are lots of local groups on Facebook you can join to buy and sell items and costumes sell very quickly.  These are so great to pass things on and make a little doh at the same time.  eBay and Swap.com take a bit more time and effort, but if you have an elaborate costume or one that is in wonderful condition, it’s well worth the work.  

Tip #2 - Donate

Goodwill is known as the ‘Halloween Headquarters’ and is the first thing to come to mind when donating a costume.  In fact, three quarters of our warrior outfits were from there. It’s a great place to donate, but don’t forget other charities that can use costumes as well. There are so many that go without, so look for charities such as children’s hospitals and Costume Connections to share your halloween happiness with.

Tip # 3 - Have A Party  

There’s always a reason to have a party (always!) so have a costume swap party with friends.  You can do this virtually by creating a Facebook group (a live feed would be super fun for this) or invite all your friends to bring their costumes for a ‘Costumes and Cocktails' exchange party.  Hmmm.. I might have to do this next year.

Tip # 4 - Play It Up

Costumes make really good dress up clothing for kids.  Instead of putting them away until next year or getting rid of them, make a dress up basket. Even boys will use them!


It’s not necessary to keep a lot of Halloween costumes, but if you’re going to use them again or want to keep some options handy, organize them!

Tip #5 - Yearly Review

Every year, look through your Halloween gear and weed out anything that doesn’t fit or isn’t of interest anymore.  Circle back to tips 1-4 and recycle them!

Tip #6 - Think High and Low for Storage

Costumes can be bulky and awkward when it comes to storage.  When storing your costumes, be sure to have bins that are large enough to house everything you have.  Use spaces such as under the bed or a high shelf in a closet to keep them out of the way.

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My son just picked out his costume for this year…… this will be fun for find a place for!! (I talked him out of the prickly pear, so just the chicken head came home. Mr. Pizza Cow stayed at the store too. Hahaha!)

Tip #7 - Storage Limits

If you’re tight on storage space but still want to keep your costumes, give yourself a storage limit. Create a designated storage space and only keep what fits in that space. If you get a new costume next year and it doesn’t fit, something will need to go for the new one to stay.  

Happy halloween

Now I need to decide what I’m going to be… I’m thinking goddess.  Do you dress up for Halloween?  Do you have a special way you recycle or organize your costumes?  I’d love to know and see what you come up with!  Leave a comment below or catch me on Facebook and tell me all about it.

Happy Halloween and Happy Costuming!

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I'm Melynda, a professional organizer who loves helping busy women and families eliminate their clutter and calm the chaos in their homes. You want to get organized? Let’s do the thing!

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