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For so many people, October brings back memories of Halloween—dressing up in a costume, carving a jack-o’-lanterns and trick-or-treating.

But this celebration of ghouls, ghosts and monsters isn’t for everyone. There are people who don’t celebrate Halloween for religious reasons and there are also people, especially children, who will be scared at your delightfully creepy decorations.

So no matter how much you like Halloween, if you’re selling your home, you don’t want to turn off any prospective buyers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get festive in the fall. Here are some ways to stage your home at this time of year in a way that will make all visitors welcome.

Pumpkins, Not Jack-o’-Lanterns

Few people are likely to be offended by pumpkins, as long as they aren’t carved with scary faces. Decorate your porch with pumpkins of various sizes, shapes and colors. In addition to orange, you can find pumpkins that are green, white, yellow and blue, and all those together make a very festive scene. You’ll have a blast creating your very own pumpkin patch. Then, on Halloween, pick your favorite one to carve into a jack-o’-lantern for the big night. And be sure to get rid of it before the next potential buyer comes to your home.


These aren’t necessarily for Halloween, they’re part of the celebration of harvest. Have some fun and make scarecrows of your favorite (non-horror) characters. Make them fun, colorful and welcoming. Not only does this provide some fun decorations, creating your amazing scarecrows is a terrific family activity.

The Smells of Autumn

No fruit says autumn like apples. Apple-themed decorations are great but buy actual real apples and offer them to visitors as a snack. Also, for open houses, bake or buy an apple pie, and fill your home with the delightful and homey smell only an apple pie can achieve. Pumpkin spice is another classic element of fall, so brew some pumpkin spice coffee, or buy pumpkin spice- and apple-scented candles. Pumpkin treats like cookies and muffins also can make a home feel and smell like autumn.

Make Your Own Crafts

Making crafts is a great activity that can bring the family together during this busy and hectic time. Go outside and collect the prettiest leaves you can find, along with fall flowers and fall-themed decorations from a local craft store. These can be used to create centerpieces, wreaths and other beautiful items.