Planning an epic Halloween party shouldn’t scare you to death. These six time- and stress-saving hacks are like little pieces of heaven. Try them and rejoice in a job well done way sooner than you thought.

6 Tips and Tricks to plan the perfect Halloween Party

To Avoid Decoration Fatigue …

Focus on totally spooking out one area of your home, like your mantle or dining table, as opposed to outfitting every square inch with Halloween decor. Consider this: Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which means everyone will be having parties on Saturday, Oct. 29. Bide time (and possibly boost your guest list) by having yours the weekend after, on Nov. 5.

To Avoid Invitation and RSVP Drama …

Send customizable invitations by text, track receipts in real time, and manage responses using an app called Invitd. You can also set up an event on Facebook to make it easy for guests to RSVP (just focus on your own party—not political posts!).

To Avoid Pumpkin Panic …

Think outside the orange orb (and stand out from your neighbors). Look for contrasting pumpkins in white or blue, like Jarrahdale and Lumina varieties. Make sure to choose the ones that feel firm and have strong stems.

To Avoid Costume Regret (and the Photos That’ll Last Forever) …

Put practicality over spectacle. Even if you’re the head-to-toe latex type, you probably won’t be able to wear that comfortably. Any costume you choose should represent your personality and allow you to function for six hours. Do the bathroom test: Costumes that make it hard to go are a no-go.

To Save Your Candy Budget …

Create a memorable Halloween centerpiece using Mason jars filled with dried beans or rice dyed with food coloring. Opt for orange, black, yellow, and white for that “candy corn” look. Perk: You don’t have to decorate with the real candy corn you can’t stop eating.

To Save Pumpkin Carving Time …

Use a boning knife—serrated steak knives work, too— to make efficient cuts for your jack-o’-lantern. Pick up a paring knife to do intricate sculpture work. Masterpiece done—and party on.

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