How to Throw a Halloween Hoorah

So you think you can throw a Halloween party? As a veteran of party throwing, I’ve put together a little how-to. In this article, you’ll find the stages of party throwing, what you need to be thinking about in terms of preparation, a shopping list, and an efficient cleaning regimen.  

Stage 1: Planning Pinterest is a liar. Yes, I said it. Whatever cute Halloween ideas you find and dream boards you create, they will be ruined. A Halloween party is going to turn into a sticky, disgusting mess. Do not decorate, do not bake cookies, do not do anything special with the drinks. The guests do not care. They are there to drink, dance and take Snapchat videos of their wild night. If you are just dying to have something cutesy, I suggest putting up an Instagram backdrop for guests to take photos in front of. You can also require guests to come in costume if you really want a thematic event.

You’ll need to make back the money you spend. I recommend taking money at the door, ONE door if you have two. If people insist that they brought their own drink and won’t drink your booze, too bad, so sad. If people want to come in, they have to pay cold hard cash. As far as Venmo goes, do not have people Venmo ahead of time and do not offer a deal if they do. They can Venmo at the door, you can accept the money and then they can come in. Make sure whoever comes to the door, knows one of the hosts. Randos are so rude! You can always ask the classic question, “Who do you know here?”

What should you have to drink if you can’t make hot apple cider or pumpkin spice pudding shots or an array of liquor and mixers? Wop wop wop wop wop WOP. It’s the cheapest, easiest thing. If you have stainable carpet, go for a clear wop - with Everclear - and clear sodas such as Sprite, ginger ale or Crystal Pepsi. If you have hard floors like tile or wood, then go nuts with an orange (there’s the Halloween spirit) wop once again using Everclear and orange sodas. Refrain from putting in spiders or other small plastic thematic trinkets because drunk people will choke. You can also provide a few 30-racks of the cheapest beer you can find. 

Decide who is going to clean what the next day: kitchen, dining/living room, trash, bathrooms, etc. Deciding who has what ahead of time makes things easier. There are no pros or cons to cleaning any of these areas. You would think the dining or living area would be easiest, but it’s more square footage and will likely have an insane amount of dirt and grime on the floor. The bathroom will take no time at all because it’s small, but you may risk having to smell some raunchy bodily fluids. 

One person in your group of hosts has to stay sober. The ‘sober monitor’ will have to make sure money is collected, monitor the other hosts and of course keep an eye on guests. Of course, the sober monitor doesn’t have to stay bone sober, but nothing that can impair judgement. 

Collecting money is essential if you don’t want a hard loss. After everyone has broken even with what they spent on the party (keep receipts), you can divide the money made equally among the hosts. You can decide if the sober monitor should get more, you can also decide if you want to give up your earnings to someone else so that they can clean the area you were supposed to clean. Set a time that the cleaning has to be done, such as before 2:00pm. 

Stage 2: Shopping

Walmart has the best deals! Be careful because it’s easy to get distracted with all the fun Halloween decor and cooking supplies. Stick to your list! You’re not baking cookies for this rager, nor are you expecting trick or treaters. 

  • Plastic sheets to cover carpet
  • Duct tape
  • Wood floor cleaner if you have wood floors
  • Pinesol
  • Bleach
  • Cheap/old rags
  • Clorox wipes
  • 2, 30-racks of Natural Light or Hamms or Busch light (depending on price)
  • Mop Bucket
  • Everclear (largest)
  • 2, 2-liters of 7-Up
  • 2, 2-liters of lemonade
  • 2, 2-liters of ginger ale
  • *1 lemon
  • *1 lime 

*cut thinly and float on top if you desperately want a good picture 

Stage 3: Pre-Game

Make sure to move furniture and valuable items into the bedrooms. Cover any carpet with plastic before you get all ready in your costume. 

Invite close friends to the pregame or just your flatmates. Use this time to put on Halloween themed music (like Monster Mash) and even a great movie (Addams family). Put in some frozen pizzas, pop some popcorn, get dressed up and take awesome photos! You can even mix up some of those Halloween drinks you’ve been wanting so bad like “witches brew” or “vampire punch” with just your small group. 

Set up the speakers and get your playlist ready to rock. Mix up the wop and put the beer in the sink on ice. 

Stage 4: Party

It’s showtime! Start up the playlist, start collecting money and let the fun begin!

Some things to watch out for:

  • People connecting to your Bluetooth. This is your party, get them out. 
  • People disrespecting your home. That is so uncool, get them out.
  • Fighting. Get the people separated, calmed down and out of there. Make sure you have help and keep yourself safe, too. 
  • Did someone drive to your party? They better not be leaving!
  • Any kind of dating violence or sexual violence. Think back to what you learned in the videos you had to watch before coming to UW. It’s your house, so you should feel comfortable confronting any issue you see. Make sure that your guests are safe!
  • Possible alcohol poisoning. Remember that calling an ambulance poses a lot less consequence and risk than someone dying in your care. A life is more valuable than someone thinking they’ll get into trouble. Do the right thing.

It’s a common rule of thumb that nothing good ever happens after 2:00 am. Why do you think bars close as early as 1:30 am? You should also shut your party down at around 1:30 am. 

Stage 5: Clean-Up

In every room, start by picking up trash and hauling it out. Then, clean each room from the top down. Wear gloves because this could get gross.

Mix the pinesol with hot water and use a rag to clean the kitchen walls, yes walls, wop will be everywhere. Use a basic counter cleaner or the pinesol solution to clean countertops and cabinets. Then, use the pinesol solution to scrub the floors. For a wood floor, use the wood floor cleaner and rags. For carpet, take off the plastic sheets that you laid down, vacuum the floor, take care of any spills or stains, then vacuum again.

For the bathroom, use the pinesol solution to clean the walls, use glass cleaner on the mirrors, use bleach and hot water to clean the sink, toilet, and tub/shower. Clean the inside of the toilet with regular toilet cleaner and a brush. Use the bleach solution for the floor as well. When everything is clean and dry, go through and touch up with clorox wipes or a wet rag. Then, move the furniture back in. Pinterest is your friend for clean-up. If you come across a hard stain, look up how to remove it.

I hope this piece makes your Halloween party dream come to life! Happy Halloween!!