Use Zip Ties
If you’re hanging many strings of bright orange lights, then invest a few bucks in a package of zip ties. They can secure your lights to deck railings, porch banisters, fences, or tree branches. They require only seconds to attach, hold the strings tightly in place, and won't damage your surface with nail holes. Plus, they're cheap.
And All-Purpose Light Clips
Want to hang pumpkin-colored lights from your gutters? You’ll want a few of these clips. They're inexpensive (about $11 for a 100 pack,) and they work, and look, a heck of a lot better than clothespins. If you don't have gutters, don't worry—the all-purpose clips also attach to shingles.
Duct Tape the Cords Down
Ideally, you want to keep extension and power cords off sidewalks, hallways, or anywhere people walk. But sometimes it's unavoidable. If you must, then duct tape your cords to the surface; it’ll reduce the chances of people tripping since they won’t be able to hook their toes under the cords.
Get a Light-Hanging Pole
Before you hang strings of lights in those trees in your front yard, sink $10 into a light-hanging pole. It eliminates the need for a ladder, and you can still get the lights on the high branches.
Use a Timer
You don't want to sit up in bed at 2 in the morning and realize you forgot to unplug your Halloween lights. Save yourself the chilly trip outside in your jammies by putting your lights on an outdoor timer, which will allow you to deactivate the display at preset times. Basic timers start at about $10; you can spend more on a fancy one with a digital display.
Leverage Your Outlets
You probably have more than one outside outlet, so don’t pull a Clark Griswold and plug all your lights into a single outlet. As a general rule, avoid plugging more than three strings of lights together.
Support Those Heavy Props
With those ghosts, skeletons, witches, and zombies, you’ll get the most scream for your buck by hanging them from tress or awnings and letting them blow in the chilling October breeze. Just be sure to support their extra weight. One smart way to do this is to use finishing line, which is strong, easy to work with, and invisible at night.
Double Down With Double-Sized Tape
The tape works great for adhering decorations to windows or your front door. You can secure the edges of your kids' Halloween projects or store-bought spiders or ghosts so they won't get damaged or torn by the wind.
You can attach lights or lightweight monsters to vinyl siding using hooks that cost about $10 for a set of three. They eliminate the need to punch holes in the siding with nails or deal with the residue left behind by tape. The hooks slide into place under the vinyl and attach to the lip—you don’t even need any tools.
Be Smart on the Ladder
It's true for every season. Before you decorate the home for Halloween, Christmas, or any other occasion, remember to be smart on your ladder. Make sure it's stable on a flat, level surface. If the yard is not flat, balance the ladder by placing long boards under one of the legs (don't use a small object such as a brick, since the leg can easily slip off). Check that the boards are secured and won't slip.
Strap the strings of lights to your work belt before getting on the ladder so your hands will be free for climbing. Avoid using metal ladders around electrical wires to eliminate the chance of a shock. Move the ladder often instead of leaning off it. I know, moving the ladder frequently is a pain, but not as much as the pain you’ll feel when you fall off.