This year, TK Maxx is one of the first UK shops to start stocking Halloween items, with some for sale in store and online. Their range so far includes glass, ceramic and paper pumpkins, spooky ornaments and candleholders, tea towels and snowglobes.
Most other shops are still promoting back-to-school goods in their seasonal aisles, but TK Maxx have been quick off the mark with their offerings of pumpkin-scented candles and Halloween homewares. I am trying really hard to restrain myself from too many purchases this Halloween season; we don't have the space for too many decorative items and I think my husband would get annoyed if I covered every surface with 'tat'. He does have to live here too.
Eventually we will get our house decorated properly, and I'll want to aim for a look that's mostly classy with touches of kitsch. I'll have to be selective when buying the brighter multicoloured items so they can stand out individually rather than overwhelming every room. I'm using Marie Kondo's criteria: Does it spark joy? to curb impulse buys, so I only end up with things I really love. It's tricky though, when I think so many things are great, and TK Maxx's prices are very reasonable. Some of the items are a bit tacky and cheap-looking, but their snowglobes - featuring broomstick-riding cats, ghosts and more - are lovely. It's a good idea to visit TK Maxx in person, if you can, to judge for yourself.
I've bought some glass pumpkins (classy, I hope) and a ceramic cat head bowl (kitsch). One pumpkin is orange with a green stem and a white veined pattern. The other pumpkin is dark bottle-green and amber glass with a crackle effect; it looks best in front of a window or light source. I'm very happy with them and I appreciate these items being on sale at all. I'm hoping there will be a trend towards retailers selling higher-quality seasonal goods. With the current environmental concerns about waste production - especially plastic waste - it's much better to have items which can be stored and reused year after year. Of course, in my case, I'm planning to have them on show all year.
UPDATE 17/09/19: TK Maxx is continuing to update its Halloween stock in stores and online. I am slowly amassing a small collection of their wares, despite my efforts to be restrained. I've added photos below. I now have a set of four fabulous glass bowls, a bat-print water bottle and spiderweb-print cake tins. I also have a fun spooky ceramic ghost, which was marketed as a candy jar; it's a bit shallow for that and may end up holding keys or a tv remote.
I am checking the website daily as some items - like the bat bottle - have sold out very quickly. Not all instore items have appeared online yet, and maybe some will only appear in Homesense stores (TK Maxx's sister brand). I have recognised one of my criteria when buying from TK Maxx: only get things that can be easily dusted!
UPDATE 29/10/19: The Halloween stock at TK Maxx is all but gone now; since early October their range has been slowly wound down and replaced with Christmas items. I managed to get to a Homesense store on October 12th and they still had quite a few Halloween bits. They had some of the really large - and generally impractical - decor items left. I would love to visit there earlier in the spooky season next year.
Overall, I have been very pleased with my TK Maxx purchases this year, and from what I've seen on Instagram, it's been the place to go this year for the best range of useful Halloween-themed items. My last buys were a skull-patterned coir doormat, a ceramic pumpkin stack ornament and some black-lidded mason jars with a skull-and-crossbones motif. I can't wait to see what I can find in 2020!