Choose pumpkins that are very fresh and firm, avoiding any that may have bruised or soft areas, as well as any that have cuts or other visible blemishes.
Store cut or uncut pumpkins in a cool dry place to keep them fresh longer.
Warm weather and hot sunlight can speed decay in a pumpkin. If you live in a hot climate be sure to store your uncut pumpkins in a cool spot and wait to carve them until a day or two before Halloween.
Once a pumpkin is carved, cover it with plastic for a day or two to help keep moisture in the pumpkin.
Smaller cut pumpkins can be wrapped in plastic and stored inside the refrigerator for a few days before Halloween helpful if you are having a party and need to carve them ahead.
Shriveled cut pumpkin can sometimes be revived temporarily by soaking it in a bucket of cool water for several hours, then draining thoroughly.
Coat all cut edges of a pumpkin, as well as the entire interior, with a small paintbrush dipped in petroleum jelly. This is the best way to reduce moisture loss and keep a pumpkin looking fresh longer.
Heat from electric light bulbs and candles can also contribute to the early demise of a pumpkin. Try cutting a hole in the top of the pumpkin, allowing heat to escape.