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How to Store Christmas Lights – 8 Useful Tips

Old Broken Christmas Lights Junk

While many of us get excited as the holiday season comes around, the one thing we do not look forward to is detangling the Christmas lights. So, if you are tired of the dreaded task of detangling the lights, here are eight great tips for storing your lights so that next Christmas, they will be tangle-free and you can enjoy all your holiday decorating.

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The 8 Useful Tips on How to Store Christmas Lights

1. Use Clothes Hangers

white and silver velvet clothes hangers
Image Credit: Ivan Samkov, Pexels

Chances are you have some extra hangers in your closet that will work for storing your Christmas lights. If not, go to the local dollar store and buy a 10-pack. The lights will require a hanger with the dips or notches we use for the straps on your shirts. You will need these notches for securing the string of lights.

Place the end of the light string in one of the notches and continue to wrap the wire vertically around the hanger. As you get to the end of the string, place the other end of the lights around the dip on the other side of the hanger. You can also use the neck to loosely loop or tie it through.

You can safely wrap them in bubble wrap, newspaper, or packing paper and place them in a storage bin. You can also hang them in a closet with extra hanging space.

2. Make a DIY Cardboard Storage for Lights

cardboard box and tape with scissors
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

Cut a section of cardboard for your desired length and width. You can add a notch on the width side of the cardboard—one on each side for inserting the wire just before the plug. Place the wire into the notch and continue to wrap the wire lengthwise around the cardboard. Be sure to avoid covering the second notch. When you get to the end of the wire, place the other end into the notch on the other side of the cardboard.

To store the lights, find a storage bin to accommodate the number of lights you are storing away. Separate them with bubble wrap or newspaper to prevent breakage.

3. Coil and Bag the Lights

white shopping bag on neutral background
Image Credit: tuninguguy, Shutterstock

Another easy way to store your string lights is with a gift bag or zippered storage bag. Take the lights, bend your elbow, and continue to wrap them from your hand and around your elbow to form a circle. When you reach the end, secure the lights with a zip tie or any other tie you think is suitable and will hold the sting together.

Carefully place the secured lights into the bag and label it with the area they are used in, so you can easily locate them next year.

Another option is to use a separate labeled bag for each strand of lights or each room and place the bags into a bin. Be sure they are protected and secure so they do not get broken.

4. Reuse the Original Box

woman holding a box
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

If your lights are new or you saved the original box, you can bunch them up, tie them with a twist or zip tie and place them back into the original box.

This will take some extra time, however. The benefit is that you will know exactly which lights they are, and they won’t be a tangled mess.

5. DIY Paper Tube for Light Storage

cardboard tissue paper roll cores
Image Credit: Shutterbug75, Pixabay

Whether you have old wrapping paper or paper towel tubes, use them for your lights. They make a great storage tube for string lights.

Place one end of the plug and wire about halfway into the tube and secure it with a piece of tape. Begin to wrap the string around the outside of the tube until you reach the other end, and then securely tape that end.

Be sure to protect each tube of lights with leftover paper or bubble wrap and store it in any protective bin or container you may have in your home or garage.

6. Wrap the Tree With the Lights in Place

Christmas Lights Decor
Image Credit: volodimir bazyuk, Shutterstock

To get a jump on things next year, wrap up your tree with the lights in place. But this only works if you have an artificial tree. You can use common household cling wrap or shrink wrap to secure boxes on pallets for shipping. Secure the cling wrap around the tree and store it away.

Another option is to store the tree with the lights attached into a large zipper bag for safekeeping until next year.

You will save a lot of time next year when you unwrap the lighted Christmas tree. Make the necessary adjustments and plug it in.

7. Purchase Light Storage Item

stringed Christmas lights in storage on spool
Image Credit: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock

If the DIY options are not appealing to you, you can always purchase a light storage item on the internet. There are corded reels and wind-up storage solutions that may be an ideal option for you. Be sure that you protect the lights with paper or bubble wrap so they do not get broken before next year.

8. DIY Wooden Light Storage

wooden box
Image Credit: ptystockphoto, Shutterstock

There are so many woodworkers and DIYer out there that are just waiting for another project. So, here you go. Just like the cardboard storage solution, you can make one out of wood if you want something a bit sturdier for your strands of lights.

Cut some scrap wood to your desired length and width. If you have the tools and the know-how, cut a notch at each end to secure the plug portion of the strand in place.

Be sure to sand the wood, so it is not rough. That will protect the user and the lights from rough edges and damage.

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There you have it! Eight great tips for storing your Christmas lights away for another year. Taking the extra time to pack them away neatly and safely may feel daunting after all the hustle and bustle is over, but it will save you time and lessen your frustration when you begin to decorate for the holidays next year.

Featured Image Credit: Valley Journal, Shutterstock


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