How to Store Christmas Lights Like a Pro

Hand holding string of brightly glowing Christmas lights, creating a warm atmosphere

For many Americans, Christmas is a magical time of year, and much of that magic comes from experiencing all the colorful Christmas lights on display. After the holidays end, storing all those lights correctly is essential. Keep reading to discover how to store Christmas lights the best way and keep your Christmas season bright year after year.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

How Do You Properly Store Christmas Lights?

There are many ways to pack Christmas lights, several of which we’ll discuss below. However, more important than how you pack Christmas lights is where you store them. You should choose a dry, cool, dark spot where they won’t be disturbed in your home. That excludes the garage, which can be too damp, and the attic, which can be too hot. The best choice is a large bedroom closet. Your lights and decorations will last much longer in a closet and be easy to access next year.

Tips and Hacks for Storing Your Christmas Lights for Next Year

Use the tips below to make storing them easier and make hanging your holiday decoration easier next season.

1. DIY Cardboard Tangle-Free Light Hanger

The easiest, cheapest way to store Christmas lights like a pro is with medium-sized pieces of cardboard from a cardboard box. (If you can get a double-corrugated box, even better.) Here’s what you do:

  1. Carefully cut a 12” x 18” piece of cardboard using a razor knife. 
  2. At one end (either side), use the razor knife to cut a 1” slot. It should be about 1 inch from the edge of the cardboard.
  3. Turn the piece of cardboard over and cut another notch on the opposite side.  
  4. Insert the plug end of a string of lights into the first notch.
  5. Wind the light around the cardboard. Make each loop as close to the next as possible, but don’t overlap them.
  6. Wrap the lights around the cardboard until you come to the end of the light string.
  7. Insert the opposite plug of the light string into the 2nd notch.
  8. Wrap each of your wrapped string lights in tissue paper.
  9. Store several sets of lights together, on their edges, in a box or large plastic container.

2. Use Plastic Grocery Bags

If you’re rushing to remove decorations and lights, using grocery bags to separate light strings is an easy, fast solution. All you do is loop a string of lights together in your hand. Then, in a plastic grocery bag, place one string of lights. Tie the bag shut, and when you have a few tied bags filled with lights, pack them together in a medium-sized box. It might be tedious untangling a single string of lights next year. However, you won’t have to deal with multiple strands tangled together, which is a real pain.

3. Keep the Boxes and Use Them to Store your Lights

One bad habit many folks have (us included) is to throw away boxes after we’ve opened something. With Christmas lights, however, especially icicle lights, keeping the boxes they come in is a smart idea. That’s because you can use them to store your lights until next year. It’s easy, fast, and free!

4. Store Christmas Lights Wound on a Cardboard Tube

If you have an extra mailing tube or two you don’t need, wrapping lights around it is perfect. Here’s how:

  1. Carefully cut the tube into lengths of 10 inches. (You might need a jigsaw with a fine blade.)
  2. Cut a small notch into the lip of both ends of the tube with a razor knife.
  3. Insert the end of some string lights into one notch.
  4. Wrap the light string tightly without overlapping.
  5. Insert the other end into the 2nd notch.
  6. Stack the tubes together on their ends in a medium or small cardboard box (depending on how many you have). 

Should You Put Your Christmas Lights into a Storage Unit?

A storage unit is a perfect solution if you have many Christmas lights but not much extra space at home. Storage units are dry, dark, and cool, although we recommend an indoor unit for storing Christmas lights and decorations. (A drive-up storage unit can get hot in summer.) Depending on where you live, you might also want to consider climate controlled storage. Many families with large Christmas lights and decoration collections store them in a storage unit. It’s safe, secure, and, even better, easy to keep everything organized. If you’re sure where to hide presents this year, rent a storage unit and prevent prying eyes and hands!

Keep your Home Organized with SecurCare Self Storage

Whether a collection of Christmas lights, baby furniture, collectibles, or anything else, everything takes up space in your home. If your space is running out, and your home is disorganized, get organized again with a storage unit from SecurCare. Storing things you don’t need but still want is one of the top reasons people rent storage units from SecurCare! 

The extra space a storage unit provides can give you a big breather at home. It will empower you to repurpose that empty bedroom into your new home office, gym, or craft room. Is your garage full of stuff? Rent a storage unit from SecurCare and take that space back! (You’ll finally be able to work in your garage again!)

At SecurCare, we have what you need to stay organized at Christmas time and the whole year through. If you have questions or want to find a self storage unit, visit your local SecurCare location today. The on-site manager will be glad to tell you about our monthly rentals and show you different storage unit sizes.

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