Whether you prefer the simple elegance of white lights, the cheerfulness of colorful lights or novelty lights that twinkle or flash at various intervals, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without strands of bright bulbs interspersed throughout your tree, twining around garlands and enhancing your outdoor decorating scheme. But once the holiday season ends, taking everything down and putting it away can feel like a chore.

After the holiday joy and excitement fades, there’s nothing more frustrating than tangled wires, broken bulbs and light strands that refuse to fit neatly back into their original box. Here are our top tips for storing holiday lights with minimal stress and headaches.

1. Wrap Them Around Cardboard

This affordable DIY approach to storing holiday lights is also an excellent way to reuse any cardboard boxes you may have left over from the gifts you ordered for friends and family members, keeping this versatile material out of landfills.

  • With sharp scissors or a box cutter, cut pieces of cardboard large enough to wrap the strands around without any overlap.
  • Make a slit near each end of the cardboard, so you can tuck in the ends of the light string to keep them in place.
  • To secure the strand further, cut several notches on both sides of the cardboard and slide the cord into them as you wrap.
  • You can store your neatly wrapped lights in a clear plastic tote bin, preferably with a layer of bubble wrap or towels to protect them from damage.

2. Use a Store-Bought Reel

After the holidays, retailers tend to put various storage solutions on sale. Next time you’re at your favorite hardware or department store, look for sturdy plastic reels made for storing holiday lights. These are similar to the wheels you may use for your garden hose, but on a smaller scale. Carefully roll the light strands onto the wheel, turning it as you go. When it’s time to decorate next year, you can unroll the lights from the reel with no tangles in sight.

3. Try a Clothes Hanger

Another frustration-free method for storing holiday lights involves a household item you probably already have extras of – the humble clothes hanger. Grab a heavy-duty plastic hanger, ideally the kind with notches cut into it to keep clothing from slipping off. Loop the lights around the hanger, working from one end to the other. When you reach the last few inches of the strand, wrap the rest around the hanger’s hook.

As a bonus holiday light storage hack, you can color-coordinate your lights and hangers – for example, blue lights go on blue hangers, and so forth. Then, you can cover the hangers in a garment bag or tissue paper for protection and hang them on a rack with the rest of your decor.

Secure, Convenient Nashville Storage

If you love holiday decorating, you may reach a point where you run out of space for all your lights, ornaments, wreaths and other knickknacks in your garage, basement or shed. With long-term storage solutions from Fox Moving and Storage Nashville, you no longer have to make the challenging choice of downsizing your decor.

Let us help you keep your valuables safe at our secure, climate-controlled storage facility until you are ready to use them again. We’ll even come collect your items, expertly pack fragile possessions in protective wrapping and move them to a sealed vault for you. Contact us today to learn more!