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How to Store Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are an essential component of your holiday decor. They add color and cheer not only to artificial Christmas trees, but to artificial wreaths and garlands as well. It is best that you know how to set them up properly, but it's equally important to know how to store Christmas lights after the holidays. Proper storage prolongs their life and allows you to enjoy your twinkling lights for many Christmases to come. Here are some suggestions on keeping your Christmas lights safe from breaking and tangling.

What you’ll need (you don’t necessarily have to spend on these):

  • Storage wheel/H-shaped holder/sturdy cardboard
  • Plastic/cardboard containers or sturdy boxes (size depends on the size of your storage wheel or H-shaped holder)
  • Scissors
  • Tape (any kind except clear)
  • 1) Unplug the lights from the outlet to prevent electrocution. Once the entire string is off the tree, slowly uncoil the wire and place and place them on the floor Plug it again to see if there are any bulbs that are out. If you see any bulbs that light up intermittently, move the bulb to find a snug position that will keep it lit. If this doesn’t work, put a tape underneath the bulb to serve as a marker. Do the same for missing bulbs. You can replace defective bulbs before before storing or keep the markers on until next year. If all of the bulbs on one string are out, consider replacing the entire string.

    2) Take the storage wheel or H-shaped holder and begin winding with the female end (the end with the holes). Hold the lights in place by positioning it one of the hooks. Wind the string until you get to the male end (the end with the plug) and position it on the other hook to hold it down. You want the male end to be accessible for testing next year. Be careful when you wind, as the bulbs can easily break as you go.

    3) If you don’t have a wheel or a holder, you can improvise using a cardboard. Cut a cardboard square large enough to hold your string of lights. Cut a V-shape at the center of one side cardboard to create a slit - this will keep the string from moving out of the holder. Do the same on the opposite side of the cardboard. Wind the lights by holding the female end down to the cardboard using a tape and wind the string around the slots. Hold the male end down using a tape. Make one cardboard holder for each string of lights.

    4) Put each holder side by side in a container of your choice. We recommend clear plastic containers so you can spot your lights easily among other boxes. Otherwise, mark your box with “Christmas lights” so you know where to locate them next year.

    These easy and simple steps should keep Christmas lights safe for the next few months. Well-kept lights will light up your Christmas tree like brand new, saving you money for years to come.

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