Is your house the one on the block that keeps Christmas lights up until the snow melts? We don’t blame you. Taking Christmas lights down is enough of a hassle—but storing Christmas lights? It’s a chore that can send even the merriest of Christmas spirits straight to the Naughty List.
Why does it seem like every single year, no matter how carefully you store your Christmas lights, they always end up tangled and broken? Perhaps it’s because you’ve never actually read a guide to storing Christmas lights the right way. Start by finding the perfect storage unit and then read on to find out how to store Christmas lights after the holidays are over.
Perform an Inspection
Taking down your Christmas lights is the most tedious part of this whole process, so take comfort in knowing that once you’ve done that, the rest is quite easy.
Spread your lights out somewhere where you can get a good look at them—somewhere like your living room floor—and plug them in. Carefully inspect each strand for defects such as broken or burned out bulbs. If you have bulbs that can be replaced, do that. If you have strands with broken bulbs or weird issues such as unexpected flashing, discard them.
Use a Coffee Can
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (i.e. you next year) is going to thank you for this one.
Grab a coffee can or something similar (a Pringles can, for example). Make a triangle shaped cut in the plastic lid. Drop the female end of the strand of the lights into the coffee can and then wrap the strand around the outside of the can. Once it’s fully wrapped, you can close the lid. Store any additional spare bulbs inside the can. This will prevent tangling.
Repeat this with as many coffee cans as you need until each strand is taken care of.
Now that you’ve safeguarded your Christmas lights from tangling, it’s time to take the necessary steps to avoid breakage.
Fortunately, this is pretty easy. Simply place the Christmas lights in a large box, leaving space in between individual bundles of lights. Now fill in that space with packing peanuts, so they are plenty cushioned.
Be sure to mark the box as fragile and don’t stack other boxes on top of it inside the storage unit.
Climate control or no climate control? That’s always the question when storing any item in a storage unit. Generally, you do not need climate control for storing Christmas lights. However, if you are storing other Christmas decorations, especially those made of lace, antique wood or other sensitive materials, it may be a good idea to opt for climate control. Your Christmas lights and other holiday decorations will be in your storage unit for almost an entire year. This is a long period of time, and weather over this period of time will drastically change. A climate controlled storage unit can prevent damage that occurs from humid summers, wet springs and dry autumn air.
Good luck storing your Christmas lights! Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to have a holly jolly Christmas next year.