Let’s cast our minds back and take a moment to remember the recurring scene: Christmas is round the corner and your trusty box of lights, decorations and all things festive… they’re not just messy, they’re knotted beyond saving. Now let’s try and avoid that next year.
Tangled Christmas lights are right up there, in the frustration stakes, with sticky labels that don’t come all the way off, clamshell packaging and wrapping soft toys. Then, the horror continues when, having spent the best part of an hour untangling your Christmas lights, they don’t work!
Now that the very real consequences of not storing your lights properly are firmly implanted in your mind, allow us to give you our top tips for storing Christmas lights, and other decorations, correctly to avoid any frustration next year.
Christmas Lights Storage Top Tips
The first thing you should do is check your lights and make sure that they are all working. You don’t want to be caught out by any missing bulbs or LEDs next year (and most lighting products only have a 12 month warranty too, so check them now). Also, if you find a problem now you can take advantage of the sales and pick next years lights up for less instead of panic buying later in the year.
Once you’ve checked your lights, you need to make sure they are clean, obviously don’t submerge them at any point in the cleaning process but give them a good wipe to make sure there is no dirt hanging around; this is especially important for outdoor lights!
Now you need to dry your lights. This part is extremely important since, if you put your lights away when damp or store them in a damp place, the moisture can cause rust or can damage the internal mechanics of the lights, meaning that they will not work for you next year. One way of making sure your outdoor lights are dry is to just bring them inside and give them a couple of days to dry; if you don’t want to wait, you could try putting them in an airing cupboard to speed up the drying process. Obviously, this is not so much of an issue if you have indoor lights, but it’s still always worth checking that they are completely clean and dry before putting them away.
Ideas for Storing Christmas Lights
Now that your lights are clean and dry, you can start putting them away and we have a couple of ideas for storing your lights safely, making sure they won’t be tangled next year. The only thing you might need to buy is a nice airtight container/box; everything else you should be able to find around your home.
The Cardboard Method
One way of storing Christmas lights is to take a piece of rectangular cardboard and start cutting slits down each side. Once you have done this, you can begin to slot your lights into the slits and wind them around the board. This method is very good as the lights become very easy to put away since they can be stored flat.
The Coat Hanger Method
Another way you could store your lights is to wrap them around a coat hanger; this will stop them from getting tangled and also means you could store them neatly in a spare wardrobe.
The Wrapping Paper Roll Method
Our final idea for stopping lights from getting tangled is quite similar to the first – all you need is the cardboard inside of one of the many wrapping paper rolls you just finished with. Then, simply take your cardboard roll, cut a slit in the top and bottom so that the lights can be secured, and then wind all the way down until all your lights are ready to be put away for next year.
The Egg Carton Bauble Method
We hope you found some of these tips helpful and, if you’ve still got a lot of decorations to put away, maybe try placing some of your more intricate baubles into egg cartons.