Best way to store Christmas lights

The days after Christmas can sometimes feel a little less jolly. The nights are dark and cold and there is no daily chocolate. What’s up with that? If you are anything like our family you put off taking down the Christmas tree as long as possible. (It’s so pretty. Why not hang on to the holiday spirit a bit longer?)

However, at some point, the tree and all the lights have to come down. Storing Christmas trees and their lights is always a nightmare, isn’t it? They never fit back in the box correctly and leave us wondering, what is the best way to store Christmas lights?

Often we resort to throwing them in a box or a bag only to be met with disappointment next year when we have to spend hours untangling them. So what is the best solution?

Today we will show you three of the the best ways to store Christmas lights, so the dreaded box tangle is over once and for all! 

Option 1: Quick and Easy Clothes Hanger

For those after a quick and easy solution to storing your Christmas lights, this is the method for you! All you need is a clothes hanger.

Christmas light strands wrapping around plastic hanger

Opt for a strong plastic hanger if you have one. Coated material hangers will also work well. You want one that is sturdy so avoid wire. A hanger with hooks on each side of the body is desirable, but the method will still work on hangers without the hooks.

Using the hooks, tuck one end of the lights into one of the hooks. If your hanger doesn’t have hooks, tie the lights’ end to the hanger’s body. 

Simply wind the lights around the hanger, pulling them as tight as possible. Do this around the outside of the hanger, working your way back to the original side. You may have to wrap your lights a few times to fit the whole string on the hanger. 

Once all the lights are on,  tuck the remaining end into the remaining hook. Be sure to leave enough string to do this! For those without hooks, tuck the end in between other strands of the lights you have wrapped. 

You can either hang the hanger in a cupboard or place the hanger in a storage box until next Christmas! If you store the hanger with other items, it is worth wrapping in some tissue paper or a towel to avoid the lights getting damaged. 

Option 2: Affordable Wrapping Paper Tube

If you are looking for an incredibly affordable storage option for your Christmas lights, using wrapping paper tubes is a great solution! Instead of flattening these tubes down, save yourself the task and use them for your lights! You can also use a Pringles can for this method; just ensure the inside of the tube is rinsed out. Any leftover crumbs can attract hungry insects or bugs!

Christmas light strand on an empty wrapping paper tube.

Create a small vertical slit at the top of the can or tube. Aim for an inch long and slip one end of the lights into the slit. If your lights do not fit, you can widen the slit. 

Next, wrap the lights around the tube or can. To do this, work your way down to the bottom of the can and back up to the top. You may have to wrap the lights around the can or tube several times, depending on the length of your wire. 

Once the lights are wound, you can place the end and plug in the same slit you cut earlier. Again you may need to make adjustments to the slit to ensure the wire fits. Alternatively, you can slide the lights’ end into the other strands wrapped around the can or tube. 

If you use a Pringles can, you can use the lid to place on top of the can. It will prevent the ends from slipping out of the slit while in storage. This step is not essential, but if you have the lid, worth doing. 

You can store the lights wherever you see fit. They can go in cupboards or storage boxes easily. It is worth wrapping some tissue paper or an old towel around the tube or can if you are storing them in boxes with other items. They will protect the lights from any damage. 

Option 3: Heavy Duty Power Cord Holder

This option does involve some cost if you do not have a power cord holder at home. To follow this method, you will first need a power cord holder. They are widely available at hardware stores and online. We prefer the ones designed for outdoor lights as they are the most durable.

Christmas light strands wrapping around a round power cord holder

Simply insert the lights into the cord holder and wind them up. You will need to do this very carefully to avoid breaking any of the lights. Take your time. Patience and care are worth it to have working lights next December!  Check the manufacturer’s instructions included with the packaging for any special tips for your specific holder.

What’s good about this method is that you can put multiple sets of lights on one power cord holder. Plug the new set of lights into the old one’s end and wind the power cord holder until it is full. Compared to the other methods mentioned above, the power cord holder is the only one that allows multiple light sets to be stored in one place. 

If you aren’t storing more lights, you can tuck the lights’ end into other strands or leave it. As it is wound around the cord holder, they will not come unwound. 

You can now store the power cord holder(s). Place it in a box or use its hook to hang it up. If you are storing the lights and cord holder in a box, it is best to opt for a shallow box. Avoid stacking the coils on top of each other and add an old kitchen towel between holders to avoid breakage during storage.

Which Option Will You Choose?

As you can see, there are a few ways to store your Christmas lights successfully. The best way to store them will depend on your personal preference and the space you have available for storage.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to store your Christmas lights and can often use household items you already own. We are sure that whatever option you choose will leave you tangle free next Christmas.

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