How to Properly Store Christmas Tree Lights: Tips for Tangle-Free Storage

Jonathan Kao

turned-on string lights

Storing Christmas lights properly after the holiday season can maintain their functionality and extend their lifespan for years of festive use. After celebrating, taking down Christmas lights might not be an activity many look forward to. However, properly organizing them for storage can save time and maintain the holiday spirit for the following year. Careful storage prevents tangling and damage, ensuring the lights will be ready to shine brightly when the festive season rolls around again.

When it comes to storing Christmas lights, the key is to keep them tangle-free and protected. The methods vary, ranging from wrapping them around a piece of cardboard, spool, or hanger, to more creative solutions like repurposing a hose reel. What all methods have in common is they prevent the wires from becoming entangled, which can lead to damage and broken bulbs. Storing them in a container, such as a plastic bin or a cardboard box, further safeguards them from potential harm.

Smart Light Storage Solutions

Nothing ruins the Christmas spirit faster than a tangled mess of lights! Avoid that annual frustration with these storage strategies.

Cardboard Cutouts

This simple DIY solution is super easy.

  1. Cut a rectangle out of cardboard.
  2. Cut small notches on each side.
  3. Wind your lights around the cardboard, securing the ends in the notches.


Standard clothes hangers are a clever light storage option! Here’s how to use them:

  1. Loop your lights loosely around the hanger, similar to how you’d wrap an extension cord.
  2. Secure the ends neatly with a twist tie or small piece of tape if needed.

Commercial Storage Options

If DIY isn’t your style, there are convenient store-bought options:

Product NameDescriptionWhere to Buy
Light ReelsPlastic reels designed to neatly wind light strandsOnline, home improvement stores
Light Storage BagsBreathable bags with compartments for multiple setsOnline, department stores
Light Storage BoxesHard-sided cases for tangle-proof protectionOnline, home improvement stores

Additional Tips

  • Test your lights before storing them. This will save you a headache next year!
  • Label each reel, bag, or box. Know exactly what type of lights are inside without opening the containers.
  • Store lights in a cool, dry place. This will help them last longer.

Let next year’s decorating start with untangling joy!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper storage protects Christmas lights and eases future use.
  • Tangle-free methods include using cardboard, spools, or hangers.
  • Containers offer additional protection against damage.

Organizing and Storing Techniques

Storing Christmas lights properly saves time and avoids the frustration of untangling them. This section provides techniques to neatly organize and store your holiday decorations.

Preparation for Storage

Before storing, inspect each string of lights. Look for damaged bulbs and frayed wires. Replace any faulty lights. Untangle the strings and lay them flat. Gather materials such as scissors, labels, and storage containers.

Storage Methods and Materials

Use a variety of containers to protect your lights. Storage bins or boxes lined with tissue paper or bubble wrap can provide cushioning. Cardboard tubes or clothes hangers offer simple ways to wrap lights and prevent tangling.

Wrapping and Untangling

Wrap lights around a cardboard piece or light reel to keep them untangled. Start with the plug end and wrap the string neatly, securing the end with a rubber band. For shorter strings, a hanger works well.

Labeling and Organizing

Label each wrapped string of lights. Note details like LED or color. Use zip ties or cable ties to group similar strings. Store your labeled, wrapped lights in a storage rack or bin, organizing them in a way that makes them easy to find.