The holidays are over now and it’s almost time to start taking down those decorations and saving them for next year. Taking some time to properly store your LED Christmas lights and other decorations this year can save you a giant headache next year. Here are some tips and tricks that we’ve found over the years to help you store your decorations.
The Wrapping Paper Tube Method
After the holiday season is over, you’re probably going to have a few extra wrapping paper tubes lying around. Don’t throw them away, hang on to one and use it to store your Christmas lights.
Cut the wrapping paper tube holder in half, stick the outlet plug inside the tube, and wrap the light strand around the outside of the tube. Add a couple of pieces of duct tape to secure the wire at either end.
The Plastic Bag Method
The plastic bag method is pretty simple. Wrap each strand of lights individually and then put each into its own plastic bag. Label each plastic bag and then box the group of plastic bags together.
The Cardboard Box Method
Christmas light storage, via FeedMe
After the holidays, you’ve probably got a few extra cardboard boxes cluttering up your home or garage. Keep one to use for organizing your LED Christmas lights. Take one of the square or rectangular sides of the box and a series of notches one inch apart on both sides of the box. Wind your light strings around, securing them in the notches you had previously cut. Store the groups of lights in a box or plastic bin for next year.
Tangle-Free Christmas Light Spool Storage by Mike Prosser, on Flickr
The Coffee Can Method
An empty coffee can or oatmeal can makes a great Christmas light storage device. Cut a slit in the plastic lid and slide the receptacle end of the light cord through it. Add the extra bulbs, extension cords, or any other accessories into the can, and then replace the lid. Then begin wrapping the length of the cord around the outside of the can. Be sure to leave the plug end tucked into the light strand so it is easy accessible next year.
Preparing for Next Year’s Decorating
When packing up the season’s lights and decorations, it’s a great time to make sure you’re only storing working lights, so that you don’t have to deal with repairs and replacements during next year’s holiday rush. Did you find a strand that was not operating properly? Or a strand that was not lighting at all? Learn maintenance tips in our article on changing LED fuses, or you can pick up replacement strands
How Do The Pro’s Take Down and Store Lights?
Storage and Prep – The Installers Proven Method
We get a lot of questions after each decorating season, on the preferred method of storing lights, and how to best prepare your lights for next year’s install. Lucky for you, we have an installers trick on how to store and prepare your lights for next season, all in one step!
Installers prefer to prep their lights for next year, while the take-down is happening. That way they can isolate any bad sets (know what they will need for replacement product) and prep the sets for next year, all at the same time. This makes the storage nice and neat, and also speeds up install the following year, as everything is ready to go.
You will need to start at the end of the set, with the female plug
Place the female plug in your hand, and wrap around 5-6 times
Remove from your hand, holding the wires together, so they do not come unraveled
Start wrapping the wire around the “loops” you just made, going in the opposite direction
Continue wrapping in all directions to create a uniform ball
Fully Prepped Set:
Male plug is out/accessible for install. Lights will not get tangled during install
Store in labeled containers, so you know where the product was used (ex: roofline/front tree)
Totes or containers with lids work great, as you can stack them, and you know your lights will stay clean and dry