Self Storage for Everyone

How to Store Christmas Lights (The Right Way)

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

  1. Tip 1 – Utilise a sheet of cardboard
  2. Tip 2 – Repurpose old coat hangers
  3. Tip 3 – Use an old tube of Pringles
  4. Tip 4 – Carefully wrap them by hand
  5. Tip 5 – Keep Christmas lights in self storage
  6. Other Christmas storage tips
  7. Final thoughts

If you’re wondering how to store Christmas lights, then this post is for you – nothing is more annoying than lots of tangled-up wires. A bit of prep will make the mission easy, so you can actually enjoy putting them up. String lights are a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Over Christmas, some people even transform their homes for a charitable cause.

In December 2022, two brothers raised a whopping £92,000 with their festive display!

There is, however, the question of how to store so many lights to ensure they’re kept in good shape. Here are a few methods to prevent those smashed light bulbs.

  • Utilise a sheet of cardboard
  • Repurpose old coat hangers
  • Use an old tube of Pringles
  • Carefully wrap them by hand
  • Keep Christmas lights in self storage
  • Other Christmas storage tips
  • Final thoughts

Tip 1 – Utilise a sheet of cardboard

Similar to the ‘elbow hack’ where you make an L shape with your arm, using cardboard can keep your lights safe in storage:

Cut a rectangle out of cardboard – make sure this is the heavier type, like a cardboard box you would use to move home. About 30cm x 15cm should work fine, but anything lighter may buckle once the lights are wrapped around it.

Make a notch on one side of the cardboard – it should be large enough to tuck in one end of the lights, but it doesn’t matter which side; this method will work either way.

Wrap your string lights around the card – wrap the wire neatly, working from one side to the other, and it’ll make handling Christmas lights more straightforward next year.

Where your wire ends, cut another notch in the card – then tuck the end of your lights into this second notch.

Wrap the lights in tissue paper – they’ll be protected while in storage this way.

Tip 2 – Repurpose old coat hangers

If you’ve recently had a declutter, you should have some spare. Here’s how to use hangers for Christmas light storage:

  • Get an old coat hanger – ideally, it should have a little hook on each side (the bits used to hang strappy items) which will make wrapping the lights easier. If not, don’t worry; you can still use this method.
  • Put one end of the lights through a hook – or simply tie the end to the hanger.
  • Wrap the lights around the outside of your coat hanger – working from left to right, wrap your lights and then work back to the other side. It may take a few attempts to get all of the lights on the hanger.
  • Finish by tucking the remaining end into the other hook – once there is only a bit of wire left, tuck it into the hook. For hangers without hooks, simply tuck the end into the strands.
  • Hang or store your Christmas lights away – ta-dah! Your twinkly decor is ready for next season.

Tip 3 – Use an old tube of Pringles

If you have a Pringles can kicking about, make sure to give it a rinse; the packaging can now be used as a Christmas lights storage tube:

  • Get an empty can of Pringles – or, as an alternative, you can use the cardboard tubes from Christmas wrapping paper. The following steps will be the same, minus the lid.
  • Make a slit in the top of the can – being careful, make a small vertical slit in the top side of the tube. About an inch should be long enough.
  • Slide one end of the lights into the gap – you can always widen it with scissors if they don’t fit.
  • Begin to wrap the lights around the tube – start at the top and work up and down, before tucking the end of the lights in the gap at the top of the tube. As a result, you should have the lights wrapped around the can with both ends resting in the cut at the top.
  • Close the lid and wrap the tube in paper – by closing the top, the lights won’t slip and unravel. Again, a few layers of tissue paper will add further protection once your lights are in storage.

Tip 4 – Carefully wrap them by hand

Don’t have any spare cardboard to hand or empty snack packets? Just your hands will do the job nicely!

  • Hold the second light of the strand between your index finger and thumb – the first and third lights should then fall next to each other nicely.
  • The fourth one can then be pulled up, placing it next to the second – you should now hold the first, third, and fifth lights in your palm.
  • Continue matching the lights – the even ones should be at the top of your hand and the odd ones at the bottom. By keeping this sequence going, the lights should remain in an even pattern and will not tangle either.
  • Take the remaining cord and wrap it around the bunch – after wrapping the lights, you should have a tight bundle. Keep the plug safe by tucking it in.

Tip 5 – Keep Christmas lights in self storage

Need to get your decorations out of the house? We get it. This next Christmas light storage hack is the easiest one! Our self storage units will keep them clean and dry until you need them next year. Plus, you’ll avoid the risk of any breakages too.

As well as securing Christmas decorations, our self storage units are great for keeping those seasonal items safe over winter. So if you need somewhere to stash any sporting equipment like bikes, skis, paddle boards or canoes, then self storage is the ideal solution.

Other Christmas storage tips

  • Remove batteries from toys and lights – if your decorations are battery powered, it’s important that these are removed in order to prevent them from deteriorating. According to Energizer, batteries should also be kept in “a cool, dry place. However, if they no longer work, then they can be recycled at your local centre.
  • Keep beaded garlands in a bottle – prevent having to deal with any tangled-up beads by keeping them stored in a bottle or jar. Depending on the size, you should be able to fit two garlands in nicely. Not only will it save time, but it’ll also keep you from getting hot and bothered. Decorating for Christmas should be fun, not hard.
  • Protect precious Christmas baubles from breaking – as baubles can be pretty tricky to store; they need some thought – it’s no good shoving them in a box and hoping for the best. Egg boxes can be used to store smaller decorations, or leftover party cups will work too. Kitchen roll is also a lifesaver for oddly-shaped baubles like stars and bows.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, when it comes to decorating next year, these tips will make it easy; never overlook the value of good storage. With facilities in Corby, Wokingham, Peterborough and Leeds, we can help you free up more space. Contact your nearest store to get a quote. If you’re also looking for more handy home hacks, why not have a browse of our blog? Here, you’ll find various topics, from moving to organising your things. 

Self Storage for Everyone