If last year’s holiday hangover and rush to remove the Christmas decorations produced a twisted, tangled ball of lights, you may be more inclined to just toss them and head to the store for a new set. Instead of giving up and making waste, make an early New Year’s resolution that this year you’ll store your Christmas lights the right way. You’ll only need a few clothes hangers (depending on the number of light strands) and some duct tape to ensure smooth storage of the Christmas lights.
1Take inventory of your Christmas light stock. Whether you’re working with brand new sets or you’re fishing lights from storage, take stock of how many strands you currently own.
2Stock up on hangers. You’ll need heavy-duty hangers to hold each light strand, so flimsy wire hangers won’t cut it. Think about how you plan to store your lights too—–hanging them is an option with this method, so you may want to go with a more decorative hanger.
- Purchase or find enough hangers to accommodate each light strand. Unless you want to purchase new hangers each year, consider investing in a stronger hanger.
- Buy or gather enough hangers to hold each, individual light strand. For the neatest storage system, dedicate one hanger per string.
- Consider using wooden or heavy-duty plastic hangers. Wooden hangers may cost a little more, but they’ll withstand the test of time and keep light strands in place.
3Wind each light strand around the hanger. While there’s no specific technique, there are some tips to ensure ease of winding:
4Store neatly. Place the wound-on lights inside a box that has plenty of space for the lights without squashing them. For layering, consider tearing off sides of cardboard boxes and placing on the top of each layer before adding the next layer––this will prevent any entanglement between layers and helps ease any crushing of the lights. Don’t have too many layers per box––additional boxes is better than one large one (easier for you to handle too).
- Store the light sets in a cool, dry area, preferable in an individual box or storage bin.
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- Label the storage boxes so that it’s easy to locate the lights each season.
- Consider using the hanger portion to hang sets in a designated storage area. That will ensure the lights aren’t crushed by other items and remain pristine.
- Use this opportunity to discard lights that have frayed, broken or are otherwise spoiled. Badly maintained lights can be a safety hazard when used.
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