Wonder and joy overflow when we walk through Christmas lights. Yet taking them out of storage and untangling them does not evoke the same feelings. Improperly stored Christmas lights often become giant, messy knots, which affects their wiring and necessitates replacement to correct. Save yourself a headache and a trip to the store by learning how to properly wrap and store your Christmas lights after they come down for the season.
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Here, we share some professional tips on proper light storage:
The Over/Under Method: This classic approach involves laying your lights flat and alternating wrapping them “over” and “under” your hand or arm. Once wrapped, you can zip-tie the end you were holding with your hand and hang it where you have storage space. With one end hanging from a hook and the other tied, your lights will stay secure until next season.
Cardboard Reels: There is no shortage of cardboard packages around Christmas! Turn this droll task into a family holiday project: first, cut strips of cardboard for this storage method. Then, cut notches in the ends of a large piece of cardboard and wrap the lights around it, fitting them into the notches. With your lights neatly wrapped and tucked away, unwrapping them next season will be a breeze.
Clothes Hangers: If an extra clothes hanger is lying around, it can be another great tool to keep strands from tangling. Gently wrap the lights around the clothes hanger’s body, ensuring each loop is snug to the previous one. Continue wrapping until you reach the opposite end of the hanger, and secure the remaining strand by tucking it between the wrapped loops. If you have available space, consider hanging the wrapped lights to keep them off the floor.
Location: Choosing where you store your holiday lights is just as important as choosing how you store them, as lights that face extreme temperatures and moisture may no longer illuminate. You can keep them safe all year by storing your packed strands away from scorching attics and damp basements. Instead, opt for climate-controlled spaces, such as a closet, under a bed, or inside a storage cabinet.
Airtight Containers: The best way to protect your lights from the elements is to store them in airtight containers. Plastic bins with lids and vacuum sealer bags allow you to put your lights anywhere without fear of ruining them. When you retrieve them the following season, your lights will be as enchanting as the year before.
Let Outdoor Lights Dry: As said above, one of the biggest threats to your Christmas lights is moisture. Although some individuals are ready to clean up Christmas the moment it’s over, haphazardly tossing wet outdoor lights in a box will guarantee they don’t work next year. Before wrapping or storing your outdoor strands, wait for a sunny day to ensure they dry before you take them down.
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