There’s no question that decorating with beautiful Christmas lights is a great way to celebrate the holidays. However, what about when it is time to put everything away?
One of the biggest hassles for many people is dealing with tangled lights the following year. In fact, this is so frustrating, some people throw them out altogether, just to purchase new lights. This is a waste of money.
It’s better to pack them up smartly, so they will begin tangle-free until next year. Some tips to help you do this can be found here.
1. Use a Cardboard Cut-Out
While it is pretty tempting just to grab one of your used strands of Christmas lights and wind it around your hand or arm, this is when the tangles begin.
The solution is rather simple. You use a similar idea; however, replace your hand or arm with a piece of cardboard cut into a rectangle. Cut it to approximately the size of a standard magazine and then cut a slit in one of the ends. Then, slide one of the ends of the light strand into the slit and start wrapping them around the long side of your cardboard holder.
To save space, you can double-up your holders and put two or three strands of lights on each piece of cardboard you use.
2. Use Clothes Hangers
If you don’t have enough cardboard available, but you do have some extra clothes hangers, you can opt to use these instead. Take one of the loose ends of your light strand and hook it through the strap holder. This will help you keep the strand taut. Begin to wrap your lights around the clothes hanger vertically and keep it as neat as you can.
When you have finished wrapping, you can hook the end of the lights at the other end of the strap holder or plug it into the end of another light strand. Once finished, you can hang your lights in a storage closet.
3. Bunching the Lights
When you initially take the lights out of their box, they were probably bunched and held all together with a rubber band or a cable tie. This can actually be redone pretty easily, but the process is more time intensive. The biggest benefit is that it’s going to be virtually impossible to get them tangled.
To re-bunch your lights, grab one of the lights close to the end of the strand. Then, grab the light two lights away on each side and group them together. This provides you with two lights on one end and one light on the other. Continue to use this method for every other light until you reach the end of the strand.
Wrap the remaining loose ends around the bunches middle and then connect the plug. This will keep them neat and ready for next year.
4. Roll Up the Lights in Plastic Sheets
The methods mentioned above work for your standard strand lights. However, if you have icicle lights, the above wrapping methods may not work well.
To store these, purchase a one-foot wide roll of plastic. Roll the plastic sheet out to the total length of the lights and then cut the plastic away. Put the strand on top of the sheet and then roll it up. This will keep everything tangle-free.
If you are getting ready to store away your Christmas lights for the season, using the tips here will help you save quite a bit of stress and hassle next year.