Packing up your holiday lights can be depressing. But unpacking a tangled mess of lights when it’s time to put them up again can be both depressing and frustrating! Then, once all the lights are finally untangled, half of them don’t work. Here are 3 tips for packing up your holiday lighting so that you have a stress-free decorating experience next year.
Wrapping Paper Tubes
Utilize those empty wrapping paper tubes, left over from wrapping your gifts, to help store your lights. Cut a small slit in each end of the tube. These slits will be your end-keepers. Take your string of lights and hook the end into the slit in one end of the tube. This will help keep this end from getting lost when you are unwinding the tube next year. Now wind the lights around the tube, working your way down the tube as you go. When you’ve got all the lights wound around, you should be at the other end of the tube, where you can now hook the other end of the light string. Now you have both ends of the lights secured and the tube will keep the rest of the lights from getting tangled together.
Keep Each Light Strand Separate
If you tend to find a massive ball of lights tangled together every year, you may find success in simply keeping each light strand separated. Wrap a single strand of lights up by looping the strand between your hand and your elbow. This will make a compact set of lights and you can place it in a plastic bag, tie the bag shut, and now that strand of lights cannot tangle with any others. Repeat for all your lighting strands for an easy light separation process next year.
Cardboard Square Storage
Take a sturdy square of cardboard and cut a slit in one side. Hook one end of the lights into the slit to keep it secure. Now wrap the lights around the cardboard until all the lights are wrapped up. You can hook the other end of the lights into the same slit to keep it secure as well, or cut another slit for the end. Use another cardboard square for each strand of lights you wish to keep.
Now when you get your holiday lights out next year, they should be organized and easier to unwrap. Be sure to inspect each light before storing it to ensure that it does not need to be thrown away. You should also inspect the lights when getting them out of storage for any frayed wires or other signs of wear that indicate a need to replace them.