Simple but clever ways to store strings of Christmas lights, to avoid the dreaded tangles next year…

Detangling the Christmas lights is something of a holiday tradition, but these strings of lights are surprisingly delicate. Tangles and knots can cause damage to the wires or bulbs, causing the whole string to malfunction.


Rather than stuffing the whole lot in a box after the festive season, why not try one of these clever tricks to store your Christmas lights?



Christmas lights wrapped around a sheet of cardboard.

Source: Redfin


Cut a suitably sized square of cardboard from a box. Choose a size that will easily fit into the box or cupboard you store your decorations in.


Make 1 to 2 centimetre notches along two parallel edges with a craft knife or scissors. Loop the fairy lights around the cardboard and secure them in the notches. Be careful not to wind them too tightly.


Coat hanger

Christmas lights wrapped around a coat hanger.

Source: Lifestyle Inquirer


Loosely wind your Christmas lights around a plastic coat hanger. You can start in the middle, using the hook to secure the loose end, or at one of the two ends, using the notches. For extra security, use some insulation tape to secure the plug so it doesn’t dangle and unravel the whole thing.


The best part is that you can then simply hang the lights in a cupboard for safe storage.


Pringles can or tennis ball tube

Christmas lights wrapped around a Pringles can.

Source: The Star


You can wrap strings of lights around an old Pringles can (remember to wash it first) or tennis ball tube for secure Christmas lights storage.


If you cut a notch in the top rim, you can secure the ends, put the plug inside the tube and put the lid back on to keep everything in place. This method ensures a nice even coil, which helps prevents kinks or bends in the wire. If you don’t have an old Pringles can, you can do a similar thing with the inner tube of a paper towel roll.


Cord reel

Christmas lights wrapped around a reel.

Source: Organized at Heart


An old extension cord reel or a new general-purpose reel can act as a spindle for winding up Christmas lights. Some of them even have a winder and are large enough to hold multiple strings of lights if you secure the ends together with insulation tape.


This is a particularly good solution for very long strings of lights or bulkier outdoor lights.


Zip ties

Christmas lights secured with zip ties.

Source: Entzeroth


If you have limited space and find the other methods too bulky, you can wind your strings of lights in an even circle and secure the circle on two sides with zip ties. This method avoids tight bends in the wire which can cause damage over extended periods of time. The circular coils can then be stored in a box or cupboard.


Christmas decorations can take up a lot of space, which may be put to better uses. Instead, consider storing your decorations with XtraSpace until you need them again. We offer affordable self-storage units in a range of sizes. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.

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