How to Store Christmas Lights

I used to store my Christmas lights in a couple of large totes. It also held our garland, ornaments, tablecloths, and one freaky nutcracker (I hate those things).

Typically, my wife handles holiday setup and tear-down. She loves making the house look homey and festive.

This year…she was out of town when the lights needed to come down. So, it was the first time it fell on my shoulders.

After an hour of trying to shove lights back into their boxes, I decided there must be a better way.

Let’s discuss how to store your Christmas lights now, so they’ll be organized and safe for years to come.


How To Choose Christmas Light Storage

Like ornaments, Christmas lights need to be stored in a dry, safe place. Your urge might be to shove as much as possible into a single tote.
Don’t.
It’s easy to pile too much on top of them, breaking some of the bulbs.

To get ready to put away your decorations, obtain a box or several boxes and storage containers. Get as many boxes and storage containers as you’ll need to safely store your Christmas lights.

This storage method will keep your Christmas lights safe and dry and prevent your lights from breaking or getting damaged.

When taking down the lights, untangle them by laying them flat and stretching them out while removing any twists or kinks.

Do not skip this step, no matter what type they are or how you plan to store them. It will potentially damage your Christmas lights if you do.

You can even use a hanger to safely store Christmas lights! You can also use a cord reel.

If you saved the box that your lights came in, you can use that, then place the box inside a storage container or bag for safekeeping.

I’ve stored them neatly wound together in an extra storage cabinet in a pinch. The possibilities are endless, and you don’t need a lot of money or fancy equipment to store them.

Let’s talk about storing Christmas lights in some of the most popular aftermarket storage containers. It may cost a little more, but it’ll be easier to hang your Christmas lights next year!

Christmas lights stored on hangers

How to Store Christmas Lights

Here are three easy ways to store Christmas lights–some using items you may even already have around your home.

Storing Christmas Lights with Boxes

If you have spare boxes around the house, you can use them to store Christmas lights. You don’t need to purchase any new boxes. If you saved the lights that your Christmas lights came in, then you’re in luck! You don’t need to force the lights back into the box, but you can use the outside of the box to neatly wrap the Christmas lights around it. 

Cut two slits on the outside of the box and insert the string lights into the slit. Then, wrap the cords around the box in a winding manner as you would with a cord reel. Think of a garden hose and how you wrap it up.

You can store Christmas lights in a traditional cardboard box with a bit of modification if you prefer.
Using a razor blade, cut the cardboard into several small rectangles. Alternately, you can use the sides of the box and simply cut them off.

Use those rectangles that you cut from the box as your base. Cut two slits on the outside of the rectangles. Then, wrap the cords around the rectangle like a garden hose and wind them around it slowly and neatly. It helps if you move from left to right or right to left. 

Some people wrap tissue paper around the lights after they wind them and before they store them and place the lights inside a storage bin to prevent water damage or crushing.

By placing your lights inside a container after wrapping them, you are sealing out the elements. Wrapping them around cardboard keeps your Christmas lights tangle-free. This is perhaps the easiest and least demanding option available to store Christmas lights.

ZOBER Christmas Light Storage Box
$22.99
  • Material: 600 denier Oxford fabric
  • Color: Red
  • Capacity: 240 feet of light strand (Each reel fits 60" in strands)
  • Dimensions: 17” x 12” x 10”
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
11/25/2022 11:39 am GMT

Storing Christmas Lights With Hangers

Hangers are a great way to wrap your string lights if you have extra closet space you want to utilize for storage. Most homes have extra hangers, so you shouldn’t need to buy anything.

Take one end of the Christmas lights and tuck them into one of the hooks. Next, wrap the lights around the outside of the hanger from right to left. Imagine you’re wrapping a garden hose around a cord reel. You’ll want to wrap the string lights similarly. 

Tuck the other end into the hook on the opposite end from where you started. They should look like thread neatly wound on a reel.

You can place this hanger in a storage container to keep your string lights safe from damage and the elements. Sometimes, rodents can eat your lights, so storing them in airtight containers is necessary. You can also hang the lights that are wound on your clothes hangers.

Christmas Lights Storage Holder [Set of 4]
$9.99
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11/25/2022 04:07 pm GMT

Storing Christmas Lights With a Cord Reel

Storing Christmas lights with a cord reel will cost you money, but it’s money well spent.

You can find cord reels or power cord holders at any hardware store, but ideally, you’ll want to use one designed for electrical cords. 

First, insert your string lights into the end of the cord reel and carefully wind them up, taking great care not to break or crack any of the lights.

I help save space by plugging light strings into each other and winding them up as one long, continuous string.  

ZOBER Christmas light storage bag

Personally, I use the ZOBER Christmas light storage bag. It has three wire cord reels that fit snugly inside a heavy fabric bag, and each reel fits up to 80′ worth of lights.

That’s more than enough to store an entire house’s worth of lights in a single storage bag.

ZOBER Premium Christmas Light Storage Bag
  • Material: 600 denier Oxford fabric
  • Color: Green
  • Capacity: 240 feet of light strand (Each reel fits 80" in strands)
  • Dimensions: 12.5” x 15"
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.