Somehow it's January, and Christmas is over! Time to take all those lights down. But what’s the best way to do it?! Whether you're a professional installer tucking away shelves of lights post-holidays, or a homeowner looking for tips on safe storage, these tips are for you! Proper removal and storage of your Christmas lights will help with the longevity of the product, while also making things more efficient for you next year.

How to Store Christmas Lights

First Rule: Removing Lights is Important!

They will last longer this way, and it is good to give your client’s houses/businesses and their trees a break. Giving trees a rest is especially important; trees need room to grow, and string lights can get in the way of that. Growing trees are also remarkably strong, and lights left wrapped around a trunk can actually be swallowed by the bark, or can snap from tension.

Second Rule: Wrap Lights Into Coils
5mm mini-lights wrapped tightly into coils in a storage bin

Once the lights are down, coil them into loops as you would an electrical cable. Use masking tape, electrical tape or twine to keep the lights together. This prevents them from coming unfurled and getting tangled. For bigger projects, it can be useful to use Christmas light storage reels. You can use the spools that our C7 and C9 socket wire come on, or you can pick up spools at a wide selection of hardware stores.

Third Rule: Label Your Strings
G30 bulbs on E17 wire stored in a bin with an electrical tape label indicating roofline

It can be really helpful to use electrical tape and a sharpie to label each section of lights and extension cable. Take pictures of them on the house, tree, or business for extra reference. This will make putting them up easier next year!

Fourth Rule: Store Your Lights in Dry, Breathable Containers
Christmas lights stored in stackable totes

Stackable totes make great Christmas light storage containers, but it is imperative that you cut a hole in each side so as to let out any excess moisture. This will help the lights last for years! We have found that the easiest way to cut a hole is by using a circular saw drill bit.

Those are just a few of the main strategies we employ when storing our lights during the off-season - we hope you've found them helpful! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

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