Every year, getting out the Christmas decorations would take a day in itself.  Not that we went all out or anything, it just simply took that long to dig out the bags from under the stairs, and hope that everything survived since last year.  This usually entailed hauling everything else out that was parked in front of it over the last year.  It also meant sending someone under the dark stairs with the hopes they would return from the abyss.How to Store Christmas LightsCredit: morguefile.com

Each year we would have good intentions of putting things away properly, and yet I found once the season had passed, you just wanted them down quickly and cleared away.   It is hard enough storing ornaments, but I found the strings of lights to be the worst for storing.  You have the ones from your tree, then the railings, then all the outdoor ones, sometimes in one big pile.

My son would simply wrap them around his arm as if winding up an extension cord, plop them in a garbage bag and yet somehow they would end up in the worse tangled mess you can imagine if you didn’t pull the loop out of the bag at the right end.

But if you plan ahead, you can store Christmas lights in such a way, that it will actually be a pleasure to unpack them again for the next season.  I decided this year that everything to do with the season would end up in proper containers.  I would invest in the right way to store them and then they would be in good shape and last longer and be recognized right away.

1. Cardboard Mailing Tubes

A friend of mine would invest in mailing tubes (or you could use a Pringles chip container if you have tiny strings of lights) and he would simple wrap a set onto each mailing tube then secure the ends and then store the mailing tubes in a bag.  You could sometimes fit a couple of sets depending on how many you owned.Best Ways to Store Christmas LightsCredit: morguefile.com

I can see that working, but in my house that bag would get squished, but it is one way to keep them somewhat organized.  You can get mailing tubes from the post office.  These are the tubes you mail posters in.  So you simply wrap the line around the tube as you are taking them down. 

NOTE:  Don’t take them down, then try to wind them, as they will already be magically tangled!

2. Cardboard Pieces

You can take the sides off a strong cardboard box and wrap your sets of lights around them and then secure them.  This way works as well.  But my only issue with the cardboard pieces or the mailing tubes is then where do you put them?

You could then store them in good plastic tubs with a good fitting lid that would work.  It all depends on how many sets of Christmas lights you own and want to store.  

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3. Specially Designed Bags

I decided this would be a great way to go, to

Storing Christmas LightsCredit: Amazon.com

 actually have a specific bin that works just for strings of lights to be stored.  If you have a lot of lights, these bags would be great.  There is a clear window in the top so you know just what is in this bin.

We recently downsized our home, and there is not the storage for the seasonal decorations that we once had.  So, this year I decided that everything would have its own container.  I would invest in the right bin or bag, so that there was not a day

 set aside just to find everything.  I want to go into the basement or garage and simply find the tree bag, the ornament bin and the Christmas tree light bag and be done.

I want to enjoy the part of putting the decorations up and not be exhausted from trying to find all the dusty garbage bags full of decorations that have seen better days. 

I decided this was the year that I would get rid of broken decorations and keep only the treasured ones.  But when it comes to the lights, old is not better.  You should really consider updating your seasonal lighting if you can’t remember how old those frayed cords are!

Once you have your lighting sorted out, then make sure and wrap them around something as you take them down.  Then consider the above bag specially designed just to hold the lights instead of a bin full of lights and other things.

Why stress yourself?  When it comes time to take down holiday decorations, put them in the right container, and then when you decide to put up the tree or decorate the porch it will not be a two day event and a rushed trip to the busy mall to replace the broken ones!