Everyone looks forward to Christmas with the smell of freshly baked pies and cookies lingering in the air. Then, there are the presents that people eagerly wait to open and a tree with lights and ornaments. However, if you’re like most people, you find yourself untangling the lights year after year.
Once your guests leave and the kids settle down, you feel exhausted. All you want is to get everything put away. While you might pack decorations and ornaments with care, the lights typically get stuffed in a tub or box. Because of that, they get tangled.
If you add lights to the tree, as well as around the fireplace hearth and outside of your home, you have an even bigger mess. Now’s a perfect time to stop the cycle of dealing with tangled lights. Simply consider any of these suggestions.
Find or Save Cardboard Boxes
Look for sturdy boxes in dumpsters behind retail stores. In addition, save the boxes that get delivered whenever you buy something online. To properly store your Christmas lights, first cut a small notch on each end of a box. Next, wrap the lights around the cardboard and through the notches to keep them securely in place.
Use the Lights’ Original Box
Instead of throwing away the box that the lights came in, save it. It works great because it’s the right size for the type and number of lights that you use. Before you put the lights inside, use packing tape to close one end. After you untangle the lights once, they easily slip out of the box for next Christmas.
Cable or Twist Ties Work Great
A lot of people throw these small items away. You can use the ones on loaves of bread or use the ties that come with trash bags. Both provide two benefits for the holiday season. First, they work great to secure lights to an outside railing or an inside banister. Second, they’re ideal for keeping the lights organized.
When putting them away, use your elbow and hand to create a circle of lights. You’ll end up with a ring that measures roughly two feet. With that done, secure cable or twist ties around the strands every four to six inches.
Wrap the Entire Tree for Storage
While some people laugh at this idea, others consider it genius. Especially if you use the same ornaments and lights every year, there’s no reason to pack items separately. Instead, invest in wide Cellophane. Use that to wrap the entire tree without taking anything off it. Next Christmas, you’ll simply pull the tree out of storage and place it where you want it.
Try the Bunch Trick
Of the different options, this is somewhat complicated. However, it’s still a great idea. You’ll start by holding onto one light, along with the third light from it. Continue this process until you have all the lights straight and orderly. To keep them in place, use the extra cord without any lights. A bungee cord will also work.
Use Extra Clothes Hangers
Just as you would drape a throw blanket over the hanger, do the same with the lights. Again, you’ll need to start with untangled lights. However, every Christmas going forward, just pull them off the hanger. It’s that easy.
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Utilize a Garden Hose or Extension Cord Reel
Available at hardware stores, home improvement stores, and online merchants, either one of these will keep your lights tangle-free. As you can imagine, this entails using the handle on the reel to slowly roll the lights around the center mechanism.
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