Georgetown Fir artificial Christmas tree
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How to store strings of Christmas lights

Make life a lot easier by taking a couple of extra minutes to store lights correctly

Georgetown Fir artificial Christmas tree (pictured above) available pre-lit and unlit 

Storing your Christmas lights in an orderly manner can save you a whole lot of stress the following year when you can put the lights straight onto the tree rather than nearly strangling yourself sorting out a rat’s nest. If you can’t bear the thought of the whole time-consuming business of putting lights onto the tree there are masses of really good quality trees pre-lit with LEDs.

Once you have stored your lights place them in an old pillowcase in a dry frost free spot. If storing them in an airtight plastic container make sure that the lid is not completely closed as condensation can build up and ruin the lights. When storing your lights just be careful not to smash the bulbs. The best way to wind the lights around your chosen receptacle is to start with the end farthest from the plug and finish with the plug as when you put lights onto the tree you start at the plug end.

Click here to watch the video showing how to put lights onto the Christmas tree.

  • An easy method is to take a piece of really sturdy cardboard and wrap the lights around from one side to the other, press the tines of the plug through the cardboard to keep it secure.
Christmas lights
  • If you have an empty Pringles crisps carton clean it out, cut a small notch in the top, place the end of the lights into the notch and wind the string around the outside of the carton finishing at the top with the plug cable secure in the notch and the plug inside the carton. Put on the lid and your lights will be secure and easy to put on the tree next year.
  • You can also wind the lights around an old coat-hanger, the ones with the fuzzy coating are best as the lights don’t slip off. Secure the ends behind the hooks.
  • Shoe boxes also make good storage for lights, especially if you have several sets, as they also provide safe storage for the extension cable just place them inside the box, cut a piece out of one end large enough for the plug to go through then wind your lights around the outside of the box and finally tuck the plug into the box.
  • You can also buy cable storage reels at DIY stores. These are the best solution if you have long strings of lights.