Most of the average among us love to drive around looking at all the beautiful Christmas displays of lights each year. However, for some the chore of taking down and storing them is too much of a struggle and they end up either foregoing the decorating process or just throw them out. To keep your Christmas spirit going for next year, I have, through my own trial and error, found a simple method to care for holiday decor. There is a way to store your holiday lights and all your other decorations, so that they are in working order the following year.
The first thing you will want to do is look at what Christmas lights you own and separate the bigger items from the small ones. For example, single strands lights should be in their own container, separate from the bigger ones like candy canes and characters. This makes it easier to label your containers and leads to less confusion the following year.
If you still have the boxes for the big items, then use them! If not, no worries, just have your storage containers handy. Begin by placing a piece of packing material in the bottom to cushion the inside of the container. Then, take your single strands and gently wrap into a 12 inch loop. Take a single zip tie and wrap around one side, repeat on opposite side. Place in container, making sure all strands are unplugged from one another.
As for the larger lighted decorations, wrap in bubble wrap or other packing material, placing into container with bulbs facing up. Garland that is lighted can be used as a cushioning material for other items to save on space. Just make sure any strands are looped and tied off to avoid getting tangled.
All containers should be packed with approximately 1-2 inches of space remaining at the top. This allows for proper closing and stacking of your containers, and will prevent broken lights as well. Be sure to keep similar items together when packing and label everything. Make sure the lables face out toward you when you put them away in your storage area. This makes decorating even easier for next year.