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In Christmas movies where trees are decorated, I often see the lights in a jumbled mess. As a child it was the same way; untangling those lights took forever! A few years ago, I had an epiphany. Why not use paper towel rolls to store the strands? I have used this method for at least four years and it works every single time! It is very easy to wrap the lights around the rolls. And even though the final result looks imperfect, it is always easy to take off the lights! To try it, follow these steps.
When you are ready to use the strand again, simply find the plug end you tucked away. Pull it out and start unwrapping the lights! You'll find that they don't tangle at all.
Get ready for next Christmas while you pack away the decorations this year. Start with your Christmas tree lights, replace non-working bulbs. Wrap strands in a loop, sort of like wrapping up the garden hose, and rubberband each strand. Folded net lights should be loosely stored in paper boxes. Write out box contents using leftover self-adhesive gift tags. The tags are easy to spot in dim basements. Next Christmas won't have you, "bah, humbuging" as you unpack your lights.
To keep my Christmas lights from getting tangled up, I wrap each string of lights around a rolled up newspaper or magazine with the plug being last and then I put a rubber band around the plug end to hold the lights in place.
When putting the lights on the Christmas tree, I plug them into an extension cord and roll the lights off the roll as I work my way up from the bottom of the tree. With the lights turned on, I can see where I'm placing them.
When taking the lights down, I start at the top or the last strand I put on and work my way down wrapping each string on a roll as I take them off the Christmas tree. When all lights are secured, they are ready to be boxed up and placed in the attic until next year.
One cardboard tube from wrapping paper is the perfect size for one strand of Christmas lights. Cut a slit at the end of the tube and slide the end of the light strand into the slit, then start wrapping the light strand tightly around the tube.
This is a great way to store the lights, but you will find it handy the next time you are ready to decorate the tree, too. You unravel a small bit of lights at a time, string them on the tree and simply pass the tube to a helper on the other side of the tree who does the same.
By Scout from Tennessee
Roll up a thin section of newspaper to use as a tube to wrap your holiday lights around. They stay organized, compact, and it makes it easier to string lights right off the 'tube'.
By Lisa from Tampa, FL
Like a lot of you, I had trouble sorting out my Christmas lights when I got them out of storage. I bought some chenille pipe cleaners at the hobby store. I wind the length of the lights from my elbow to the palm of my hand, over and over, for each set.
Using Pringles can to wrap Christmas lights is even better than tubes they don't bend. And you can store extra lights inside.
I found one way to store my strings of Christmas lights and they don't seem to tangle together. When I take them down, string by string, I put them in a box then put a sheet of newspaper in between each individual string and layer them in the box. I cover each string completely with the sheet of newspaper.
Take any cardboard box. Put a string of lights in the bottom. You don't have to do any fancy rolling or anything. Then put a layer of 1 sheet of newspaper on top of them.