This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in January 2015.
I’d probably keep my outdoor holiday lights up until the daffodils sprung in the April if not for side-eyeing neighbors and for being labeled that house on the block. They’re nice to come home to, agreed?
Anyways, in the interest of keeping up appearances and traditions, down they come for another year. (Sad face.)
I invested in LED strands a few years ago, both for the energy efficiency factor, and so I could string my light strands end to end for as long as I felt was seasonally appropriate. The longest line of lights on my house is 8 strands end-to end, and I sought an easy way to store them without having to detach them from one another. I came up this really easy way to organize them, and I think it could help you too:
- Remove the lights from your home, and lay them in a flat line on the ground below.
- Take a 5-gallon bucket (or larger, like a garbage bin if you have a really long strand to organize), and place a smaller bucket within it (I used a smaller plastic planter).
- Take the end of your strand of lights, and lower it in to the bucket. Coil the cord until it is entirely housed in place.
- When it comes time to hang your lights again next fall, you’ll have the end of the strand at hand, and can uncoil the entire strand as you make your way along the roof line– tangle-free!
If you want to spend a little bit more money, pick up one of those handy reeling hose storage systems, and twirl your super long extensions into a neat package.
If you use gutter clips to attach your lights along the roof line, keep the clips on the strand when you coil it up – it’ll save you the time of disconnecting and reconnecting every year.