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The Complete Christmas Lights Guide: Decorating & Storing

How to Put Up Christmas Lights

Ready to deck the halls? Then, it’s time to untangle the Christmas lights! Hanging Christmas lights is a fun, festive way to spread holiday cheer with friends and family inside your home and neighbors passing by.

To get you decorating like a pro, we’ll review some popular Christmas light ideas for inside and outside your house, along with tips on how to hang your lights. And since Christmas doesn’t last all year, we’ll explain when to take your lights down and how to store them.

How to Put Up Christmas Lights Outside

Outdoor Christmas lights are often the first decorations to go up and the last to come down, with many keeping their lights up through the New Year. So, if you want to keep your lights looking great all season long, use these tips when hanging Christmas lights outside:

  • Decide where you want to hang your lights and measure those areas to ensure you have enough lights before you get started
  • Use plastic light clips or hooks to easily line your gutters, eaves, doorways, and windows—no hammer and nails required
  • If you’re covering a lot of surfaces, use longer light strands so you’ll have fewer connections to manage
  • When lighting trees or bushes, use net lights to save time
  • Use icicle lights to line gutters and eaves for a touch of winter wonder
  • Save energy when you use a timer to automatically turn lights on and off at designated times

How-to Put-Up Christmas Lights Inside

Hanging lights inside your house is a great way to bring the magic of Christmas into your home. The best place to start? Your Christmas tree, of course! When planning how many lights you’ll need for your Christmas tree, keep the tree’s height in mind. Plan to use 100 lights for every 1.5 feet—so a six-foot tree would need 400 lights.

The most common method for hanging lights on a tree is wrapping the lights in circles around the tree, but you can also weave the lights among branches or wrap lights around each branch. To keep the look of your lights consistent, use the same color lights from the same company on your tree and throughout your home.

Wondering where else Christmas lights will look great inside your house? Try bordering ceilings and windows, lining stairs and railings, and even draping lights on bookshelves and mantles. Thanks to adhesive hooks, it’s easy to hang lights anywhere damage-free.

 

When to Take Christmas Lights Down

As fun as holiday lights are, the Christmas season eventually comes to an end. Wondering when you should take your Christmas lights down? Many use Little Christmas—celebrated on January 6–as the date to turn the lights off, while others choose to keep them on until the second week of January.

How to Store Christmas Lights

When it’s time to take your Christmas lights down, proper storage can help save you time and money when it’s finally time to put them up again next year.

cord reel is a great way to store standard string lights. If you don’t have one handy, you can use a piece of cardboard and cut slits in it to wrap the wire around. You can even use a wire hanger. Any of these options is better than the messy pile of lights you get when you just wind up lights around your arm.

How to Store Christmas Icicle Lights 

If you want to keep your icicle lights tangle-free, you’ll need to use a different approach than you would with string lights. Here’s how to store icicle lights:

  1. Get a roll of plastic about one foot wide
  2. Roll the plastic out on the ground or the floor to match the length of the lights you’re storing
  3. Lay the string lights on top of the plastic and make sure the “icicles” are tangle-free
  4. At one end, begin rolling the lights up in the plastic until you roll up all the lights
  5. Secure the bundle with tape or string and store

When you unroll the bundle next season, you’ll have tangle-free icicle lights—ready to hang without the hassle.

 

Where should you store your Christmas lights and decorations?

When you have your Christmas lights and decorations packed up, turn to Secure Self Storage for affordable, secure, climate-controlled storage units. Our storage experts are here to help: Contact us.