With the conclusion of the holiday season a few weeks away, it is a good idea to get an idea as to how to put the lights and decorations away in an organized manner to help you find everything you need for next year and in optimal condition, because it will be here before you know it. As you look to where to start the thought may occur to you that getting out the Christmas paraphernalia was way more entertaining than putting it away. The lights on the other hand, may have been the only frustrating experience. The detangling and bulb checking likely took hours. To keep the entire process fun for next year and to spare you the grief of detangling, we at Sentry Electrical have listed some tips and suggestions to store your lights more efficiently.
1) Inventory the Christmas Lights. Detach the lights and string them out lengthwise. The side the plugs in is known as the male side, and the end that gets plugged in is the female end. Ensure they are all detached, leaving them plugged in turns it into more of a hassle than it needs to be. After all the strands are stretched out, test them individually to ensure all the bulbs are still in working order; this includes any extra lights that might be unused. If you can test the extra strands that are currently tangled, do so and if more than half are not lit up, don’t bother taking the time to untangle them and toss them out; do not take up space on items that are broken. If you find that you have too many lights that are still operating, you can always donate them if there isn’t enough space.
2) Use Plastic Hangers. Avoid wired hangers; they are not conducive to this project. The heavy duty plastic or wooden hangers are optimal. Use a hanger for every strand of lights to keep it neat and organized. Where the wooden hangers cost a little more, they are the most durable. This method gives you the choice to hang or simply store the lights. To wrap extension cords or lights, start by taping one end of the strand to the either the lower right or left hand corner of the hanger; duct tape is the best adhesive to keep the strand in place. Keep the cord taunt and avoid allowing any slack as you wind the strand around the hanger. Keep the cord tight to avoid tangling but not too tight that it is too stretched. Use more duct tape or a rubber band to hold it in place.
3) Christmas Light Storage. Storing them after they are neatly wrapped is essential as well. To increase the organization, place a flat cardboard in between the layers of lights within the box or crate you store them in. Safety is an important element to consider as well. When removing the lights from heights, use a sturdy ladder safely and do not over extend yourself. Do not yank the cords out of their sockets, but gently pull them out. Properly secure the lights and extension cords carefully in optimal locations; away from moisture for example.