How to Keep Christmas Lights from Tangling

The holidays are upon us and with a tree to put up, presents to wrap, and cookies to bake - one thing you don’t want to worry about is untangling your Christmas lights.

Often overlooked, cable management solutions can ease your holiday stress by making the strenuous task of indoor and outdoor light decorating an easy one.

Tangled Christmas lights not only take forever to unravel but can put unnecessary strain on your cables. Tangled cables are more susceptible to kinks and breaks that weaken them and shorten their lifespan.

The following tips are not limited to your Christmas lights, try implementing cable management solutions for all your wiring needs and avoid the annoying, time-consuming effort put into untangling your cables.

1. Paper towel cardboard rolls

Give another life to cardboard tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls by using them to wrap and store your lights. To do this:

  • Cut a notch into one end of the tube and tuck the end of the light into it.
    • This secures the cord before you begin rolling
  • Wrap the lights slowly around the tube and when you get to one end, circle back and start up again on a second layer
  • Do this until you’ve reached the end of your lights, and tuck the end into the tube to prevent any unraveling

2. Cardboard rectangles

Like cardboard tubes, cutting rectangular shapes from thick cardboard can help keep your lights from tangling in storage.

  • Cut a notch on one side of the cardboard to secure one end of your lights
  • Wrap the strand of lights around the cardboard and tuck the other end into another notch when you're done wrapping

3. Heavy-duty twist tabs

Wrap your lights with heavy-duty twist tabs.

  • Wrap the lights around your fist or from fist to elbow, holding the middle of the loop in your palm.
  • Wrap the twist ties at each end of the loop, and a third tie in the middle.

Final Tips

Christmas lights can be expensive so it’s important to practice these cable management techniques to ensure they last multiple seasons. It’s also important to check your cabling whenever you bring them out from storage to ensure there are no breaks in the protective layering. Breaks can weaken the connection but could also potentially lead to shocks.

If you notice a break in the cabling and before you decide to buy new lights, pull out your heat shrink tubing for an easy and quick fix. Simply wrap the heat shrink tubing around the break, apply heat with a heat gun and you’re good to go.

Other Tips:

  • Be sure to store your lights in a garbage bag, canvas bag or plastic tote for extra protection.
  • Always try to coil your wires to prevent excessive bending or kinks.
  • If your wires are tangled, take a deep breath and be patient. There is nothing worse than starting your holidays in a bad mood.

Have more questions about untangling wires?

Keep your favourite lights year after year. With a little planning and effort, your house will be the talk of the neighbourhood, hassle-free. Hopefully these Cable management tips for outdoor decorations will make sure you don't spend hours pulling them apart next season.

If you have additional questions, visit our learning center or FAQs. Or you can contact us here with questions or to receive a sample.