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Christmas light storage ideas

Dad and two boys taking down Christmas lights in a large modern room
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Operations - Store and Insure

Don’t let Christmas lights become post-Christmas clutter

So the festive season is over and it’s time to pack away all the decorations for another year. It’s tempting to throw them all in a box and shove them in the attic or the cupboard under the stairs, but you’ll regret your haste when you have to untangle the mess again next Christmas.

It’s worth taking a bit of extra time to pack your decorations neatly, and throw away anything that is broken. Baubles and Christmas lights that are cracked can have nasty jagged edges – and do you really still need that old ropey bit of tinsel?

Of course we all have our family favourites and items of sentimental value; the little paper angels our kids made in school, the rusty clip-on robin that grandma pinned ceremoniously to her tree every Christmas. These need to be packed with some extra care and attention if they are to last for the next generation.

As far as festive lights are concerned, they need careful maintenance. Don’t leave your outdoor lights hanging under the eaves or around your cherry tree until February. As soon as the Twelfth Night of Christmas (January 5) has passed, get them indoors and check for any that are damaged, or bulbs you need to replace for next year.

Christmas lights check list

  • Make sure your lights are not damaged and examine them for loose wires
  • Find replacement bulbs of the correct type and rating – ready for next year’s display
  • Never try to repair faulty lights: it is far safer to dispose of them responsibly and replace them
  • Consider throwing out your traditional lights and replacing them with LEDs as they are far safer to use and need a lot less electricity
  • Take out any batteries
  • Store strings of lights in individual bags or boxes to shorten the untangling ritual next Christmas!

Put safety first

Badly maintained Christmas lights can cause accidents and fires that could result in serious injury or death. Old lights pose a greater fire risk, and the more you have, the greater the danger. That is why it is critical to make sure your lights are working safely before you put them away. Of course, you should also check them again before you put them up next year. Test your smoke alarms regularly, and always ensure your house insurance covers you for accidental damage.

Nothing with a plug or battery – including Christmas lights or fairy lights – should go into the domestic general waste stream. In some areas you will have to take your broken lights to your local waste recycling centre; but some local authorities do pick up small electricals as part of their recycling collections. For more information, check out the Recycle Now website.


You might just have a few decorations and lights that you can keep safely in a couple of boxes, but increasing numbers of households are putting up more and more elaborate light displays. If you have reams of outside lights to store for next year, follow the guidelines above and pack into plastic boxes ready to take to your local self-storage facility. Don’t forget you will also need insurance for the items you store – domestic items in a storage facility may not be covered by your home contents insurance, and it is likely you’ll need a separate policy. For a competitive quote, visit the Store and Insure website.