Organizing Holiday Lights

Do your holiday lights look like the tangled mess from the movie Christmas Vacation?

I’m always looking for new ideas to store lights and other holiday decorations – anything that helps make it even easier for the next year.

Here’s my run down of some ways to keep your lights organized for the next holiday season:

  • For a simple DIY solution, wrap strings of lights around empty round oatmeal containers.  My husband has been doing this with our Christmas tree lights and it works well. The light-wrapped containers go into a bin, cushioned by tissue paper.
  • Here’s the same idea in a light storage bin you can purchase from
  • Another easy home-made option is to wrap lights around flat pieces of cardboard (See an example from Martha Stewart).
  • I just saw this storage bin from The Container Store and am intrigued with how it works. I like that the bin comes with removable cord wraps.
  • Or make your own similar container by inserting tension rods into a plastic bin (See example on Better Homes & Gardens).
  • I also like the idea of this product with large reels and a round container to stack the reels.  I find that similar reels work great for extension cords, so this may be a good solution for bigger outdoor lights.

From pre-made products to DIY ideas, there are many options to keep your lights tidy.

What are your tips for organizing holiday lights?