Christmas tree light hacks – avoid the dreaded tangle when taking the lights down!

Be prepared to make the dreaded job that a little easier

We know Christmas has only just passed, but before you know it it'll be time to take the tree down. It's a dreaded task as it is, without making things worse by getting into a frustrated, tangled mess with fairy lights.

Here's our belated gift to you, savvy Christmas tree light hacks that will keep your Christmas lights untangled for good.

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The team at Electrical Direct have shared the secrets to help make things easier next year. Keeping lights safe and sorted with these top untangling tips.

7 Top Christmas tree light hacks

christmas tree lights with white wires

(Image credit: Simon Whitmore)

1. Use cardboard

A simple yet effective trick that will prevent future tangle nightmares. 'Either chop a large rectangle of card with a little notch in each end, and wrap your lights around them so they stay nice and neat. Or do the same thing with an old kitchen roll tube. The notches keep your lights in place, the sturdy cardboard keeps them safe. Next year just unwind and enjoy.'

2. Try twist ties or cable ties

'Twist ties and cable ties are dirt cheap, and are more commonly used to tie garden plants to canes or tidying and securing cables. You only need three of either of them for this festive trick. First, wrap the lights around your fist so they form loose loops about 30cm long. Then tie one twist or secure one cable tie at each end and another in the middle. Store them in a bin bag until next year and give yourself a mince pie to say well done.'

christmas tree with purple baubles and twinkly lights

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme)

3. Wrap the whole tree

Why worry about taking the lights off and storing them, when you could just wrap them up - tree and all - in cling film? Then just put your tree away and get it out next year, all ready to sparkle.

4. Use the box

Still got the original box your lights came in? 'Wrap the lights around it with a bit of tape at each end to keep them in place. A simple storage solution that recycles something instead of throwing it away.'

5. Repurpose clothes hangers

Upcycle for a simple and smart solution. 'Wrap your lights around an old clothes hanger, tying the ends over the hook to keep everything in place. Then you can hang them up in a cupboard to keep them out of the way and secure.' Just don't think use the same hanger for clothes.

room with fairy lights with white wires on grey windows

(Image credit: Jon Day)

6. Bunch them up

This suggest require a bit of effort. The experts explain, 'First, grab hold of one light, then a second light two lights away. Bring those two together and repeat the process until they’re all tightly packed in. Wrap the remaining cord around the middle to keep everything compact.'

7. Use a cord reel

'Typically used for really long extension cables, a cord reel is also a handy way to keep your Christmas lights tidy. Just attach one end of your lights to the reel and wind them up. It’s as simple as that. They can cost as little as a couple of pounds, making them an inexpensive way of solving stress.'

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Thanks to these savvy tips the frustration of untangling the tree lights each year is a thing of Christmas' past.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.