Tips For Taking Down Your Outdoor Christmas Lights

The question of when you should take down your Christmas lights and decorations is extensively discussed, but we have another, arguably more important, one to present to you – how you should take down your Christmas lights, particularly those on the outside of your home.

Outdoor Christmas decorations are great things to put around your yard or on your house as they can not only give you a warm welcome every time you are coming home but they can also improve the holiday feeling in your entire neighborhood. Regardless of which Christmas decoration ideas you chose last year, however, the thing about outdoor Christmas lights is that they can be tricky to take down. So, for the sake of both your safety and your comfort, here are our 10 tips for taking down your outdoor Christmas lights:

Don’t be alone

Regardless of how easy it was to put up outdoor Christmas lights and decoration or how easy you think it’s going to be to take them down, anything that involves electricity and/or heights should be done with a buddy. Even if there isn’t a physical, practical need for a second person with you, it’s important to have someone on the side who can react of an accident happens. It sounds like obvious advice but it’s surprising how many people ignore it.

Shut off the electricity

All of it. Don’t just turn off the Christmas lights themselves, but go to your fuse box and turn the fuse(s) for the Christmas lights. This is another advice that should be obvious but a lot of people don’t take into account anyway.

Look out for ice

Make sure that there is no ice that could surprise you as you’re climbing on your ladder and house. Even one slip from a low height can result in trauma, so make sure that you break or thaw all the ice that you see before going through it. Also, keep in mind that ice, especially on perfectly flat and clean surfaces can sometimes be virtually undetectable for the naked eye, especially depending on the light outside, so touch everything with your hand before step there.

Take good equipment with you

Don’t just go climbing on chairs or on ledges – take an actual ladder. Also, depending on your particular situation and circumstances, consider preparing anything else that you might need beforehand – garden scissors, gloves, goggles, and so on. Lastly, make sure that you have your phone with you, especially if you’ve ignored our #1 tip about not doing this alone. If you fall and break something, especially if you are in your back yard and there’s no one around you, you need to be able to call for help as easily as possible.

Now that we covered the main safety tips, let’s go over some additional ones that are just good “quality of life” advice.

Label your boxes

Label the boxes of all your Christmas decorations so that you have an easier time finding the stuff you need next year. The outdoor Christmas lights and decorations, in particular, should be placed in different boxes and labeled instead of mixed with the indoor decorations.

Wrap them up

Wrap all the Christmas lights around a piece of cardboard or an extension cord winder-upper. This will prevent the lights’ cables from getting tangled and will help you set them up next year.

Get rid of everything you don’t need

There are a lot of hoarders among us, that’s clear, but Christmas lights and decorations should be kept only when you intend to use them again. For one, boxes of unused decorations left in the attic or the basement make for an excellent rat or squirrel bait and you definitely don’t want that in your house, but even besides that – why keep something that you know you won’t use again?

Put the lights in plastic containers

Before you put your Christmas lights and decorations in their respective boxes, first put them in protective airtight sealed plastic containers. This will make it significantly harder for rats and other pets to get to your Christmas lights. Yes, a rat can chew through a plastic bag, but he won’t do it if he doesn’t see an incentive to do so. The reason rats are so attracted to Christmas decorations is that they usually use them for their nests or to sharpen their teeth, but if a rat chews open your cardboard boxes and doesn’t immediately find something of interest there, chances are that he will just move on.

Write a list

As the holidays season is ending, now is the perfect time to write a list of everything you were missing, needed, wish you had, lost or that broke this year in terms of Christmas lights and decorations. Write a list of all these things and put the list in the boxes with your decorations for you to find next December. Sure, you can leave this for next winter, but by then chances are that you will have forgotten half the things that you can remember now.

Make an event out of the whole process

Do you find the taking down of Christmas lights and decorations depressing because you’re essentially “removing” the holiday spirit? Or do you just find it bothersome and annoying? Either way, you can fix both those problems by simply organizing a fun family & friends gathering to end the holiday season. You can take down the lights and decorations together, making the whole ordeal much easier, and after that, you can cap the day and the season with a nice party.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this quick mix of both safety and bonus tips we compiled, and you’ll have an accident-free and pleasant time taking down the Christmas lights.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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