Claire Thompson
February 14, 2023

Ways to Easily Pack Decorative Lights: A Step-By-Step Guide

easyStorage offers some suggestions for packing up lights, inspired by the imminent Muslim celebration of Lailat al Miraj.

This year,  2023, Lailat al Miraj falls on Saturday, February 18 - worshippers will start to celebrate it on the evening of February 17. (This date is gradually moving forward each year.)

Although not a religiously obligatory Muslim holiday, Lailat al Miraj is one of the most important dates in the history of the Muslim faith. 

It celebrates the Prophet Muhammad being visited by two archangels whilst he was asleep in the Ka’bah, the sacred shrine of Mecca. The angels purified his soul and filled him with knowledge and faith. The Prophet consequently travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night on a Buraq (a mythical winged creature often depicted as a flying horse with a human face). When in Jerusalem, he was tested by Gabriel, and having passed the tests, he ascended through the stages of Heaven, where he met both earlier prophets and reached the presence of Allah (God). Whilst there, the duty of Muslims to recite Salat (pray) five times a day, was revealed.

Millions of Muslims worldwide celebrate these two sacred journeys (the journey to the furthest Mosque in Jerusalem and the journey through the stages of Heaven). British Muslims commemorate Lailat al Miraj by attending mosque, telling this story to children and with special prayers. Many also celebrate by lighting up the night with candles and electric lights and with foods and treats.

So what better time for easyStorage to talk about the safe storage of those lights? 

The following are a few suggestions, but remember:

·         always handle lights with care to avoid breaking bulbs or cracking the light holders;

·         unless on a reel, pack sets of lights individually to avoid the lights hooking onto, or crushing, each other;

·         hold lights in place with ties, ribbons, elastic bands.

Ways to store ‘fairy lights’, strings with small bulbs in no, or small, holders.

If the lights are outdoor lights, make sure they are clean and dry before packing. A few ways to pack include:

small bulb glowing fairy lights packed in a drawer

1.       Cardboard rectangle

Some people simply grab a strand and wind the light string around their arm. This is all well and good until the lights come off the arm and dissolve into a tangle. So use a rectangle of card instead, around A4 (piece of plain paper) size, with a slit at one end. Pop one of the ends of the lights in the slit. (Make this the end with the fixed electric plug on it, if it has one, or the connector if it has a removable one.) Then start wrapping the lights around the long edge of the cardboard until the whole string is wrapped, tucking the other end of the light string into the slit when you finish to hold the light string firm.

Wrap around with a strong packing paper, and store safely in a labelled box.

2.       Tubes and towels

If you can find a solid tube to wrap the lights around, great.

The inner tube of wrapping paper, the inside of a roll of kitchen paper, an empty Pringles ‘can’ (other brands are available) - anything long and tubular – are all great to wrap lights around safely. The hole at the end/ends will allow you to tuck in the ends of the light strings, and if the lights look as if they’ll unravel, hold in place with an elastic band or two.

A hand towel rolled to create a tube shape can also work well.

Wrap in strong packing paper to prevent dust accumulating or bashing, and store somewhere safe, clean and dry.

3.       The box the lights came in.

If you still have the box the lights came in, wrap the string of lights around the box instead of tucking them inside.  Make a cut in one end to hold the ends of the string in place and stop them slipping.

Stuff the box to stop it from collapsing/keep its shape.

Wrap around with a strong packing paper, and store safely in a labelled box.

4.       Clothes hangers

Take one of the ends of the strand and hook it through one of the dents (strap holders). Wrapping the string neatly, vertically around the clothes hanger . Finally hook the other end in the other  dent. Hang the lights in a cupboard for storage, or wrap with strong wrapping paper and lie flat somewhere safe. Remember that if you are hanging them in a cupboard, they may get bumped and/or dusty, so it’s worth creating a dust cover of some sort (paper, dry cleaner’s bag etc). If covering, don’t forget to label.

5.       Cable ties/twist ties

Lay the light string to about six inches (15cm) long, and then double back, coiling the light string backward and forward (almost like wrapping it around something). Use cable ties to hold the lights together. Place on packing paper and wrap around to protect from bangs and dust. Ideally place in a box, but either way, label clearly and keep somewhere safe.

Twist ties such as those that often come in the boxes of lights or are used in kitchens to seal freezer bags and the like, are a great alternative. Whilst not as strong, they will be far easier to undo next year and lack the risks that come with using scissors or a knife to cut cable ties.

6.       Cord reels

Cord reel used for power extension cords come in various sizes. Spool the light string around the reel, and store safely ready for next use, covered with fabric or string packing paper to protect from knocks and dust. (As they tend to be quite big, there’s nothing stopping you safely storing several strings together this way.)

Best for fairy lights/string lights with large or shaped bulbs

Lights with decorative bulbs like lanterns or icicles need more care.

Find/cut a roll of strong plastic the same length as the string of lights, and wide enough to wrap around the lights. Tape the plastic to create a tube around the lights and spiral the lights. Fix them to hold with string, bands or tape. Ideally store in a box to avoid any crushing, but loose or boxed, be sure to label clearly.

Large bulb hanging string lights


Candles are best stored in a protective box to prevent breakage and dust, which loves clinging to wax! Label if appropriate before putting away..


Before storing a lantern, ensure it is properly clean and dry, including glass and metal, using specialist cleaners if necessary. If it’s an oil lamp, remove the oil and dry well before storing.

Wrap around with strong paper to protect from dust and then with bubble wrap to protect from bumps. If you have a suitably sized box, it will be easier to store – don’t forget to label clearly.

Packing materials

easyStorageBoxes has a range of packing materials to help, including:
·         Tape
·         Bubble wrap
·         Packing paper

Claire Thompson

Claire joined the easyStorage family as a blogger in August 2020 and is loving it! Her passions include writing and learning, and with easyStorage she’s learning new things fast. When not tapping at a keyboard she can be found renovating an old cottage, despite having inherited a complete lack of DIY skills from her father. She has two children, now grown up, and a dopey, loving Vizler (dog), Chester, who steadfastly refuses to do the same. She claims he’s her soulmate!

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