A crucial part of the holiday season is, of course, decorating. Whether you’re putting Christmas lights on a tree or stringing up outdoor lighting to brighten up the winter nights, holiday lighting can quickly become a massive undertaking.
If you need some guidance in your holiday lighting journey, our team at Safeguard Self Storage has you covered. Read on to discover some of our favorite times for holiday decorating and learn how self-storage can become your secret to success,
Have a Plan for Holiday Lighting
Like any undertaking for the holiday season, having a game plan can make all the difference in avoiding overwhelm. Think about what kind of aesthetic you’re going for in your holiday lighting. Do you want a classier look with white lights along your roof, or do you prefer more colorful displays and inflatable decorations for the lawn?
Another question: How much storage space do you have for your holiday decorating? If you’re set up in a two-bed apartment with a balcony, you may want to stick to some battery-powered string lights to wrap around your railing to avoid nailing or stapling anything (your security deposit will thank you).
What’s the weather like in your area? If you live in a state that can see particularly wild weather during the winter season, you should consider holiday lighting or décor that’s sturdy enough to withstand heavy winds, ice, or snow. After all, you don’t want your wooden reindeer to take flight during a storm because you didn’t choose heavier weather-resistant ones.
Research Indoor vs. Outdoor Lighting
Speaking of the weather, it’s critical to your safety that you know the difference between outdoor lighting and indoor lighting. If you find yourself thinking, “Wait, is there a difference?” Yes, there is.
Unlike outdoor lighting, indoor holiday lights aren’t designed to handle the elements. Moisture from snow, rain, ice, and freezing temperatures can stress indoor lighting used outdoors, potentially causing electrical shorts and fire hazards. You should only use outdoor lighting for the exterior of your home.
So how can you tell if what holiday lighting you’re purchasing is safe for outdoor use? Your holiday lights should include a UL lighting fixture label. This label tells you that your lighting product is safe for use indoors, outdoors, or both.
Indoor holiday lights are marked with silver tags with green writing or entirely green tags. Outdoor holiday lighting, on the other hand, will feature a silver tag with red writing or an entirely red tag.
If you love a vintage look for your holiday lighting, try to buy modern lights that look vintage. You may love the aesthetic of your grandparents’ Christmas lights, but they can be a huge safety hazard by modern electrical standards.
Coordinate Your Holiday Decorating and Lighting
Part of having a plan for your holiday lighting means taking coordination into account for your overall look. Do you want to go more scaled back with some twinkly lights in your bushes, or do you want the full Griswolds’ Christmas Vacation look for your home?
What’s the level of holiday decorating look like inside your home? If you go all out on the outdoor lighting and skimp on your indoor lighting, it may be a letdown for your guests when they come inside. You should also keep in mind the overall cost of your holiday lighting because with a Griswold-level display comes a Griswold-level electricity bill in January.
Consider Timers for Your Holiday Lighting
Speaking of electricity, here’s what you can do to mitigate the cost. Get timers for your outdoor and indoor lighting. Set your outdoor lights to turn on during the peak times when the most people may see them: after dusk and until around 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. You can coordinate your indoor lighting on a similar schedule and maybe shut them off a bit earlier if you’ve got kiddos heading to bed earlier in the evening.
Keep in mind, however, that even when they're off but still plugged in, holiday lighting can sap a bit of electricity. For your indoor lighting, consider battery-powered LED holiday lights to take some pressure off your electricity bill.
Get the Proper Materials for Hanging Outdoor Lighting
When you’re planning to hang Christmas lights, don’t forget a few key tools and materials for your work. In addition to timers, you should also have the following on hand:
- Plastic zip ties
- Plastic light clips
- Electrical tape
- Outdoor extension cords
- A ladder (if you plan to string lights up your roof or in trees)
- Staple gun (staples are sturdier but will leave marks on your home)
- Adhesive clips for indoor lighting
Have a Buddy (or Two) Help With the Holiday Lighting
Not only is it more fun to string up outdoor lights with your friends and family, but it’s safer, especially if you’re climbing on roofs or in trees to hang up the lighting.
At the very least, have someone spot for you and hold onto your ladder. You can also have someone unrolling or detangling the lights as you put them up to prevent them from dragging on the ground or getting knotted up.
Ensure You Have Enough Storage Space for Holiday Lighting
Our final (and arguably most important) tip for holiday lighting? Have a place to store them all! The last thing you want to deal with at the end of the holiday season is mounds of Christmas lights and décor in your basement or attic.
In addition to taking up a lot of space, you run the risk of humidity or fluctuating temperatures damaging your indoor lights or pests nesting or nibbling their way through the wires.
Even if you properly wrap up your lights and store them in plastic totes, those totes can quickly take up valuable space in your home, leaving you cramped and cluttered the rest of the year.
Make Your Holiday Decorating Easier With Safeguard Self Storage
Don’t sacrifice your storage or festive lighting. Create more space with Safeguard Self Storage! We offer a wide range of affordable, convenient self-storage units tailored to help you give your Christmas lights a home away from home.
We even have climate-controlled storage to ensure a stable environment for your indoor lighting, no matter what the weather’s doing outside.
So, what are you waiting for? Give yourself the space you need for your indoor and outdoor lighting with Safeguard Self Storage today! Contact us online or find a location near you.