It’s a week before Christmas and a blanket of snow covers the ground, the holiday spirit is in the air, and the lights outside of your house cast a beautiful glow for all to enjoy. Putting up the Christmas lights is a fun activity anticipating the upcoming season. But once the holidays have come and gone, it’s another story.

You need a safe, easy way to take down the Christmas lights from your house. I have 7 simple steps for you to follow.

7 steps to safely take down Christmas lights

How to Safely Take Down Christmas Lights

1. Clear the ground of any obstacles

You want to be sure you can easily move your ladder around. You don’t want to get your ladder wrapped up in wires or displays you have on the ground. So, take down your yard decorations first.

2. Do everything from a ladder

Your roof can be very slippery during Midwest winters even on warmer days. Instead of getting on top of your roof, secure a ladder against your house to remove your lights.

3. Make sure the ground isn’t slick

The last thing you need is your ladder slipping out from under you or falling over with you on it. If your ladder is on grass you want to be sure the ground is soft: ideally, choose a day that is near 42 degrees. If your ladder is on concrete, make sure it’s dry.

4. Unclip and loosen lights on your roof from a ladder

Once you have your ladder secure, begin to unclip or tear up your lights. If you secured your lights with clips, you may be able to unclip a few feet and pull the rest down from the ground.

5. Remove any clips that may have stuff to your gutters

There’s a good chance a few clips will remain stuck to your gutters. If so, make sure to pull them down.

6. Pick up any clips that may have fallen on the ground

No one wants to run over plastic clips come lawn care season. It’s also a good idea to save as many clips each year so you won’t want to have to buy more the following year.

7. Organize your lights for next season

And remember to organize your lights to make it easier on yourself the following year. An easy way to make putting up Christmas lights a headache is to have tangled strands or broken bulbs.

Now that you know how to safely take down Christmas lights, let me address a couple of frequently asked questions related to this process.

Frequently asked Christmas light questions

Question: Can I keep my Christmas lights up all year?
Answer: As long as you take down your inflatable Santa Clause and your Christmas wreath, there’s nothing wrong with leaving your Christmas lights up.

But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. The UV exposure from the summer will make the wire brittle. This reduces the life-span of lights significantly.
  2. It may not happen during the colder months, but squirrels enjoy eating wires. It’s frustrating to plug in your lights and find them chewed apart.
  3. You’re severely lessening the life span of your lights if you leave them up all year.
  4. Your neighbors may not appreciate your Christmas lights in the summer.

Question: When should I take down my lights?
Answer: When it’s safe and you have time.