Holiday Decorating 101: How to Deck Your Halls the CableOrganizer Way

BY: Christina Hansen


Organizing holiday lightsTis’ the season for decking those halls, and one thing’s for sure: hauling tangled lights and ornaments out of the attic or garage – then trying to put them up the hard way – can leave you feeling more frustrated than jolly. If disorganized holiday storage and decorating methods have landed you on the Naughty List, we can help you turn nice again with a few helpful tips, tricks, and handy products from So read up, grab some lights and tinsel, and hum a little of that tune that goes fa-la-la-la-la….

  • 3M hooks If you have a wreath or string of lights to hang but aren’t too keen on sinking nails into your walls or doors, think about using non-destructive 3M hooks, which get a strong grip on smooth surfaces thanks to a special silicone adhesive that comes off cleanly when it’s no longer needed. Depending on what the decorating job is, there are several options available. For indoor holiday illumination, we recommend 3M’s tiny, crystal-clear Decorating Clips, which were created with twinkle lights in mind…they blend right into whatever surface you mount them on, and have the ability to firmly hold small wires without crushing them.
    On the other hand, decorating with heavier, bulkier items like wreaths calls for something a little more substantial – but “substantial” need not detract from holiday décor. At least, it doesn’t when it comes in the form of 3M Command™ metal hooks. These sleek, designer-look hooks use the same non-damaging adhesive to support up to 5 lbs, and they come in 4 different beautiful finishes (chrome, brushed nickel, antique bronze, and antique copper) to match any shiny or sparkly bits in your decorations.

  • cable tackersStaple guns for wires and cables When it comes to outdoor decorating during the holidays, it can be very easy to damage the insulation on light strands, rendering them unsafe to use or just plain useless. Increase your odds of Christmas light survival by passing up harsh fasteners like nails and tacks (which can cause abrasion or place pressure on wires) in favor of gentler options like light clips or specifically-designed wire and cable staples.
    Available from both Acme and Arrow, wire and cable staples (and staple guns) can securely attach twinkle lights along rooflines and around doors and windows without compressing their wires or cutting through wire insulation. Cable staples also have the added benefit if installing quickly -- and not leaving sizable holes all over your house.

  • Klein tools Work GlovesKlein deerskin work gloves Okay, we’ll admit it… our deerskin work gloves from Klein Tools won’t do a thing for the organization of your decorating project, but they’ll definitely keep your hands happy when you’re out there in the cold, climbing ladders, fastening lights, and handling scratchy wreaths and pine garlands. Not only will these comfortable gloves help keep your fingers from freezing, they’ll also improve your grip while preventing your hands from taking a beating.

  • cable managementTransparent floor cord covers It doesn’t matter if you’re decorating indoors or out: if there are Christmas lights running along the floor or across a walkway, it’s in their best interest – and the best interest of anyone who may be walking near them – to keep those fragile strands under protective cover. But covering up floor-level bulbs and wires doesn’t mean that you have to detract from the overall holiday spectacle – as a matter of fact, products like our transparent cord protectors can actually enhance the glow.
    These clear, flexible cord covers are simple to install: just cut them to the needed length with a utility knife, insert the strings of twinkle lights, and secure to the floor with double-sided or hook-and-loop tape. They’re the perfect solution for preventing lights from getting wet, having their bulbs crushed, or being tripped over. Call us crazy, but we think that the holidays should be both beautiful and safe.

  • cable managementEZWIND™ cord organizer When it comes time to take down the Christmas lights and stow them away until next year, take a minute and think back to when you unpacked them for this season. When you pulled them out of the boxes, were you treated to the sight of neatly wound, tangle-free lights, or did you find yourself confronted with the ugly reality of knotted light strands that had no beginning or end? If your answer is the latter and you're feeling more akin to Clark Griswold than Martha Stewart, allow us to help.
    We’ve found that just about any storage situation involving large quantities of cords can be simplified with nothing more than the EZWIND™ cord organizer. Thanks to the center posts on each end of the frame, the EZWIND™ lets you spool up to 150 feet of cord without worrying about the cord becoming knotted, kinked, or twisted. And once your lights have been wound up, just slide their plug ends into the EZWIND’s V-shaped plug slots, which keep the ends easily accessible for next time you need them.


Now that we’ve helped you and your twinkle lights get a little more organized, find inspiration for your own decorating project with HGTV’s Holiday Ideas guide.