Take your time with packing up. It can be tempting to throw everything into the nearest bin or box and toss it in the garage, but careful packing can protect your sentimental decorations and fragile ornaments and make it easier to find what you want next year.
- Put "like with like" as you pack up. All of the ornaments together, lights together, tabletop decorations together, etc. Label your containers, or use clear storage bins.
- Avoid a tangled mess (and frustration) with your lights next year with these handy cord wraps available at The Container Store.
- Pack holiday gift wrap and accessories together and take the opportunity to do an inventory of what you have; make a list for yourself for next year, or take advantage of post-holiday sales now to stock up, and you won't overbuy next winter.
- Spend time entering address updates from holiday cards into your database or address book and then toss the envelopes that you received this year. It may seem like a daunting task, but if you tackle it now, next year's holiday cards will be so much easier.