Re-post from December 2009 with a few added items...
* Store display items together - Such as...do you have a holiday village you put out? Pack them all together so that you aren't going through 5 different boxes just to get that village scene out and up next year. All garland, ornaments and lights for the tree should be stored together. All the decorations that go to a specific room or area packed together such as all the guest bathroom decorations are packed together.
* Save boxes or create ideal storage - I am one of those people that can't stand to save boxes normally. But for holiday items it can come in handy. Do you have a nativity scene with small pieces? Having a box that they fit in perfectly with the other pieces help keep them safe as well as together. Some ornaments are similar - just fit really well into their original box. Boxes might break down over the years so it is impossible to save them any longer, so create your own storage such as gluing plastic cups on to cardboard so that each ornament fits in one and isn't crushing or scraping against others. Or using or making sock divider as many ornaments fit nice in those too. Use egg cartons for small ornaments.
* Label everything - There is a piece of garland I hang in our dining room that just fits. I put that in one of those big big ziplocks and labeled it. Label plastic tubs that have tree decorations or the decorations for the kitchen and so on.
* Holiday Lights - Use a piece of cardboard, a paper towel or gift wrap tubing (cut down) or the original box to wind the lights around. I wind the lights around the whole box and then tuck the ends into the inside of the box.
* Tool Kit - I have floral wire that I only use for my holiday wreath, thin ribbon that I use to attach Christmas tree ornaments, ornament hooks, spare lights and fuses - all in a little plastic pencil box that gets labeled and also stored with holiday items.
* Storage and Planning for next year - Right now everything fits perfectly into the tubs I have - there can't be one more thing bought. So I need to start thinking of how I will need to store things differently next year as I am sure I will have more holiday decorations. Are there things I can get rid of now? Donate? Repurpose for another holiday? Maybe I want to use the new wreath I bought so the old one can be maybe recycled/recreated for another holiday.
* Time to Save on purchases for next year - After-holiday sales are a great way to save on greeting cards, wrapping paper, decorations, ornaments, lights and storage solutions. Check what you might need a few days before Christmas and make a list of things want to purchase.
* Create a holiday planning book - write down recipes, menus, treats made, decorating things that worked and didn't work, guest and gift lists, what you would like to do next year, measurements that are important - such as you might need a new table cloth next year so write down the size you need while looking for after-holiday sales or any other useful information. Did a certain brand of cranberries work better in your cranberry salad this year? Did you run short on cider? What was a hit on the menu? Did the table centerpiece looks better this year then it ever has? Make a notes and include pictures or anything else that might be helpful. Such as I used Yukon gold potatoes one year so included the tag from the potatoes so I knew which brand I used so I could repeat that for each year after for Christmas dinner.