1. Place big ornaments in plastic cups, and set in a cardboard box or storage bin. Put small ornaments in egg cartons and layer them on top of the cups. Then write a quick inventory, noting anything that needs replacing next year.
2. Shoving your lights into a box is a fast way to pack up. But to avoid having to untangle that rat’s nest next December, try the hanger trick. Attach one end of the light strand to the lower right corner of the hanger with some duct tape. Tightly wind the strand around the hanger, moving across as you go. Then hang it up.
A version of this article appeared in our December 2015 issue with the headline, “Think ahead” p. 73.