Since I've been making it my goal lately to try and do things that the future me will appreciate, even if I'm tired and want to take the shortest route possible to getting things done, I very strategically packed all of the lights, ornaments and decorations this year. I actually went to Walmart the morning after Christmas and bought several of the red and green rubermaid containers, wreath holders and ornament holders. Although this was an investment, I did get it all on sale, and this is the only time I'll have to buy them. The end result is that I'm super pleased with having everything organized in color coordinated containers that are easily stackable. I even put all of the strings of lights in zip lock bags and labeled them so that we will know right where each strand goes outside next year when we lug everything back out!
I did have some of my Christmas stuff in large rubbermaid containers before, but I decided to buy new red and green ones for the Christmas storage and use the old ones for my recycling bins. Starting my home recycling center is on the list of goals for January, so at least now I already have my containers.
The next step will be actually storing all of the containers away. I would really rather not store them in the garage and since we live in the "Lowcountry" we don't have a basement, but we do have a coat closet that backs up to the stairs and I know there is a whole bunch of space under our stairs just waiting to be tapped into... so Matt... if you are reading this, feel free to cut a hole in the wall at the back of that closet so that I can use it for storage space!