First off, it helps me to have my "theme" for next year thought out already. We are going with the black/red/white damask theme next Christmas, instead of the gold we went for this year. That means that as I'm putting away my garlands, etc, I am removing the gold ribbons from them in anticipation of using new ribbon next year. Of course, I put that in the box with the garlands so it's easy to remember. I labeled it, too. :)
As I'm putting away things, I also pull out a few things I don't care for any longer to give to Goodwill. Also, if anything needs to be fixed (like the glittery vase I broke this year!), I fix it. Or, if I don't care to fix it, like strings of lights that only light up halfway, I throw them away. This is the time to purge!
Then, as I place items in the bin to be stored, I label them on this sheet so that I know where each item is going:
Once the box is full, I fill out this label for the top of the bin. I put it in a clear page protector, but you could just tape it to the lid of the bin.
I also made this sheet so I had smaller labels for the side of the bins:
When you have all your boxes filled and labeled and your inventory sheet filled out, put your boxes in the attic, crawl space, or wherever you store your seasonal decorations, and file your inventory sheets in your Christmas Binder for next year! If you don't yet have a Christmas (or Holiday) Binder, just put them in sheet protectors in a notebook and place them in the top of one of your bins. We'll talk about holiday binders next year!
Happy New Year's Eve!! Enjoy the evening! I'm back to putting away my Christmas decorations so that I can start 2013 fresh!!