I've had a few consulting session recently about takedowns, how we do it, where we buy stuff, etc. and although this is not exactly what you'd get for hiring me at $350 per hour, I thought I'd post some stuff we do that I believe I have put up here before. Number one is boxes. we use the 48x12x12 boxes from Uline.com that are rated at 275 pounds per square inch. they hold up very well if treated nice, fully tape all seams top and bottom, don't get them wet and don't overstuff them full of cords. They run you about 3.50 each if you buy them 120 by the pallet. shipping cost me about 150 bucks. while you can buy the 200 psi boxes of the same size for 2.15, I don't reccomend them. they are thin walled and stacking 3 high will sometimes collapse them. for light and bulky stuff like garland and bows, I have used the 200psi 48x16x16, and the 48x24x24 and maybe a few cords or mini lights thrown in for bulky materials. but it is way better to just use 2-4 of the 48x12x12's. If you figure in warehousing, labor to load, unload, stacking them and maximizing space in the trucks and in storage, sticking with one size is the way to go. I have some boxes that are over 10 years old now, and the reason is we started with a very good box, did not overload it, or get it wet, and taped it all the way around on the top and bottom. we go through about 120 boxes per year now. The reason for that size is I find it easiest and economical to build shelves or use pallet racks with 48 inch by 8 foot sheets of plywood, and send the long box in, and label the 12x12 end of it. it seems to maximize use of space and be easy to warehouse. number 2. is yellow tags, also from uline. we use the ones prestrung with wire for wreaths, long runs of garland, metal frame items like angels or stars, and also to label each string on a c-9 spool. we use the fluorescent yellow paper tags, number 8's, and they run about 75 bucks for 1000. we use about a thousand per year. I have tried the plastic tags, and the tyvek, and although they are way better, and it is just not worth it to pay 10 times the price when you end up replacing most of them anyway. number 3 is tape, again from Uline. and no, I am not financially invested in uline in any way. but they usually have the best price, and they ship and deliver quick. I use the 3 inch wide, industrial rated , 2 mil thick for 2.50 per roll if you get 2 cases or 48 rolls, and at one case and up you get a free dispenser gun to boot. do not buy the economy tape unless you live in the deep southern edge of the US, as it does not stick to boxes below 45 degrees. industrial works down to zero degrees, which is a good thing given it was 6 degrees here at 10 am today. we go through 2 cases per year or so, and we use a ton of tape on each box on the bottom, top, sides, and everywhere. I encourage my guys to lather on the tape because it is the cheapest way to make an expensive box last. at less than 1 cent a foot, I could care less if they make 6 passes on a 48 inch long box. at 150 bucks per year shipped per year it is well worth it to keep each truck well stocked with tape. I would rather spend 25 to 50 cents worth of tape to save a 3-4 buck box for another year or two. If I had the time I would cover all my boxes 100% with tape to make them waterproof and they'd last a lifetime. finally, markers and labeling. I buy them from, you guessed it, Uline. they are uline brand, sharpie copies that cost about 36 cents each and we go through about 150 per year. I know the guys take them home and lose them, but again, at 50 bucks per year I don't care. I have bought bulk name brand sharpies online on ebay and they were good, but I paid about a buck each and the guys still went through the same number of markers. using those markers is one of the absolute keys to success in Christmas Lights. labeling your boxes with customer names and how many boxes the customer has, yellow tag labeling garland runs before you box them, yellow tag labeling wreaths and c-9 cord with tags with install instructions, ( not just whose product it is for warehouse purposes, but how and where do you put this item up on the particular house? ) those things make or break your profit line next year. and it is often overlooked because everyone is in such a hurry to take down lights and get it over with. but adding 5-10% of labor time to label things properly will save you 50% of labor time in the fall this year when lights start going up. have a good take down season guys. we have 120 down or so with about 90 to go.