Been thinking of writing-up some of those things I thought worked really well for us last year (2008), and some that didn't work so well. Starting with a (minor) success.
This may be silly, but boy were we glad for it at the time. We wanted bags or other storage for our large amounts of shade cloth (almost 3,000 sf), so we looked for cheap big duffle bags. Turns out the best deal we could find are bags intended for storage of artificial Christmas trees.
There are a couple different kinds--the cheapest are made with tarp-like woven material, and then there are some made with a nylon fabric. The zippers are cheap, as are the straps, etc. However, they made strapping shade cloth to van roof rack much easier and are great for storing the cloth in our basements. Also works well for storing "squish" type stuff. The cheaper ones actually seemed to hold-up as well as the more expensive ones. Can easily fit over 1,000 sf of shade cloth in a bag and prices were $10-20/each online. Iâ€™m guessing there will be some sales on these after the holiday season. Iâ€™ve seen them in the big-box retail stores.
A civil engineer in an uncivilized land.