You need to make sure the band's instruments are packed and out of the way first. This is especially important if you have help' - you're responsible, and one whoops can ruin an irreplaceable instrument.
If needed, goad the musicians by saying you want to make sure their gear doesn't get hurt, but be reasonable and say it nicely - they've been busy all night, maybe even under pressure, whereas you've probably had a chance to both dance and chat with people. Encourage them to pack up and continue bonding off stage, or at the front edge if they're selling recordings, etc.
See the Quick Reference insert for directions on the best way to coil wires. Once you've got the cables coiled right, it's important to have cable ties of some type to keep them coiled and neat in the box. Most people make cable ties out of leather thong. Fasten this to the cable by making half a square knot in the middle of the tie on the end of the cable which plugs into the mixer.Packing Up
Unless you're independently wealthy, it's hard to beat second-hand suitcases for storing all of the small items. Try to have a separate small one for mics with some foam cushioning in it, and a larger one for cables. If you frequently have inexperienced help, it's a good idea to have a picture of where things go taped to the inside lid of the case - this also helps keep track of the stuff!
Some type of protection is needed for your mixer. If it doesn't come with its own case, see if someone talented with a needle and thread can make one with heavy padding. For smaller mixers, a large suitcase will often do, if it has a substantial handle. A neat solution for the Entertainer or other boards with high edges' is to simply velcro a thin wood panel over the top. While you're at it, mark the normal settings on white tape, and indicate where plugs go, so others less experienced will know what to do when you're not there. Try not to cover the normal dial markings, though - they allow others to use it differently.