Setup for next year
When you are ready to setup next year's auction, you'll want to sign-in as admin and go to the admin menu. From there, choose Setup Auctions. Near the bottom of that screen, click the "Add new Auction" link. The name is usually just the year - it gets used as the link name in the "Other Years" links on statements. The full name is usually Action 2011 or something almost as brief, and it is used on reports and a few other places.
Active Days Before is what controls when the system does a 'transition' from showing last year's catalog to the new (empty) one for the upcoming auction. You will usally want a good period of time showing the prior year so that as folks look up their statements, they can find what dinners to go to and so forth.
So, if you have a kickoff meeting for the next auction lets say 4 months before the event (a bit early), that's 120 days which is the default. If you wanted to wait a bit longer, you can adjust that. Besides controlling when the "Statement" button starts taking you to the next year (i.e. the rollover point to when it becomes the new 'default' auction), this value can also be printed within a front-page "Already Happened" notice (show days before -1 until -365) in a phrase such as:
The next auction will be %nextAuctionDateTimeString% and you can enter donations for it after %nextAuctionActiveDateString%.
As soon as the next auction becomes the default, it will stop showing that "Already Happened" notice.
Now that you have more than one auction setup, you can train your donors to use the "Offer Again" feature to save them time. Go to your statement (It will be pretty empty at first), then click on the prior year in the "Other Years" box near the top. Up will come last year's statement, with a list of all the donated items. Under each one will be an "Offer Again" link, which will make a copy of the item into the current year's statement. (If there was a date, it will advance to the same week in the new year, but the description will be an exact copy - that's one reason I discourage folks from repeating dates (or phone# or address) in their item descriptions.