My husband and I figured out a couple things this year that made closing a lot smoother and kept tempers from flaring. They may be nothing new but I haven't seen them mentioned.
The hardest part for us is putting the cover on, so this time we got 2 full pieces of PVC (1.5 and 2.0 inch) and slid one into the other to make an axle and rolled the cover up tight on it first. Then we slowly unrolled and anchored it as we went along without dropping the cover in the pool!
Then I found this 6" x 30" foam exercise roller cut in half perfectly fits in the skimmers and displaces enough water to keep us from having to pump the shimmers out every time they fill up. We've always put cut up pieces of foam tube in there for ice expansion, but this is much cleaner and takes up most of the space so much less water can accumulate.