Hi Marie. Welcome to the forum and congrats on the switch! You're going to love it. I bought my first Wrangler about 3 mos ago and have never been happier. I see you've already got the mod fever, and I assure you there's no cure
As for the top, I had the same frustrations in the beginning. I'm not a shorter guy with a bad back so watching the YouTube vids of how you open/close the top if you're 6'5" only made me mad. Now after a few months of practice I can open and close the top by myself in a couple of minutes.
Everyone has their own technique so others may give you different ideas, but as for me this is how I do it (I'll skip taking the top off because that's the easy part).
- Open the back gate and crawl up on the rear bumper.
- Grab the full top an pivot it up toward the top of the Jeep. Once you push it far enough, it will fall forward to the front of the Jeep.
- While still up on the bumper, push your hand down in the middle of the top. This will extend where the top folds in the middle of the Jeep and allow the top to lay flat.
- Hop off the gate and open the driver's side door. Standing in the door frame, reach up between the top fabric and the frame around the top folds. You'll feel a plastic joint where the frame comes together. If you pull forward on this (you may need to yank it) you can pull the top to where it will engage the clips that are over the door frame. This was a real finding for me and allowed me to put the top up for myself because it holds the top in place while you connect the front clips.
- Do the grab and yank on both sides and then engage the front clips under the visors.
- Pull down the rear wings (i think that what they're called) and connect.
- Zip up the windows and you're good.
Hope that helps.