Outdoor fall & winter clean-ups can be quite a time consuming and some people find them annoying so most homeowners I know of normally end up calling a company for a service. (one for lawn, another one for gutters etc.) Calling for help is the best choice for elderly citizens who should not risk going out in low temperatures and climb ladders etc. Some people simply ignore the leaves lying around and assume they will fly around on their own or rot into the soil. This assumption does not work in most areas because the leaves simply just become trapped in places around your home while you may think they flew away. Don't make this mistake each year because over the years you will end up paying more from your pocket.
Most healthy folks who own a single or even multi-family home in the suburbs should be able to complete the job in a few hours (varying on the size of property). There are plenty of different tools available to make your life easier and get the job done quickly. Using your hands alone may not be enough if you have large trees nearby like my case & they drop tons of leaves at once especially after a windy day. Depending on the amount of leaves accumulating near your home you might have to clean-up every other week in months of November & December.
Safety is the number one key to success in all operational tasks, even on the internet! Therefore, if you plan to take on the clean-up challenge yourself be sure to wear warm clothes, cover your head & any other protection gear required for your tools. Here is a list of some common tools that I keep in my garage for this job & many others:
Ladder (I use a telescoping one so it is easy to store)
Leaf VAC & blower (must have for all types of lawn jobs)
Steel Rake (saves your back & allows you to clean around & under things)
Lawn bags (be environmentally friendly and use minimum amount)
Extension cord (if you're using electric tools)
Drink plenty of water before heading out. If you can get someone to help you that will make the job easier & save time. Begin by clearing out the gutters with your ladder. It is very critical to position your ladder on a safe, flat surface & if you have someone to spot you that will add extra safety which is always a good practice.
While you're at this job, why not visually inspect your home's exterior for issues? Look for cracked, buckled and curled roof shingles, algae, moss. Gutters can be in bad shape due to their lifespan. Look for any nails sticking out from the siding or window panels. Finding & fixing minor issues early in time will save you from costly leak repairs which can end up ruining the interior also.
Once you have blown out or manually thrown out all the leaves from your gutters you can begin the lawn clean-up. Why do you need to clean leaves from your lawn? There are many reasons to list but here are my top 3:
Prevents injuries to grass by allowing it to "breath" & receive sunlight in cold harsh winter months.
A layer of leaves on your lawn invites pests, snow mold & brown patches.
Leaves which are matted down can even keep new grass blades from emerging next spring.
Using a leaf blower and rake make small piles of leaves and then you can simply dump them into bags.
If you use the Toro Leaf blower and VAC this will enable you to shred the leaves down so that you don't have to use a lot of garden trash bags. In my use case, I have noticed that it reduced 5 bags of leaves into 1! So, having this tool is good for the environment & wallet.
Obviously, there are other methods which may work better for you so feel free to share a comment about it. If you don't have enough trees near your home and you barely see any greenery from the window then I highly encourage you to contact your town officials about the laws in your area to grow some plants or big trees! Lastly, if you would like to move to a nice quiet neighborhood with plenty of nature to enjoy, check out the listing deals page.