9 Tips for Fall Yard Cleanup

Welcome to Autumn. The days are getting shorter, the air is cooling down, and leaves are adding new color. It’s a beautiful time of year, but it also brings some work. It doesn’t have to be hard work, however. Over the years Today’s Homeowner has shared with you dozens of tips and tricks to make your Fall clean-up a breeze. Whether you want to bag those leaves for recycling, disposing, or crafting, we’ve got you covered.

Simple Solution for Leaf Bagging

Anyone familiar with Today’s Homeowner knows our Simple Solutions host Joe Truini is a master of DIY tips. Here we’ve collected some of the best tricks Joe has up his sleeve for the biggest Fall chore, raking leaves.

The Center Cut: To secure a plastic bag to the rim of a garbage can when bagging leaves, cut the center out of the garbage can lid then snap it on the can over the bag.

Tube Tight: Watch this video for a tip on how to hold a leaf bag open in a trash can with a bicycle inner tube when raking leaves.

Suction Undone: Bags are hard to remove from garbage cans because a vacuum forms — until now.

What to do with Your Leaf Collection

Preserved leaves

You’ve bagged the leaves, now what? You could just throw them away. Many cities offer a leaf pick-up service, but there are other options. Here are a few ways you can make use of your leaves without leaving them out on the curb.

How to Preserve Fall Leaves and Branches with Glycerin: Step-by-step instructions on how to preserve fall leaves and branches using a mixture of glycerin and water so they will remain soft and colorful.

Make Mulch: Instead of sending your leaves to the landfill, consider recycling them.

Leaf Shredding: Turn leaves into fuel for next year’s garden by shredding them with a string trimmer in a garbage can.

Make Leaf Compost: Sometimes thinking green can be taken quite literally. For example, nothing can make your yard or garden greener naturally than by using compost made from leaves.

Lawn Treatment

Fall Lawn Care Guide: Fall is one of the most important times of the year for establishing and strengthening lawns, as well as preparing them for the harsh temperatures.

Yard and Gardening Maintenance: Step-by-step tips to maintain your yard and garden during the autumn season.


  1. Why bag the leaves at all? Just mulch them with your lawnmower with a mulching blade and leave them! I’ve been doing that for years and it is a great solution. Free fertilizer!

  2. I have 3 large Redwood trees in my yard. by the end of summer, they begin shedding leaves, yes they have leaves, not needles, and I have to rake up and fill two large totters at least 3 or 4 times before mid-October when they finish. I have been told that redwood dropping should not be used in compost bins/piles. Do you know if this is true? By the way, I am in north-central California, not redwood country but they generally do well here in the valley anyway and are often used by professional landscape designers in the Sacramento Area.

    • Hi, Frema,
      We don’t have redwoods here in southern Alabama, so we’d suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association for a quick visit.
      Master gardeners make house calls and provide free advice to local people.
      Thanks for your question, and good luck!


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