How to Bag Leaves the Easy Way

Bagging leaves is not everyone’s favorite yard chore — to say the least! It helps to have a Simple Solution for this frustrating task.

All you need is a garbage can, a trash bag and a utility knife to “hack” the garbage can into something you can use just for bagging leaves.

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.

Remove the lid when the bag is full to dispose of the leaves.

Further Information


  1. I bought an extra trash can and cut the bottom out of it so when I fill the trash bag with leaves I can just tie the bag shut while it is in the can. Then lift the trash can over the bag rather than trying to pull the bag out of the can and fighting the suction crated when filling the bag. I have a lot of leaves to rake each year so the loss of the trash can was well worth the effort it saves me when filling and tying bags.

  2. Hey Carl, Great idea! I never would’ve thought to cut off the bottom of the trash can. I can see that your method would make it much easier to remove the bag of leaves. The one advantage of leaving the can intact, and cutting a hole in the lid, is that you can use the can for trash during the rest of the year. (I keep mine in the shop for collecting sawdust and short cut-offs.) Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  3. Skinflint solution to avoid sacrificing a lidded can: Bungee cord, or two hooked together, to secure the bag. It worked for me when I was cleaning gutters and dumping heavy wet debris down one story into the can, so I think it would also work when stuffing a can with leaves.

    I use a rectangular can for cleanup of raked stuff like leaves, since it can be laid down and the leaves raked right into it. Then take them to the compost pile!

  4. Hey Penn, Thanks for writing. I love your idea of using a rectangular trash can for raking in the leaves. I can see how that would work much better than a round can. Plus, it wouldn’t roll away on hilly lawns!–Joe T.

  5. All good ideas, but rather than cutting up a lid why not just use clothespins or clips to hold the bag in place. That works for me.

  6. I suggest drilling small holes into bottom and/or the sides to allow air to escape allowing the garbage bag to open fully. Also works for any water that gets in. Another idea is to remove the head from another rake allowing you to use 2 rakes to pick up piles of leaves. I’ve seen stores selling such accessories but they are smaller in size. Home improvement stores sell a folding foam board insert to put in bags (mostly for the 30lb paper lawn waste type) which help funnel leaves into the bag.

  7. Simpler to just use a bungee cord around the top to hold the bad =g in place. You don’t have to butcher a lid and the opening is bigger to dump the leaves.

  8. Nice, thanks for sharing! I have a lot of leaves to rake each year so the loss of the trash can was well worth the effort it saves me when filling and tying bags.

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