Autumn brings with it falling leaves, which for many people means it’s time to head outdoors into the crisp fall air to rake leaves and clean up the yard. Raking leaves is an activity that takes time and energy. Bottom line, it’s hard work! While many homeowners rarely relish the idea of a day spent raking and removing leaves, you can make the process easier and dare we say, even fun. Here are some ideas on how you can make raking leaves effortless and more enjoyable for the whole family.
#1: Wait Until Peak Season
Wait to rake your yard until after the peak time for leaves to fall. This way you can do the majority of the raking once all of the leaves have fallen. If not, you could spend almost every fall weekend raking leaves and who wants to do that when there is fall tailgating fun to be had?
#2: Rake Downwind
This tip may sound like common sense, but rake leaves downwind. You wouldn’t want all of your hard work to blow away in the breeze, ultimately creating more work, so be sure to rake downwind. While raking downwind, rake leaves in groups instead of tackling the entire yard all at once. Dividing the yard into small sections works best.
#3: Small Strokes
Incorporate small strokes instead of large passes when raking leaves. This method is more efficient and less taxing on your muscles. However, if you still encounter regular aches and pains, invest in a high quality rake that bends a bit with each stroke. This will help maximize the number of leaves you collect. If you still experience upper body pain when raking leaves, especially in your arms, shoulders and wrists, look for an ergonomic rake that fits for your exact height.
#4: Move It
While you are raking leaves, most people stand stationary and just use their arms. Instead, move your legs. This will reduce the risk of back pain that is often associated with raking leaves.
#5: Put on Some Music
Speaking of moving your legs, dance to the music! Put on some tunes to pass the time. Sing along and bust a dance move. There’s no shame in using your rake for an electric guitar solo. (Don’t worry, we won’t judge). Click here to access our “September Sing-A-Long Cleaning Playlist.”
#6: Enlist the Help of Others
Enlist the help of family members. Assign specific duties to everyone so the job gets done quicker. Have someone rake leaves while someone else bags the leaves and then have someone haul them away. Fight boredom by playing “musical chairs.” Simply set a timer for 15-20 minutes and then once the timer goes off, have everyone rotate and switch tasks. This will help eliminate sore muscles as well.
Tip: When picking up leaves and bagging them, use two garbage can lids as they will pick up more leaves than two hands!
#7: Host a Party
Host a leaf raking party. Ask family, friends and neighbors to come over before the big game to help and then reward them with a football viewing party that includes lots of good food.
#8: Ditch the Leaf Blower
It may seem advantageous to use a leaf blower to simply blow fallen leaves to the curb, but this can actually take more time. Not to mention the noise that comes with use. However, do use a leaf blower to dislodge leaves from hard-to-reach places like behind bushes or under decks.
#9: Repurpose Your Leaves
Some leaf blowers can vacuum up leaves and turn them into mulch at the same time. If this is the type of leaf blower you have, set aside a portion of the leaf mulch to use in your compost pile or place in your garden beds for the upcoming winter months.
Raking fall leaves is a necessary fall task, but it doesn’t have to be tedious and time-consuming. Make raking leaves fun this fall with these nine tips!