UNITED STATES—It is that time of year, October is over, and November has arrived. Depending on what part of the United States you live in, you have probably seen those leaves start to fall off the trees. The question that now remains is when you begin to rake them.

For me, the moment that I see enough leaves in front of the house, on the grass or on the sidewalk where I CANNOT see things, that is a sign that I need to start raking. The problem with getting those leaves off the ground is you’re never truly done with them until the trees are bare. That’s the fun of raking leaves, you can clean your property pretty nice, but that tree across the street or down the street, those leaves haven’t completely fallen.

What does that mean for you? More leaves to rake or potentially the frustration of blowing leaves from down the street finding themselves in your yard. You might think I’m joking, but it happens to me like clockwork. I purchase the brown paper bags for the lawn, and I start raking when the weather is not too cold and windy. If it’s windy outside, you might as well put that rake away.

It is near impossible to rake the leaves and keep them in a pile and bag them properly when the wind is blowing things all over the place. Find a non-windy day, preferably it is not a bad idea to rake the leaves after it has rained slightly if possible because they have a bit of body too them. It makes it much easier to place them into a pile and scoop them up.

Raking leaves might seem like a solo project, but it actually is a two-person job. You need someone to hold that bag still while you’re placing the leaves in, otherwise they fall all over the place and you’re raking a second, third or fourth time and who wants to do that? Tip for the wise, do NOT use a metal rake. I know people think they work wonders, but they do not. You need a plastic rake, with a wooden stick and wear gloves.

Raking can be brutal on the arms. You may not feel it that same day, but the following day your arms will feel as if they have been hit by a ton of bricks. Not to mention, if you’re not wearing gloves you run the risk of blisters erupting all over your hands from the constant rubbing. Trust me a blister hurts like hell, and imagine having two or three of them on a single hand? It is even worse America, and that is the only issue I have with utilizing a wooden rake.

With metal, the leaves never gather in unison the way I like, but if that is the only tool you have, you have to utilize what you have to get the job done. However, be very, and I mean very careful about the leaves that you walk on because there could be a surprise or two underneath that you are unaware of. Bag the leaves, put them out for pickup and you will not have to deal with the lawn for a few months.

On the flipside, you could just allow the leaves to fall, let the cold weather break them up to virtually nothing and not bag them up at all. Look at it this way, the leaf raking is good exercise so that is the positive outcome of doing yardwork.

Written By Jason Jones