I tried raking leaves onto a tarp and dumping the tarp into the container; no go. Tried sucking leaves up with a electric blower/sweeper — nah. Tried mulching them with a lawn mower. Nope.
Thought I had the perfect solution when I got a Sears leaf sweeper (a device that works like a push lawn mower, with a bag behind it that collects leaves) at a yard sale a few years ago for $10. Tested it in the seller’s yard and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It picked up wide swaths of leaves as you pushed it across the yard (yay!), which was great when I had a boyfriend who would help me unload the canvas bag, but was no good at all when I tried doing it alone… Just couldn’t remove the bag full of leaves and dump them into the paper lawn bags that my town mandates we use; the leaf container was too big and unwieldy, and I was too small. Darn. 🙁
Some time after that, I stumbled on the simplest and most fabulous device of all: an oversized dust pan available at Lowes for about $10. You rake leaves into a pile, scoop a bunch of them up at once by placing the big pan underneath the pile and use the handle to pour the leaves into the lawn bag. Who would’ve thought something so simple would result in the easiest leaf raking ever?