Everywhere I look in my backyard is nothing but leaves, leaves, and more leaves. I absolutely hate raking leaves. It's a chore that drives me crazy.

With winter just about officially here, there are many of my neighbors, me included, who still have lots of leaves in front and backyards. You know what that tells me? That my neighbors don't like it anymore than I do.

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And by the way, did you know that it's your responsibility to rake any leaves that fall into your yard that come directly from your neighbor's trees.

Even if the tree is on your neighbor's property, you still have to rake those stinking leaves that fall into your yard from their tree or trees.

Here are 3 good tips on what to do with all those leaves still sitting in your yard, courtesy of mlive.com:

1. Make garden gold. This is very simple, if you have a garden, just rake all your leaves into the garden and use the leaves as mulch. I didn't know this, but apparently the leaves will actually insulate your perennials and keep the soil in place throughout winter.

2. Leaf them be. I personally can't do it this way. I have to get rid of the leaves one way or another. I know this sounds crazy, but keeping your leaves on the ground can actually provide shelter to various rodents along with other wildlife.

3. Burn responsibly. I don't recommend this way of getting rid of leaves, but for some it seems to do the trick. Just keep in mind that burning leaves is the No.1 cause of wildfires in Michigan. Be smart about it and please use caution.

Let me inform you on how I get rid of leaves before winter sets in. I use my riding lawn mower and turn them all into mulch for my lawn. I just keep mowing the leaves over and over again until they become fine particles of mulch. This will save you lots of wasted raking and bagging time. Have fun!

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