Well, here were are at "next year", but with no money to spare to hire a service. Call me lazy, but I know that having a new baby this year, we'd never, ever get the yard raked in a timely manner. Enter the lawn sweeper.
This nifty gadget is towed behind a lawn tractor and will sweep up grass clippings, leaves, or other yard debris. You can supposedly dump it while still sitting on the seat of your tractor. A new model retails for $420, but we got our lightly used one for $125. Even if we end up paying a service for curbside pick-up (which appears to cost $45-65. Our county discontinued free leaf pick-up the year we moved out of the city, of course.), I'll consider it money well spent.