A clean, well-maintained yard is an essential part of a relaxing outdoor living space, but it can be difficult to maintain on your own. The average cost for a professional yard cleanup is $280, with most jobs costing $170 to $375. However, some jobs cost as much as $1,125 or as little as $95.
The price can vary based on the frequency of your visits, the size of your property, and your specific cleanup needs. Many lawn care pros offer seasonal packages for yard cleanup that include additional services at a discounted price.
In this cost guide:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Yard Cleanup Costs in 2023
|National Average Cost||$280|
|Typical Price Range||$170 – $375|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$95|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$1,125|
The cost of a lawn cleanup varies based on where you live and the specific needs of your yard. Lawn cleanup may include a combination of services or simply the removal of leaves.
More involved services, such as removing heavy debris after a storm, might cost as much as $1,125, while simple leaf removal for a small yard could cost as little as $95.
Cleanup Cost Estimator by Yard Size
The average American home has a 10,000-square-foot yard, and cleanup typically costs about $0.03 per square foot. Based on that rate, here are some estimates for how much you might spend on a full cleanup based on the size of your yard.
|Yard Size||Typical Cost|
|Eighth-acre (5,445 sq ft)||$100 – $200|
|Quarter-acre (10,890 sq ft)||$200 – $400|
|Half-acre (21,780 sq ft)||$400 – $800|
Other Factors that Affect Cost
In addition to yard size, the cost of a yard cleanup depends on the following factors:
Type of Cleanup
A yard cleanup may include the following services, and price fluctuates based on which services you need:
- Mulching leaves means running over the leaves with a mulching mower to shred them into small pieces and leaving them in your lawn as natural mulch. It is the cheapest way to clean up leaves from your yard. If you have less than 50% leaf coverage on your lawn, your lawn care pro may decide mulching is the best option for you.
- Raking leaves costs more than leaf blowing and mulching because the work is harder and takes longer.
- Bagging yard waste, including leaves, twigs, and other debris, adds to the overall cleanup cost. Large amounts of debris will have to be bagged or blown into a disposal area.
- Trash or furniture removal services will increase your cleanup cost and may require hiring a separate company.
- Pet waste removal doesn’t usually come with yard cleanups, so you may need to hire a separate company to remove the ick from your front or backyard. It typically costs $35 to $125 per visit.
- Hauling away debris (mainly larger debris, such as fallen branches) costs more than leaving it curbside for your trash service to pick up.
- Flower bed and garden cleanups typically cost more than cleaning a lawn because they require more delicate, detailed work to prevent damaging the plants.
- Wet leaves are heavier, so they typically take longer and cost more to remove than dry leaves.
Frequency of Visits
The frequency of your visits can significantly affect the price of your yard cleanup. The more often your landscapers come, the less they’ll have to clean or maintain, which can keep your costs down. Some lawn care companies may also offer a discount if you sign up for regular service.
Lawn Care Packages
Many pros offer lawn care service packages that include leaf removal and yard cleanups. Purchasing a package is a great way to save money on all these services.
Fall and spring cleanups included in a lawn care package may come with:
- Bush trimming
- Flower bed maintenance
- Winterizing your lawn
You will need more than an ordinary cleanup after a severe storm. Your home may require anything from temporary repairs to large debris clearing. In addition, your landscaper may have to provide mold prevention, apply new fertilizer, and replace the mulch in your garden or flower beds.
Keeping an emergency cleanup savings fund is a good idea if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other severe weather. A lot goes into cleaning a yard after a hurricane, and you’ll either have to do the work yourself or pay extra for it.
Seasonal Price Changes
The season also affects cleanup pricing because of differences in demand. For example, everyone needs their yard cleaned in the fall, so expect to pay higher prices for fall cleanups. Early spring is the second most popular time to clean the yard. You may be able to get a lower price if you wait until the off-season to hire a yard cleanup service.
While you have a lawn care or landscaping pro onsite, you might consider some of the following services in addition to having your yard cleaned. Here’s how much these additional services could add to the overall cost of the job.
- Gutter cleaning
- Lawn fertilization
- Bush trimming
- Sprinkler installation
- Lawn mowing
- Weed removal
If you have leaves on your lawn, you probably also have them in your gutter. Gutter cleaning typically costs $120 to $200, and it can prolong the lifespan of your roof.
Fertilization is vital in keeping your lawn healthy, killing weeds, and preventing pests. Many synthetic and organic fertilizers can feed your grass all the nutrients it needs. Right after clearing debris from the lawn is a great time to fertilize because those nutrients have better access to the soil. The average cost of fertilizing a lawn is between $38 and $170.
What’s the point of cleaning up your yard if your bushes are still scraggly and overgrown? Have your bushes trimmed along with your yard cleanup in spring or fall to give the whole landscape a facelift. Bush trimming usually costs about $6 to $15 per bush. If you have very tall or overgrown bushes, expect to pay more.
The best time to get a yard cleanup – fall or early spring – is also the best time to aerate your lawn. Aeration involves poking holes in the soil to promote the flow of nutrients and oxygen, which can help your grass grow thicker and longer. It’s usually done once a year and costs between $65 to $240.
Aeration and dethatching typically go hand-in-hand. Dethatching removes a layer of organic material between the grass and soil, and it’s best to do it before aerating your lawn. Having your lawn dethatched costs around $140 to $450.
If you don’t already have sprinklers installed, they are an excellent investment to help keep your lawn lush and healthy. The average sprinkler installation cost is $3,150, but prices vary depending on the size of your yard and the type of sprinkler system.
Lawn mowing is an essential aspect of a clean yard. Mowing your lawn regularly can help prevent pests, boost curb appeal, and keep your grass healthy. You can hire a professional lawn mowing service for about $30 to $65 total ($0.01 – $0.03 per square foot).
Many lawn care pros charge a minimum fee to visit the property, so small yards will typically have a higher cost per square foot, even though the overall cost may be lower.
Mowing down weeds during a regular yard cleanup isn’t enough to get rid of them. You have to dig them up, roots and all, to get rid of them for good. For weed removal, most professionals charge between $65 and $120 total or $30 to $60 per hour. However, the cost of weeding depends on the size of your yard and the level of weed growth.
Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
|Average pro cost||$280 per visit|
|Maximum equipment cost for DIY||$600 (one time)|
The difficulty of DIY yard cleanups varies depending on the season and the yard’s needs. Some jobs are simple, while others require heavy equipment and long hours in the blistering sun.
If you already have the necessary tools, the right skills, and don’t mind a little elbow grease, cleaning up your yard on your own is a more affordable option.
Please see common equipment prices for a simple leaf and small debris cleanup in the table below.
|Leaf blower||$17 – $619|
|Rake||$25 – $65|
|Mulching mower||$300 – $500|
Though lawn care equipment, especially power tools, can be pricey, keep in mind that you pay for them once, and you’re done. That’s a one-time cost of about $600 maximum compared to paying a professional lawn care service an average of $280 per visit to clean your yard. One or two visits per year adds up quick.
Cost of Yard Cleanup by Location
The cost of yard cleanups can vary by location because of:
- Labor costs: The higher the cost of living in your area, the more you will have to pay for labor. Rural areas usually have lower labor costs than big cities.
- Average yard size: The average homeowner in Montana has over an acre of lawn, whereas the average yard size in Nevada is about 4,000 square feet. Typically, the larger the average yard size in an area, the higher rates will be for yard cleanups and other lawn care services.
- Climate: Local weather affects cleanup costs, too. For example, if you live in an area that frequently gets heavy storms, yard cleanup services will be in higher demand and will likely cost more than in other areas.
The fastest way to clean your yard is by using a leaf blower and a mulcher. Some leaf blowers can mulch or vacuum leaves, but many people mow over the leaves with a mulching mower.
Note: This method won’t be sufficient if you need to remove large debris, such as fallen branches.
If your yard is overgrown with tall grass, plants, and shrubbery, these tools can help:
• Brush trimmer
• Chain saw
• Pole saw
• Hedge trimmer
• You can’t cut overgrown grass with a typical lawn mower.
• Remove all debris before you mow.
• Treat weeds to prevent regrowth.
If you want to help your landscaper out and get ready before they arrive for your yard cleanup, you can do a few things:
• Gather up any debris and waste and either remove them yourself or put them in an area that is easy for the pros to access.
• Remove obstacles such as toys from the site.
• Keep pets inside while the pros are working so that no one – either your landscaper or your pet – gets hurt.
Most homeowners do a full yard cleanup twice a year: once in spring, to prepare for new growth after winter, and once in fall, to remove fallen leaves.
Yard cleanups are essential, but they can take a lot of work. You can save hours of your time (maybe even a whole weekend) by hiring a lawn care service to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from your yard for about $170 to $375.
Michelle Selzer contributed to this article.
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash