Composting is a simple process that anyone can do. Find or create an open spot in the backyard where you can pile leaves, grass clippings and other vegetable material such as kitchen waste. Place your chopped leaves in layers 2 to 4 inches deep. Sprinkle a little soil and lawn fertilizer on top of each layer and sprinkle with water. The soil contains microorganisms, which use the organic matter for food and break it down into mulch size pieces. The fertilizer adds nitrogen, which the micro-organisms need to facilitate the process. Moisture is also needed in the process.
The last ingredient needed is air to supply oxygen for the process. That is why the compost pile needs to be turned periodically. The best tool for turning and mixing the compost with air is a spading fork or a pitch fork. They mix the compost as it is turned over. Put it on your calendar to aerate your compost pile once a week or once a month or as often as you have the time. The more often you can do it the faster the leaves will be composted. Micro-organisms create their own heat so the process can continue even when weather gets colder as long as the compost pile is aerated.
If you do not want to take the trouble to compost your leaves you can get the same benefit by purchasing bark dust or other organic materials and incorporating it or mulching with it.