Make sure you have a decent rake, and of course get some of those huge paper bags for your leaves. Don't put off getting those bags. I remember one year I put off raking, and yes, I had to run to three different stores to get some of those bags. Trust me you don't want to have that happen. It's a major inconvenience.
No, you don't need to start the first day the leaves fall, but get going early. You can start out by raking the pathways so leaves aren't tracked into your house or car. Trust me there will be more leaves to rake. The fall winds will blow more into your yard even if you have raked every leaf out of your yard.
I don't have room to compost all of my leaves, but I do compost some of them. It's great for the soil. And you will want that compost in the spring when you are planting new plants. Your bin doesn't have to be complicated. My very first compost bin was a hallowed out tree stump. It worked.
Wind and Wet
Fall is a windy time. Have you ever tried to rake leaves on a windy day? Yep, your pile just blows away. It's a lesson we've all had to learn. Avoid those windy days when you rake. That goes back to that start early step. And well wet leaves are just heavier than dry ones. Try moving a bag of wet leaves, it feels like it weighs a ton.
If push comes to shove, and the neighbor kid comes along wanting to earn a few bucks. It is well worth the money to have them do some of the raking.