I sprayed the ivy with Round Up a month or so ago, which had absolutely zero effect. Chris went on a mowing rampage and mowed down all the perennials in the front yard and all the ivy in the back. Obviously it is going to come back, but it was nice to catch a glimpse of what a clean backyard would look like. My mom suggested laying down wet newspaper over the ivy, cover that with wet leaves and leave it over the winter. In spring, rototill the whole shebang, plant grass seed and hope that it isn't ivy that pops back up.
So here is where the dumpster diving comes into play. This afternoon was unseasonably gorgeous, so we got to the task. We didn't have anywhere near enough newspaper around, so Chris and hit up a few local paper recylcing dumpsters to get what we needed (I also got two Cooks Illustrated and a Elle Decor, don't judge me.) Chris, Katie and took turns laying the newspaper, spraying it with the hose to keep it down, raking leaves on top and then hosing it again. We finished the whole backyard, so I'll get back to you in the spring to let you know if our little experiment worked.