If you have a two story home (or higher), and you're not getting any younger, you may want to hire someone to come and clean your gutters for you. Thanks to sites like Groupon and Living Social, it's easier to find some great deals and save a little money on hiring someone to do this task - as much as 50% or even more. Don't forget to check out sites like Craigslist, where you can often find folks looking for work willing to help you out. If funds are tight, you can even consider the bartering sections of Craigslist, where you can trade your skills for someone else's - perhaps you can trade housecleaning, or pet sitting in exchange for having your gutters cleaned?
If you're planning to clean your gutters yourself, be sure to check out your ladder carefully before climbing it. Make sure it's sturdy, and that you are placing it on a flat location on the ground so it won't start to tip easily if you are leaning one way. Ask someone to stay with you while you are cleaning, and beware of power lines while you are doing this task!
Clear the gutters beginning at one end and moving to the other, taking your time. One missed spot could end up being a major pileup that ends up causing the damage! If you come across any loose gutter sections, tighten them up as you go along. (if you can't do this right away, try to mark them with a piece of blue paint tape so you can easily get back to it!) To check that the spout down the side of your house is clear and working properly, take your garden hose and angle it towards the spout, letting the water come down. If it seems to be backing up, you can try using a stronger stream of water, such as using a power washer, to get the clogged part open. If you're still struggling to get the water to go through, you'll need to take the spout apart to push the debris through. If you have an older chimney sweeper, sometimes this can help get it clear!