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to think it's twattish to leave your unwanted crap outside your house for passers-by to take?

(154 Posts)
TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Wed 01-Feb-17 00:37:05

I probably am being unreasonable because the person I know who does this is someone I just can't stand for no discernible reason and everything she does annoys me.

Every so often stuff gets left on the pavement outside her house. Sometimes with a note saying "Free to a good home! smile" but usually just left there. Books get soggy in the rain, and seriously, is anyone going to pick up a dog-eared picture book from the pavement and give it to their baby anyway? Wheelchair users can't get past (very narrow pavement) and stuff just sits there for days looking sadder and sadder and I was sure there were more reasons to be annoyed by this but as I type I realise it pretty much boils down to it's annoying because it's her.

But why doesn't she offer her things to friends or donate it to a charity shop or sell it or freecycle it?

I bet she's smugly thinking "I'm being so kind and generous letting anyone who needs my unwanted crap just come and take it. And everyone can see how kind and generous I am every time they pass my house. I bet they talk about how lovely I am all the time."


I'm being unreasonable, aren't I?

SugarLoveHeart Wed 01-Feb-17 00:41:38

Very strange! She should bring it to a charity shop.

CurlyBlueberry Wed 01-Feb-17 00:45:08

I was going to say YABU based on your title - I occasionally leave stuff out. However, it is not left on the pavement, I leave stuff just inside my driveway. Also I wouldn't leave longer than a day and certainly not in the rain. We live in an area where stuff just disappears though - I left out a plastic three-tiered trolley thing once (for storing toys etc) and I kid you not it was gone by the time I went back into the house, made a cup of tea and sat down to look out of the living-room window! I also once put out a washing machine ready for collection by the council, but within a couple of hours someone knocked on my door and asked for it, so I cancelled the council collection.

The person in your post, though, if she is leaving stuff on the pavement and blocking it, is basically just fly tipping. So, for that, YANBU.

Lemond1fficult Wed 01-Feb-17 00:51:24

If is useless crap they're leaving out for days with no concern for weather, then YANBU.

But in my part of London, where many people don't drive, this is an accepted way of passing things - especially furniture - on. I've had useful coffee tables, shelves etc myself, and left out shelves, toasters, chairs which have all gone within the day.

One time, we put a very heavy old radiator out by our steps for the council to collect (thinking no one would want it) and went inside for a rest. It was gone within half an hour. I've no idea why you'd want such a thing, but there you go...

Troydonmama Wed 01-Feb-17 00:51:34

YANBU I find it pretentious. It says look how free and generous I am - when really it's just all her overspill. It's the difference between what it's pretending to be and what it actually is that is annoying.

ShoutOutToMyEx Wed 01-Feb-17 00:56:49

Blocking the pavement isn't on at all, but I do this in the hall of our block of flats. Things still there after 24 hours go in the charity bag where they hang about my flat for eternity which is why I'd rather leave them in the hall

IfOnlyIKnewThen Wed 01-Feb-17 00:58:23

Yep YABU and a little bit miserable - your comment about her being smug makes me think that this is really clouding your judgement on this issue.

Not great that the books get soggy but personally I'd get more worked up by people who thoughtlessly send things to landfill. My neighbours occasionally do this, but not usually with large items. It doesn't bother me at all. I've seen passers by take them away and its never out there for long. My daughter spotted some books that she liked and we took those, glad we did too otherwise we would never have known about the series of Claude books.

If wheelchair users and buggies can't get past report it to the council.

Eevee77 Wed 01-Feb-17 01:03:18

Strange. Could you leave a note RE: blocking pathways?

A couple of years ago I paid for bulky item disposal from my local council. You have to leave it on the path outside your house ready for 7am the next day.

11pm me and OH Drag out a bookcase and an IKEA armchair out there and go back inside for an old mattress and at 11:05 they were gone confused it happened once again after that too!

bumsexatthebingo Wed 01-Feb-17 01:05:10

If she can't be bothered taking it to a charity shop surely she could offer it round to friends or relatives. That's what I do with outgrown toys, book and clothes and my friends with older children pass stuff to me. Does anyone ever take it? I couldn't imagine scrabbling around outside someones house for books even if I was hard up and they were dry. Libraries are free to use with 100% less embarrassment!

beingsunny Wed 01-Feb-17 01:10:16

This may be a cultural thing, I know here in Australia that is pretty common practice although there are no 'tips' you can take things to you just have a twice yearly council collection
It's probably well intentioned but maybe a note regarding blocking paths would be helpful smile

TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Wed 01-Feb-17 01:11:49

your comment about her being smug makes me think that this is really clouding your judgement on this issue.


Does anyone ever take it?

I don't know. The current lot has been there for about a week and it doesn't look like anything's gone. Usually the whole lot seems to disappear in one go after about two weeks. I don't know if that's someone taking it all or her just getting rid of it.

HellonHeels Wed 01-Feb-17 01:15:26

I often used to put stuff outside with a note and it always went, usually within the hour. It's hard to find charity shops that want furniture and hard work transporting stuff to them.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 01-Feb-17 01:25:08

You'd hate Australia then, OP. It's common practice for people to put stuff out at the front of their properties - 4 times a year, the council come by and pick up stuff, but it goes out ages before they come and people often pick stuff up. We've had a few things ourselves this way!

I do get narked when I see stuff left out in the rain though, stuff that could have been useful to someone else before it got rained all over.

IfOnlyIKnewThen Wed 01-Feb-17 01:44:27

Bumsex Well I can't say I have been witness to what all passers by do when they are looking at my neighbours things, but I certainly haven't seen any scrabbling around - for one things are in plain sight so no need, but wouldn't judge if they did especially if I thought they were hard up. By the same token I wouldn't feel embarrassed if I had to take something because I was hard up.

You make a good point about supporting your local library, I do too and wish more people would but I guess that discussion is for a different thread,

PigletJohn Wed 01-Feb-17 01:51:58

the way to get junk taken is to put a sign on it

"For sale, £25, please knock"

It will be gone as soon as you turn your back.

I suppose you could advertise it on Freegle for her.

Mermaidinthesea Wed 01-Feb-17 01:57:56

I put some gym equipment outside because it was way too heavy for me to put in the car and take away with a note on it. One of my neighbours was well pleased with it and took it away.
I did put it on my driveway not in the street and would never leave things like books.

hotdrinkandaliedown Wed 01-Feb-17 02:10:11

I love this practice - I'm looking at a couple of items in my living room right now that were acquired this way! Far better than sending it to the landfill.

Can't believe someone says this is pretentious?! It's just practical and neighbourly.

If she's blocking wheelchairs though someone needs to have a word with her.

gingercoffee Wed 01-Feb-17 02:17:30

If she leaves it there and it's still there a week later then YANBU. Around here (in London) people do this all the time, and things generally get taken. (Although sometimes it's by people in mysterious white vans that seem to drive around for this purpose..) It's a good way to recycle stuff and not just send it to landfill. And it's easier than lugging it to a charity shop, especially if you don't drive. I've done it a few times, and I'm happy that it'll be used. Saying that, I wouldn't leave stuff out that was falling apart, or that would be ruined by a bit of rain. And if something doesn't go after a day or so then I take it to a charity shop, or relent and throw it away. sad

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 01-Feb-17 02:25:38

We do this all the time but never leave it out for longer than a day (usually gone in minutes though!) and never, ever block the pavement.

People in wheelchairs being blocked shock that is awful!

GreatScot8 Wed 01-Feb-17 02:27:22

Very common where I live (also Australia).

Council pick up is bloody awesome. We put stuff out (when we have it) a while before pick up, and things are always taken by passers by. It's a good thing.

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 01-Feb-17 02:36:26

Yes and no.

I have done this, and the stuff has always been taken but its been big stuff like a crt TV and a dresser. It went but I never saw anyone take it, despite being in all day! I have never left anything longer than one days worth of day light, so it went into the car to go to the tip the next day.

But a box of random crap that she CBA to take to the tip left indefinitely is not ok.

SingingInTheRainstorm Wed 01-Feb-17 02:57:25

There's so many reasons YANBU, it makes the street look like a tip & encourages all sorts. I understand they have to put it somewhere but if it's not suitable for their back garden why put it on the street? Or in their front garden?

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 01-Feb-17 03:39:51

As others have said: Blocking of pavement is bad, leaving non-weather proof items out regardless of weather is bad, leaving stuff out indefinitely is bad. But leaving things out in a considerate way for local people to take is a great way of cutting waste, far better than taking things to the dump. Freecycle, etc. can also be useful if leaving out doesn't work for you, but freecycle not always that effective or local.

Sprinklestar Wed 01-Feb-17 03:48:47

I live in the US and people do this all the time here. In certain neighborhoods, you get people who drive round on the lookout for freebies they can then sell on!

Meridien Wed 01-Feb-17 05:14:33

It's common practice in some European countries, Germany is one. It needs some common sense though, don't block a narrow pavement, don't put stuff out if it's likely to rain and spoil it. I think it's a good idea, it's just that this country is so bloody cramped it's not really workable enough to take off nationally. Maybe it happens more in countries that have a lot more good quality rented accommodation than we do, a lot more decent apartments, not so many expensive housing developments where people want to protect their investment by keeping the communal frontage neat and tidy. In continental Europe houses are for living and raising familities in, not investments for pensions and all that stuff.

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