Do You Ever Take Items Left Outside People’s Houses?

Many local councils, including mine, consider the placing, by the owner, of unwanted items on the pavement outside their house as “fly-tipping” and, therefore, illegal.

Dumping rubbish or unwanted items in the street or on open land – fly-tipping – is illegal.

I am guilty of leaving items outside with a note saying “Take me I’m free” like magic it vanishes and quickly too.

No, he’s quite clean! :rofl:

We don’t use the term fly-tipping here, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal here as well. People pay good money to have their trash removed. There are also community yard sales where you can try to get rid of your stuff. But leaving things out on the public street is something I don’t see.

There is a lady, just down the lane from me, who makes jam & is now given lots of fruit because she enjoys making it. She can’t eat it all herself, so she often puts jars of it at the end of her drive with a note saying please help yourself.
The jars are well labelled and she even makes diabetic jam. I rarely eat jam but my sister brought me a jar & it was lovely.
I think it is good that people offer good things that would probably be wasted & it is a good way to get rid of unwanted things that others can use.

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I have done,but i knock the front door first just in case.
It was a lovely little tractor for a child,and it was very much appreciated.

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I upcycle and use stuff for crafts, so yeah, a champion skip diver! But I always ask first unless there’s a sign saying help yourself and if there’s no reply or no one in, I don’t take it


This was my rescue, a little metal fire pit. It’s been left outside to rust so the bowl won’t hold logs etc anymore

But I think it’s a pretty shape so I’m going to rub down the rust, paint it with black metal paint, and fill it with flowers, I thought nasturtiums mixed with some herbs, maybe parsley or coriander

And the mesh lid I’ll rub down, line and use as a hanging basket


Same here, Pixie.
My neighbour put some bits outside, but wrote a note saying “Free to good home.”
I myself put some plants out this summer, but wrote a note with them too.

I would never touch anything that had no note with it.
Art, how do you know it wasn’t someone been doing some gardening and just stopped for lunch or a coffee break or something, then came back to find all his stuff had been nicked! :open_mouth:

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Good job they aren’t on here…imagine scrolling down and finding your nicked stuff being posted online in someone elses garden! :astonished:

:rofl: :joy: That’d teach 'em to leave their stuff laying about.

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I’ve had a few things that I intended to be given to others. One was a fine leather and steel safety boots. Quite expensive. I used them a couple of times but then I retired.

In my last house people put out books and I often took them and then put them outside my house when I’d read themfor others to take… in the village where I live now people put out plants and veggies and even eggs for people to take, no books though as we have a telephone box library

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we put stuff out all the time, there is a scrap van comes round regularly to see if anyone chucking anything out. I’ve never taken anything myself that’s been left out, I’d be worried in case folk thought I was nicking it.

My neighbour put on our street group does anyone want a barbecue so we took that, he had gotten a really big posh gas one, the one he gave us was in great condition…but it wasn’t outside to be taken if you get my meaning.

After some of the comments on here made me feel very guilty and that the items hadn’t been put out to be taken. I decided to visit the house, I knocked on the door but no one answered it.
I had written a note in the event of no one being home and l posted it through the letter box. It contained an explanation and my mobile phone number.
As l arrived back home, my mobile phone rang and it was a man from the house where l took the items from outside near the path.
He said, he was thrilled l had taken them as he was getting rid of duplicate garden items he’d got.
I said, l was thrilled with the items and asked him if he would like some of my hens eggs. ‘Yes Please’ that would be so lovely’.
I said, l would bring them straight away and leave them by his back gate.
This l did and as l walked away, he came out with a little sign he’d made, inviting people to take items that remained.
He had told me his name when he rang me and it was a name that was familiar to me.
‘Did you teach at school in so and so place?’ I asked.
‘Yes, l did’, he replied. He had taught some of my children!

What a small world and l can sleep easy tonight!


[quote=“LionQueen, post:34, topic:92832”]
we put stuff out all the time, there is a scrap van comes round regularly to see if anyone chucking anything out.[/quote]
We have that too. About six months ago our washing machine failed. We left the old machine by our front gate. Within hours it was gone.

They do this in Holland too.

my daughter lives in a flat. behind her flat is a very nice house and the stuff they put out for free is awesome. She got a lovely tub chair upholstered in patchwork type material and it is pristine. One day there were four beautiful high backed dining chairs out there and they went within minutes. There have been garden tools, really nice shoes and boots, leather handbags. Very generous people.

Wonderful story! Glad it worked out.

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Thank You, butterscotch. I appreciate your nice words.

I would never have taken anything if l wasn’t sure but it was quite obvious that they were discarded items.
The man said, he usually takes stuff to the recycling centre but as you now have to book a slot there, it’s much more of a bind.
The reason why there was no sign was because he’d never left stuff out before!
He looked so sweet, carrying the metal rod with the sign attached to it and stuck it into the ground near the two remaining troughs and one of those triple pronged things for turning the soil. He tried to make me take it but l already have two of those!

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