How to Start Stooping

Admit it. We have all been tempted by a free chair or preowned grill left on the side of the road or a sidewalk. Whether or not we need the item, these discarded items are ripe for the picking.

How about this rare sidewalk find?

Stooping NYC post

Did you also know that the placement and picking up of free items on the side of the road has a name?

Stooping has become a popular social media term, especially in larger cities such as New York, Toronto, and San Francisco. Stooping is when one person leaves out an unwanted item on the “stoop”, road, or sidewalk for someone else to take before it ends up in the trash.

stoopingnyc is a popular Instagram account that features free items on the streets.

Stooping NYC post

The very popular @stoopingnyc Instagram account has nearly 500,000 followers who chime in on some very unique items left on the streets of the Big Apple. The account was started by a New York couple who have remained anonymous. Their account has helped people furnish or decorate their homes for next to nothing. It also keeps these unwanted items out of the landfill.

If you want to start a stooping movement in your own town, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

  1. Make sure it is legal in your city or municipality to leave items in front of your house, apartment, sidewalk, or street. The best way to do this is to contact your city or county or local trash and recycling department.
  2. If you want to go stooping, pick days at the end or beginning of the month. This is when people are most likely to move and leave items behind.
  3. If you want to leave items behind for people to grab, do it the day after your garbage pickup. The items will then be less likely to be considered trash.
  4. Be quick! If you follow a stooping Instagram account, there are bound to be people who do as well. If you see an item you want, get some way to transport it as quickly as possible. Some stooped items in New York can go as quickly as 10 minutes.

If there is no stooping Instagram account for your area, think about opening one up and having people DM you their sidewalk finds.

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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