A lot of people hold on to things for various reasons – for sentimental value, because they think it might be useful someday even if it isn’t useful or needed right now, for future generations to have and use, because they are storing it for family, a friend or neighbor and it is not theirs to get rid of, or any other variety of reasons. Most of the time this stuff ends up in an attic, locked away for storage and oftentimes it’s forgotten about for a long time. But many people don’t realize the treasures they may have in their attic.
Here are some examples of items that may be hidden away in your attic that could be considered very valuable items. Some of them may surprise you!
Barbara Testa was a librarian in Hollywood who in 1961 inherited several trunks from her grandfather who died in 1895. Thirty years later she came across 665 pages of handwritten manuscript. Turns out it was the first half of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.
Paintings that seem not too terribly valuable can sometimes be a surprise. One family left an oil painting as junk with the house they sold because they couldn’t be bothered to take the worthless stuff in the attic with them. It ended up fetching almost double what the buyer put as a down payment on the house.
An old child’s toy that doesn’t seem to be anything special can bring in as much as $150 as one family found out.
False teeth can even be extremely valuable as the descendants of a dentist found out decades later. When the family got tired of having assorted sizes of old metal teeth around, they decided to get rid of them. Fortunately a friend suggested to them that they take them to a jeweler to see what kind of metal the teeth were made of. Turns out they were almost solid platinum which used to be extremely cheap. The teeth were worth about $300 per pair and all the ones they had brought in almost $8,000!
Almost everything from the past may well be worth some money so it always pays to ask. Old buttons, matchboxes, glass jars, sewing machines, irons, staplers, alcohol bottles, old currency, even handcuffs could bring in much more than you would think they’re worth.
Furniture is another biggie that can be as worthless as it looks or possibly worth more than you could ever imagine. A lowboy in a southern home brought in an amazing $32,000.
Old books are sometimes worth getting appraised too. Early editions are sometimes worth a good payout, and first editions of classics can be worth even more. Pamphlets count too. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Murders in the Rue Morgue was originally published as a pamphlet and a good copy of it fetched the owner $25,000.
These are some key items to keep your eye out for next time you head up to your old cluttered attic. But don’t get carried away; most of your old junk really is just old junk and probably warrants little more than an unceremonious garbage removal. For those items, just make it easy on yourself and call up your local junk removal company. Let them be the ones to have to go up those impossibly narrow stairs and fumble around in the dust to deal with your junk!