Design & DIY

The most valuable junk in your cottage shed

Garage junk

No matter how many times you promise you’re going to keep it clean, your cottage shed has a way of building up junk. It’s fall, so you’re probably ready to haul some more stuff inside, but before you haul out the green garbage bags in attempt to make a little room, remember that some of your dusty stuff could actually generate some cash for you. Fire up your eBay, Craigslist or Kijiji account—here’s what not to throw in the trash.

Vintage electronics/computers

Got an old tape deck that cost a lot way back when, but hasn’t been used since Huey Lewis was on the charts? Maybe a Commodore 64 sitting around? Vintage (more than 25 years old) electronics are hot collectibles. An Apple-1 computer from 1976 recently sold at auction for more than $650,000, and stereo components can be highly desirable as well. Also look for old calculators, telephones, and Walkmans.

Used power tools

The technology hasn’t changed that much, and old power tools are popular among do-it-yourselfers who don’t want to shell out top bucks for new stuff. If you’ve just upgraded to something newer and your old tools still work, you can make a bit of money off your older models.

Vintage kitchen accessories

Butter dishes, salt and pepper shakers, sets of bowls, napkin holders—pretty much anything that you’d find in a kitchen from the 1930s to the 1960s is highly desirable. Colourful, odd or decorated items are especially popular, as are items made by Pyrex, Anchor Hocking (which made Jadeite, that lovely green glass so beloved by Martha Stewart), Akro and McCoy. Colourful kitchen linens, including napkins, table cloths and curtains, are also highly sought after.

Christmas collectibles

If your cottage was where your old Christmas mugs went when you didn’t want to store them at home, you’re in luck. Old ornaments, tree accessories, and kitchenware can all be very popular with collectors.

Paint-by-numbers paintings

Believe it or not, these usually ugly, often cringe-worthy pieces of “art” are highly collectible. If you have several of them, consider selling them as a lot—they make more of an impact in a large grouping, and may be more appealing to collectors that way.

Have you ever found a collectible treasure at your cottage shed? Share your story!