CASH or TRASH: Are you sitting on hidden value? - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

CASH or TRASH: Are you sitting on hidden value?

Posted: Updated:

It's May and that means people throughout the nation are digging into their winter piles and deciding what to sell and what to keep.

Spring cleaning's been a part of American culture for generations, but it's taken on new meaning as baby boomers age out. More and more people are left with the daunting task of cleaning out their parents' old homes.

Andrew Maier's father passed away three years ago. His mother died this year. Now he and his son are left sorting through decades worth of "stuff."

"My parents knew how to keep stuff, but not how to get rid of it," Maier said while watching over a garage sale.

It was the first of several planned sales to clean out the home. Maier said he's been surprised by the things that bring in money.

"Like an old sled," he said, "something you put in the trash and somebody came along and offered me $25 bucks for it."

What's hot?

Allen Rodgers keeps a booth in the Montana Antique Mall, a four-story labyrinth of artifacts in downtown Missoula. He's been dealing antiques since he was nine and over the years he's seen some ups and downs.

"It's kind of like the stock market," Rodgers said. "Certain things are going to go up, and then you'll have a big drop in value. So, you have to use caution."

What's up right now? Antique dealers say millennials are driving up the price of items from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They're calling these retro items mid-century modern.

Rustic or shabby chic items like old washboards or snow shoes are also hot right now. Dealers say restaurants like to display these items on their walls and have people who are always keeping an eye out for them.

Not hot:

Not hot right now are more traditional antiques like dressers or china sets from the 1840s or earlier.

"They're about half the price of what they were ten years ago," Rodgers said.

Even if the items aren't trending, really good old pieces are still pretty valuable. Rodgers says it might take an expert to spot a good piece amongst the clutter. He recommends you have a dealer or appraiser look through your collection before selling anything.

Experts also tell us jewelry is the most overlooked item in people's collections. They say many people ditch high-quality jewelry in garage sales without even knowing what they have. 

  • LocalMore>>

  • Man uses solar eclipse glasses as a fundraiser for Billings rocket camps

    Man uses solar eclipse glasses as a fundraiser for Billings rocket camps

    Thursday, August 17 2017 7:45 PM EDT2017-08-17 23:45:56 GMT
    CEO of Big Sky Science Education Enhancement, Henry Lafever decided to jump on the solar eclipse glasses early. He ordered 2,000 glasses to sell as a fundraiser for his rocket camps. Lafever hosts multiple rocket camps every summer for youth groups along with working with Billings Public Schools to promote fun science experiments. Lafever says "Our primary activity is rocket camps we do in the summer with youth groups. We also do the rocket camps with different area schools. Whe...
    CEO of Big Sky Science Education Enhancement, Henry Lafever decided to jump on the solar eclipse glasses early. He ordered 2,000 glasses to sell as a fundraiser for his rocket camps. Lafever hosts multiple rocket camps every summer for youth groups along with working with Billings Public Schools to promote fun science experiments. Lafever says "Our primary activity is rocket camps we do in the summer with youth groups. We also do the rocket camps with different area schools. Whe...
  • Eclipse safety for your pets

    Eclipse safety for your pets

    Thursday, August 17 2017 7:45 PM EDT2017-08-17 23:45:53 GMT

    We all know that humans need special protection to view the solar eclipse, but what about your pets? 

    We all know that humans need special protection to view the solar eclipse, but what about your pets? 

  • Montana's ties to the Barcelona attack

    Thursday, August 17 2017 7:29 PM EDT2017-08-17 23:29:27 GMT

    At least 13 people are dead and 100 others injured after a van plowed through a crowded Barcelona street today. 

    At least 13 people are dead and 100 others injured after a van plowed through a crowded Barcelona street today. 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Confederate fountain to be removed in Helena

    Confederate fountain to be removed in Helena

    Thursday, August 17 2017 1:50 AM EDT2017-08-17 05:50:20 GMT

    Around 6 p.m. tonight it was confirmed by one of the Helena City Commissioners that the fountain in Helena will be removed. There is no word on when it will be moved, what will replace it, or if it will be moved to a museum.  The American Indian caucus asked the Helena City Commissioner to remove the fountain, which was given to the city back in the early 1900's.

    Around 6 p.m. tonight it was confirmed by one of the Helena City Commissioners that the fountain in Helena will be removed. There is no word on when it will be moved, what will replace it, or if it will be moved to a museum.  The American Indian caucus asked the Helena City Commissioner to remove the fountain, which was given to the city back in the early 1900's.

  • New evacuations ordered near Lolo Peak fire for 300-400 homes

    New evacuations ordered near Lolo Peak fire for 300-400 homes

    Thursday, August 17 2017 10:23 AM EDT2017-08-17 14:23:25 GMT
    As many as 300 to 400 residents in Lolo were told to leave their homes immediately on Wednesday night due to increased fire activity on the Lolo Peak fire.  The Missoula County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for people and homes from mile marker 31.5 to 29.5 on both sides of Hwy 12. This includes Fort Fizzle to Balsam Root Road on both sides of Hwy 12, as well as portions of Mormon Creek Road past and including Vann Drive.  Residents must check in at t...
    As many as 300 to 400 residents in Lolo were told to leave their homes immediately on Wednesday night due to increased fire activity on the Lolo Peak fire.  The Missoula County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for people and homes from mile marker 31.5 to 29.5 on both sides of Hwy 12. This includes Fort Fizzle to Balsam Root Road on both sides of Hwy 12, as well as portions of Mormon Creek Road past and including Vann Drive.  Residents must check in at t...
  • MontanaFair attendance hits a decrease this year

    MontanaFair attendance hits a decrease this year

    Thursday, August 17 2017 1:16 AM EDT2017-08-17 05:16:28 GMT

    There are three more days left at MontanaFair. Concerts are always a big part of the fair but this past week, the featured concerts did not sell out as expected.

    There are three more days left at MontanaFair. Concerts are always a big part of the fair but this past week, the featured concerts did not sell out as expected.

  • Montana's ties to the Barcelona attack

    Thursday, August 17 2017 7:29 PM EDT2017-08-17 23:29:27 GMT

    At least 13 people are dead and 100 others injured after a van plowed through a crowded Barcelona street today. 

    At least 13 people are dead and 100 others injured after a van plowed through a crowded Barcelona street today. 

  • How to spot fake solar eclipse glasses

    How to spot fake solar eclipse glasses

    Tuesday, August 15 2017 8:35 PM EDT2017-08-16 00:35:25 GMT

    Don't get caught with "shady" glasses during the solar eclipse. We have some tips on what to look for before the moon obscures the sun.

    Don't get caught with "shady" glasses during the solar eclipse. We have some tips on what to look for before the moon obscures the sun.

  • Woman finds long-lost engagement ring... around a carrot

    Woman finds long-lost engagement ring... around a carrot

    Thursday, August 17 2017 8:29 AM EDT2017-08-17 12:29:33 GMT

    (CTV Network) A long-lost engagement ring has beat the odds. 

    (CTV Network) A long-lost engagement ring has beat the odds. 

  • Eclipse safety for your pets

    Eclipse safety for your pets

    Thursday, August 17 2017 7:45 PM EDT2017-08-17 23:45:53 GMT

    We all know that humans need special protection to view the solar eclipse, but what about your pets? 

    We all know that humans need special protection to view the solar eclipse, but what about your pets? 

  • Two teens in hospital after fight at MontanaFair

    Two teens in hospital after fight at MontanaFair

    Thursday, August 17 2017 11:19 AM EDT2017-08-17 15:19:40 GMT

    Two teenagers are in the hospital after a fight MontanaFair late Tuesday night. 

    Two teenagers are in the hospital after a fight MontanaFair late Tuesday night.