I was never the coolest kid growing up, and was most often late to the game when it came to having the newest style, toy, or gadget. I jumped on bandwagons late, often as they were pulling out of the bandwagon station (running after them in desperation not to be left behind).
Eventually I did find my interests. Gummy bracelets and sticker books became a mainstay in my pre-teen world, even though they were often forgotten when the weather was nice or there was a new puppy in town.
Collecting something just for the sake of collecting it rarely held value to me and so these projects where usually half done, or tossed together halfheartedly, just so I had something to share with the “girls” when we hung out in the basement on a Sunday afternoon surrounded by Barbies.
These days I see the youthful toys of my past being coveted by collectors. Pristine and still in their unopened boxes they are going for thousands online, or just being appreciated for their rarity (like these rad rollers below).
I have always been a practical purchaser with logic at the root of most decisions, and so as my love of antiques developed, it did so in a very rational way. As I found my independence from supporting the “fads” and styles, I was able to start my own collections.
The value in the “old” was never really about the looks. I didn’t envy a scrolled wood edge, or a specific type of table leg. I looked for functionality, and quality construction. I searched out pieces that would continue to growth with me and have multiple uses.
I remember at age 17 investing $80 in a dirty wooden trunk. My friends and I were shopping and as they picked up glittering earrings, I was drawn next door to a secondhand store.
It was a sight to see as we all tottered down the street, my friends with dainty bags in hand and me dragging a trunk behind us as we walked back to the car.
That trunk sat in our garage for a few months as I researched “what” to do with it.
It felt like the first dip into who I really was. A moment of “finding myself.”
I spent a teenage spring working on that trunk. Exploring woodwork, finding hardware and restoring it to something I was proud of. I recognized the beauty in it, even though it was really just a wooden box. It was my self discovery.
That trunk has been carted around me with more over 20 years, always finding a place in my life, no matter the stage I was at. It was a coffee table when I was sharing a rental apartment with friends, home to my daughter’s toys in her nursery as a newborn, and was stuffed to the rim with Lego houses for my son. Now it sits, contentedly, in our rec room, filled with blankets and boardgames, storing our comfort and potential for fun.
Pieces from our past hold value, to us or to others, and whether you know where your interests lie or are still exploring, a site like UsedEverywhere.com allows your creativity to wander where it will. A collectible to one person is often junk to another (trust me, my dad HATED my dirty old trunk) but the opportunity to give an item a fresh start is in all of us.
So, whether you are looking for roller skates, or a dirty steamer trunk, check out UsedEverywhere.com and see what you can find.
Oh, and if anyone knows a Viola? This is the third “dirty old trunk” in my collection and what I would give to know it’s history!