Do you ever wander by an empty house for sale or rent and wonder what kinds of treasures it may hold? You might be surprised.
Once, I had my secrets about houses, but now that I’m a homeowner and won’t be house-hopping anymore, I’ll share them with you. People lose the strangest things in the weirdest places. Okay, so some places are not so strange, but the things sure can be. Here’s a list of things I place value on and where I’ve found them, and a list of places I check, just in case. Unfortunately, some of these are also “hiding places,” so be cautious, especially in former rentals.
Between cabinets and the wall. I once found a vintage metal Pac-Man TV tray in amazing condition between cabinets and the wall. On E-bay, I’ve learned people will pay $27 for one, but I’m a big fan of things made of metal and of Pac-Man, so I’ve used it to adorn my son’s room.
Drain Traps. The most interesting thing I’ve found here is a hair pin. It was the size of a chopstick and has a pretty engraved turtle on it, but the coolest thing is that it is made of sterling silver, not just a plating!
Under decks. The spaces between the boards in a deck can quickly make items dropped disappear when you’re out having a grill party. In two houses, I found nearly thirty bucks under decks, in change and bills.
In central air heating vents. I have found a number of marbles in these, but I’m not exactly sure how they get through the slots. I’ve also reconned a size seven crochet hook from an air-intake once.
Behind the toilet. I always check here, but I’ve only ever found a sand-art corked vial. It was pretty and all, but not very valuable.
Top shelves. This one may seem obvious, but I found a whole camping cookware set, a thermos, and some potpourri from these out-of-sight places.
In the crawl space. If there’s no basement, many places have a space just big enough for under-house servicing. My discovery here is a collection of terra-cotta pots, placed under the porch before it was enclosed, the “five-to-eight-dollars at the superstore” sizes. And a rubber bouncy-ball that my kids have taken to.
The attic. I only once had an attic to explore, and there wasn’t anything up there of value. I do know, however, that service people (like the cable guy) tend to leave things like flashlights, screwdrivers, and maybe a pocket knife behind on accident.
The Basement. Unlike a crawl space, a basement is more frequently used, and more frequently cleared out during a move. However, sometimes a roll of wrapping paper or something else as common gets left behind.
Under stair wells. I haven’t found anything here, but when I was a kid, I moved out of a house and left fifteen new books in a nice little access door at the back of a closet under my stairs. Maybe you’ll find them.
Garage attics. This is where the men stash things, like a stuffed and mounted trophy fish.
The garage. In plain sight! I suppose the last owner moved somewhere where he didn’t need his lawn mower.
I’d list places like behind and beneath appliances, but most people think to scavenge those places before they leave. I’ve never found anything behind or beneath my stove, washing machines, or refrigerator. But you can check there anyway. Happy Treasure Hunting!
Image courtesy of j / f / photos