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Decluttering the kitchen is a simple way to lift your spirits and make your kitchen an easier, more efficient place to prep and cook. (Learn how to declutter your kitchen in seconds.) But before you start packing things up for the thrift shop, consider that you may be sitting on a goldmine. Give these vintage items a second look:
Coffee mills are also called coffee grinders, although there is a difference in the way each grinds the coffee, according to the antiques experts at Kovels. “Large floor-standing or counter-model coffee mills were used in the nineteenth-century country store. Small home mills were first made about 1894,” but lost favor by the 1930s. The renewed interest in fresh-ground coffee has produced many modern mills and grinders. But if you’ve got a vintage one, you could be sitting on a pile of cash. Check out the listings on the Kovels site, and these these eBay auctions as well to get a sense of what yours may be worth.
Before bakers and home cooks had the luxury of stand mixers, they were mixing and whipping use hand-cranked mixers. While we can’t deny how convenient these electric options are, the old manual models are definitely worth something! You can find them for up to $75 online and at antique shops.
These babies make real waffles that we suspect even Wafels & Dinges would admire. The cast irons ones are sturdy and deep, and they bring to mind the scents of nostalgic breakfasts gone-by. Here are some current auctions on eBay.
Stand-alone kitchen cupboards
Got one of these old-timey stand-alone cupboards in your kitchen, and thinking it’s “outdated”? Well, take a look at what they’re going for on eBay, and consider whether your “outdated” might not be someone else’s “ah! this is just what I was looking for!”
Old time-y toasters
The plug-in electric toaster didn’t exist until the turn of the 20th century, but toast was beloved long before that. Prior to the electric toaster’s invention, metal smiths and manufacturers produced special forks and tong-like utensils with metal cages at their ends so people could stick their bread over their fireplaces to make toast. If you’ve got an actual antique on hand, you could be sitting pretty.
Ball mason jars
We’re not talking about the ones you find at Target and other big-box stores. Rather, we’re talking about the more difficult-to-find green and amber versions, which we hear can fetch up to $800 per piece.
Pyrex bowls and dishes
Like Ball jars, you can still find Pyrex kitchenware just about anywhere. But we’re not talking about the clear glass pans and bowls, but rather, the old-school opaque, patterned or brightly colored pieces, some of which can fetch hundreds of dollars. We’ve found Pyrex selling for up to $1,800! However, these pieces are often sentimental heirlooms—so if you want to hang onto them, be sure to follow these tips to keep them looking their best.
Think that old kettle you’ve got is just a piece of worthless tin? Think again because even vintage kettles (and cauldrons and fireplace pots) are fetching way more than you’d probably expect. Check out these auctions, brew a cup of tea, and think about making a tidy profit! Or consider making a big pot of chili in that antique cauldron before you decide whether you really want to part with it.
Now that you know what hidden treasures your kitchen might be hiding, you might want to think twice before sending your kids off to college with your old Pyrex or hand mixer. Instead, think about trading them in for cash (or keeping them for sentimental value!).