`Junk' with hidden value.
There is nothing more therapeutic than having a good old clear out. And there could be some items of real value among those dusty bags and boxes.
So, think before you bin. Things you've cast aside as unstylish or outdated could be in big demand among collectors.
Of course you're not likely to fetch London prices for such stuff in Huddersfield - but you might be surprised at the interest you can generate in the right label clothes or classic home wares at specialist second-hand shops that buy and sell, on the internet or in the small ads.
I have put together this very brief decade by decade guide to what's hot in 2004. The price estimates are based on current Miller guides and my own experience.
After dull and drab wartime furnishings when the Fifties dawned so did clean Formica bright modern style living. Household appliances from this decade were cheery and highly functional.
The first Kenwood Chef arrived in 1948 and early examples are generally worth pounds 50 to pounds 60. Braun followed with the Magic maid in 1957. This can fetch pounds 100 to pounds 120. Items in distinct 50s patterns and prints such as crockery, clocks, boomerang or cloud-shaped coffee are popular again.
Pottery manufacturers to look out for include Denby, Susie Cooper, Midwinter, Poole and Ridgeway who's most famous Homemaker was launched in Woolworths in 1957. With its distinct black and white illustrations of objects which evoked the much sought after American lifestyle. Likewise, Hornsea pottery's Home decor range some of their distinct low, wide vases can reach up to pounds 300.
No 50s home was complete without a sideboard. My grandma had a pull-out cocktail cabinet containing coloured little glasses.It seemed far too exotic for a semi- detached pit house. Pristine examples by W G Evans and Son can fetch pounds 2,000.
Fashion was monopolised by great couturiers such as Dior and Channel and Hartnell - but chain stores were also flourishing.
These days 1950s haute couture sells for hundreds of pounds but even store high street shop equivalents are starting to reach reasonable prices - even the homemade examples in the right fabrics. Bags reflected the whimsical spirit of the decade and are still very popular today.
Particularly desirable are funky sunglasses that fetch pounds 85 to pounds 95 and men's teddy boy suits worth pounds 100 to pounds 200.
As for costume jewellery, shapes distinct to the period such as poodles and cats will always fetch more.
Anything pop art and plastic is now popular again. Do you still have a Panton barboy? It's worth pounds 300 to pounds 400. A Berlini combi centre could fetch pounds 3,000 to pounds 5,000. A Columbo party mini kitchen could sell for pounds 3,000 or pounds 4,000 and a Boby trolley pounds 200 to pounds 300. Retro 1960s phones are now popular, pounds 50 is an average price for a reconditioned model.
Notable names to look for in ceramics are Poole potteries Delphis collection. Troika, Portmerion, Midwinter and Washington can all raise decent prices. Anything linked with the Beatles is usually a safe bet. Unused Beatles talc for pounds 150 to pounds 200, anyone?
In fashion, Mary Quant pioneered the mini skirt, high boots and trouser suits. People will pay up to pounds 100 for one of her dresses in 2004.
London boutiques set the scene such as Barbara Hulanicki's Biba, Ossie Clarks Quorum and Lee Benders Bustop - all these names are big among retro enthusiasts today.
Dresses by AndrA Courreges, Paco Rabanne and Pucci will fetch hundreds.
The 70s was the disco decade. Goodbye to space age 60s, hello to rustic textures, wood, hessian, cork and shag pile.
A Raleigh Chopper bike in pristine original condition will sell for pounds 300 to pounds 500, the tuneful Rolf Harris stylophone pounds 25. Good quality original digital watches and 1977 Silver Jubilee stuff are a pretty safe bet for a reasonable price. Clotheswise, authentic platforms from a good maker can fetch pounds 100 or more, a Biba maxi dress pounds 100 to pounds 150. And embroidered flares by Stirling Cooper could sell for pounds 150 to pounds 200. Punk gear is also collectable - an original Vivienne Westwood T-shirt will sell for pounds 100.
Micro-chip technology and exaggerated styling introduced the 80s. Swatches were the watch to wear - limited editions already reach good prices. Novelty telephones and royal wedding stuff are worth hanging on to, as is Margaret Thatcher memorabilia - especially the Spitting Image character pottery range.
Fashion was influenced by new romantic pop music with the swashbuckling pirate look. Another major look was slick power dressing inspired by American TV soaps such as Dallas and Dynasty. A lot of 80s things are still readily available but it is worth preserving any limited edition or high-fashion items.
You would need to hang on to most things for a little while longer. As I have mentioned before choose limited editions or things which typify the decade or mark an event such as the millennium.
Gautier limited edition perfume bottles from the 90s already reach pounds 250 or more. Things like these are a good nest egg for the future.
Any Princess Diana commemoratives you have could be worth something in the future.