If you have been tasked with helping to clean out your grandparent's attic, then you should definitely not just toss out everything in a mad rush to clean out the house. Understandably, you might want to. You might be helping your parents clean out the place so that they can sell it and help pay for your grandparents nursing home care, but there might be some valuable items hiding in the house that could be very valuable. So, before you dump those boxes and trunks into the dumpster, here are two things you should be on the lookout for.

Comic Books

Maybe your granddad was a big fan of comic books when he was a young guy. Well, if he ended up keeping them, you might be sitting on a small fortune. Now, it's unlikely that they are in pristine condition, especially if they have been in an old box in the corner of the attic for many years, but you just might get lucky. So, if you find comic books that look like they date from the golden era (1930's to 1950s) then stop and set them aside. There are some rare finds you might be lucky enough to chance upon. Maybe your granddad didn't even know what he had, he might just have liked to read the comics and not been aware of how valuable they could be. You should check out the prices online before you head to a comic shop. You don't want to walk into some random comic shop and have the counter guy offer you fifty bucks for a copy of Action Comics #1 (which has sold for as much as several million dollars). Granted, that's a super rare comic, but it illustrates the point that you might find something that is worth a lot of money if the comics are old.


Always stop before you toss a piece of artwork into the trash. You never know if what you had is something of value. There have been instances of people finding works by Renoir and Picasso at flea markets. You don't want to be the person who tosses out a million dollar work of art or sells it for a few bucks at a garage sale.

If you are not an artwork aficionado, and don't feel comfortable assessing the artwork yourself, then you can do the following. First look over the painting for a signature. Then search online to see if you can find out anything about the artist. If you find posters, then you can toss them (unless you like them and want to keep them), but original artwork (water colors, sketches,oil) should be checked.

If you do find something that is tied to a semi-famous, or well known artist, you should bring it in to an art appraiser like Chicago Appraisers Association. They will be able to determine how valuable the painting is. It's fine to get a start by searching online, but once you have a genuine piece of original artwork, you need to have it professionally appraised.