Your dream shed may not be for sale. Not if you dream about sheds which hold hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. In recent times there have been more than a few incredibly valuable objects found languishing in sheds: hundreds of Picassos in a retired electrician’s shed in France: memorabilia once belonging to Harry Houdini in a backyard commercial sheds Melbourne: the world’s very first Porsche sitting in a shed in Austria for over 100 years: the only remaining copy of a short film by the Three Stooges in a shed in New South Wales.
Some treasures such as the 250 year old Canadian birch-bark canoe found in a shed in Cornwall are relatively easy to find by, just by opening the door. Others are less obvious, such as the 600 year old horary quadrant used to calculate time. That needed someone with a keen eye to pick it out of a bag of old pipe fittings in a shed in on a farm in Queensland.
A treasure shed isn’t the sort of shed you buy, you have to make it yourself, and it takes time. You start with a basic shed, not too large. Then you start filling it. Anything that you don’t have room for in the house goes into the shed; anything that you are given that you don’t want or need at the time; things you find or pick up cheap especially when you aren’t sure what they are. They go in as you acquire them, minimal sorting, different sized boxes and containers with no labels on them piled randomly on top of each other. Chaos is the order of the day. The aim is to strongly discourage any premature attempt to tidy up the shed and sort through the contents. Then allow the spiders to settle in which should help discourage unwanted intrusions, no matter what the motivation.
Over the following decades you continue to vigorously resist suggestions that you are a hoarder and that you should clean out the shed. This is an investment in the future. Just one Picasso amongst those forgotten pictures left to you by an old aunt will not only cover the initial cost of the shed, but of your house and land as well, and ensure a comfortable retirement. At the very least a note in history awaits the discovery of another pair of Houdini’s handcuffs.
When the time comes, whether it’s because you are moving or you need the money, have someone with some expertise in the area help you sort through and assess your collection. You will be delightfully surprised at the increase in value of quite ordinary items over just 25 – 30 years. Today’s humdrum is tomorrow’s retro. If you don’t need to sort it for yourself, it becomes your children’s inheritance and your shed may well hold treasures for them and your grandchildren, if not in money then in memories.