The Junk Parlor

What Antiques Do I Keep For Myself?

I bet you’ll never guess the 3 antiques I keep for myself! I can’t wait to tell you!

People that sell vintage and antiques often have a home filled with vintage and antiques.  Sometimes someone starts selling antiques BECAUSE they have a problem filling their home with awesome vintage collections!  You know those people…the ones with beautiful antiques in every corner, drawer, and closet of their home!

And maybe they’ve decided that their collections are over taking their home and they are ready to get rid of a few things.  OR, they are just addicted to junking and need an outlet for that addiction.  I mean who doesn’t love visiting thrift shops, antique malls, and garage sales every week! If you can sell what you are buying, then it’s okay to keep buying, right?  And so, someone becomes an antique dealer.

But, I am not your typical antique dealer!  I do not hoard all the good stuff for myself!  In fact I am only currently keeping 3 things out of my antique shop! I did not get into the business because my home was overflowing with antiques. 

I actually got into selling antiques because I didn’t want to be a high school Family & Consumer Sciences teacher for 30 years!  Living in a small town, I had to come up with another option.  And somehow that led me to opening an antique booth!  Eventually my path took me to quitting that teaching job and selling antiques full time!  And after that I started helping other antique dealers grow their business.

Want to learn more about my story?

Click to read more.

Did you know that I coach other antique dealers?  

I got to give up my teaching job because I found a groove for making a full-time income selling junk and I want to help other people live the same dream!  One of the things I talk about in the group is the fact that a lot of dealers keep a lot of their best antique pieces and in a business where your income comes from selling, you just can’t do that.

Less Hoarding, More Selling

I have been known to sell anything and everything!  I share a picture of my home on social media and someone wants one of my pieces I hadn’t actually planned on selling…most of the time I go ahead and sell it!

You might be wondering how I can do that!

Well for me some of the fun of my job is simply finding the piece, NOT keeping it.  I love finding something on my picking list and then moving it on to someone who will love it too!

When I am out on private picks, a lot of times the people who are cleaning out the family home realize that they can’t keep everything, but it is very important to them that their family heirlooms go to someone who will love them as much as their owners did.

That’s where I come in.  I can help with that!  

I am simply finding great pieces and putting them in the hands of people who will love them.

Want to see what’s in my shop?

But, what do I keep all to myself?  What do I love that I can’t pass along? Because let’s face it, sometimes it is hard to let something go.  But I have done this job long enough that chances are I will find another xyz piece.  

What I Actually Am Keeping Right Now

Enamel Pitchers

I know everyone is in love with ironstone pitchers, and I am too, but I’m keeping the white enamel pitchers.


If you notice anything about my collection, then you will see that shape and condition does matter.  And, of course the price matters too!

First, the pitcher shape must call to me.  I almost like ones with some damage or character and patina better than the ones in perfect condition.  I typically don’t spend more than $20 unless I’m absolutely in love!  Deep down I know that someday all of these will be for sale, so I try to keep in mind my profit margin.

You would think these would be super common, but when we add in my criteria of shape, condition and price, this is what I’ve found over about 4 years of collecting.  I am definitely running out of space, but I’m sure I can find another spot to put them!  

This is by far what I’ve been holding on to for the longest time.

MJB Coffee Tins

The next item I found at the What Cheer Flea Market!  It was an MJB coffee tin!  OMG! I was so excited to discover this!  Have you heard of MJB coffee?  I had not!  But, it’s been the perfect find!


What caught my eye was the color!  If you have been around very long then you know that green is my go to color!  So, I spied a green tin when I was walking around the flea and upon closer inspection saw the MJB.  Now to most people that’s like, whatever.  But to me, those letters were jackpot!  

You see, my husband’s name is Matt.  My name is Brooke. And our last name is Johnson!  How perfect is that MJB and it’s green!  So, I bought the tin. And decided I might need to start a collection. 

Then, oddly enough a member of my Coaching group had one for sale!  So I bought it!  It was WAY more than I would typically spend and I like to find things in “the wild” but I bought it anyway!  Now I had 2!

Side Note:

In “the wild” means that you find an item while out junking or picking, not by doing a Google search

We have an amazing old town square with some antique shops on it.  I try to stop in and see what other people are selling, check prices and get inspiration for displays every now and then.  On one of my visits I found my third MJB tin!  Eek!  I was so excited!  These three were all collected rather quickly.

And slowly but surely I have added to my collection.  I actually have a couple purchased that I just need to go pick up!  This collection is going to be a keeper for sure.

Butter Pat Press Molds

The third thing I’m keeping for myself, at least for a while, are butter presses for butter pats.  These tiny little presses are SO cute and I never even knew they existed until the end of 2021!  I was scrolling on Instagram and this little wooden thing caught my eye. I read the caption only to discover that it was a little butter press, WHAT!


I was in love and I had never seen one.  I Googled it and there were lots in the search results.  I kept wondering how I had never seen one in real life before!  Guess why!  I am thinking that maybe it’s because I just wasn’t looking!

Fast forward 3 months and I’ve now found 4!

I can’t wait to see how many I discover over the next year now that my eye is trained to spot them! And while they look super cute stacked on little butter pats, I’ve still been selling all of those!  

I have the best job!  I get to hunt for things I love and you love and I get to share them, pass them along to people to have a beautiful home!

Don’t worry, some day when I retire I will be keeping all of the good things I find!

What 3 things do I keep that won’t go in my antique shop?

  1. White Enamel Pitchers
  2. MJB Coffee Tins
  3. Butter Pat Mold Press

What Do You Collect?

I would love to know 3 things that you collect!  Tell me in the comments! 

Check out my favorite Flea Market Shops in Des Moines and some junking tips!

9 thoughts on “What Antiques Do I Keep For Myself?”

  1. I guess the one thing I have a lot of is old post cards. I have several sad irons in my laundry room, I also have a couple of large enamel pans. One I found at a flea market, one, which is like the size of a tub for bathing baby, I found at a garage sale, the other one was one my mom used for picking garden vegetables.

  2. My husband collects key wind coffee tins. I am pretty sure he has an MJB! He has a set price that he doesn’t go over. It is interesting to see which ones you can find in different areas of the country. I like small white creamers, vegetable salt and pepper shakers and anything Boston Terrier.

  3. I collect old advertising tins, crocks, and wooden textile bobbin spools mostly. I have other collections too. But those are the top three. Oops… tobacco baskets too!..Hee hee!

    1. I have many small collections, but my biggeat collection is Tones tins. I also have Tones glass flavoring bottles and a few odd advertising pieces (box cutter, post cards, coffee scoop etc)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I’m Brooke. Welcome to The Junk Parlor.

Get my 5 Favorite Cleaning Supplies for Your Junk.

* indicates required

My Favorite Cleaning Supplies

* indicates required