I like to go to antique shops. It can jumpstart my writing.
So far none of my stories are set in the past, but it doesn’t matter. I can go into an antique shop and find something different, something I don’t know or recognize or something I haven’t ever used.
If your imagination were a yard, you would need to water it, at least in West Texas. This is one way of watering your imagination.
I collect cobalt or royal blue depression era glass–both depression glass and elegant glass. I have a couple of pieces from earlier eras in the cobalt, too. I like to look at the glass and see how much the pieces I bought are selling for now. It is fun to find a new piece I don’t have, especially if I actually like it. (I don’t buy them just because of the color.)
Things I can do at an antique mall to water my imagination:
I can play games like the best $5 thing in the antique mall.
I can search for all the things in a particular color and see how many I find.
I can attempt to identify all the furniture periods. (That’s become a hobby of info I really don’t need, but I can generally name the decade for furniture for the last 140 years.)
If you are stuck, take your imagination to an antique mall and see what collections you could make from different sections.
Maybe there are dozens of alarm clocks or sets of dishes with purple in them.
If you find a bunch of wooden children’s blocks, write the letters down and see how many words you can spell with them. If I found a bunch of wooden children’s blocks, I would probably buy them and play with them at home, maybe stack them on my desk to work with when my brain needs to rest and my fingers need to play.