I’ve been in a major clutter busting mode and I’ve been looking for more ways to turn my clutter into cash. One example is Asheville’s Wee Trade event where I cleaned out my kids closets and sold their outgrown clothes, shoes and toys. I’m also setting aside boxes of priced items for a spring yard sale, so I’m really excited about a new book written by my friend, Leah Ingram.
Ingram is a frugal living expert, founder of the blog Suddenly Frugal and author of more than a dozen books, including her latest Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In (Adams Media, 2010).
I talked with Ingram earlier this week and she provided a peek into her new book which provides great tips for anyone looking for creative ways to turn clutter into dollars.
Q: Why did you write your newest book Toss, Keep, Sell! The Suddenly Frugal
Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In?
A: I wanted this new book to serve a dual purpose: to help people get their homes organized, and discover ways that they could get cash for their clutter. This book grew out of my earlier book Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less, which grew out of my blog Suddenly Frugal. That book was written for recovering spendthrifts–people who use to spend, shop, and dine out freely, and then when the economy tanked, suddenly needed to live frugally. This was the plan my husband and I needed to follow in 2007 and how I ended up starting my blog Suddenly Frugal. I know from being one of those recovering spendthrifts that, thanks to my “shopper-tainment” days, when I went shopping when I was bored, I had more stuff than I needed so plenty of clutter to clear out.
Q: If you’ve already written a book on frugal living, why write another one?
A: The secret to living frugally is to continually reevaluate your spending and saving, and find ways that you can cut back on daily or regular expenses. But here’s what most people don’t realize: after a while, there’s nothing left to cut. And when there’s nothing left to cut, you’ve got to find ways to bring in more money. I’m lucky, in that I’m a self-employed writer and I can always take on additional assignments to bring in more income. But most people don’t have that luxury or don’t have the time to get a second job. Hopefully, Toss, Keep, Sell! will help them figure out ways to put more cash back in their wallets.
Q: Where did the idea of getting cash for your clutter come from?
A: I realized that most of the posts I’d done on my blog that talked about
getting cash for my clutter or cash for my trash were the best received.
Also, I’d done a survey on Suddenly Frugal that revealed this: 92% of my
blog readers had sold their clutter for cash and would do so again in the
Many of the people who took this survey have used more than one selling
method to sell various household items. When they sold stuff, they most
often held a yard sale (74%) or sold stuff on Craigslist (51%). Of those
items they were selling and making money from, furniture (43%) and clothing
(19%) sold the best. One reader added a comment to the survey that she’d
made nearly $3,000 from selling her old furniture.
Q: If your readers are already selling their trash for cash, what new
information will the book provide?
A: While I include some tried-and-true methods for selling your stuff and
making money from it, I also offer options readers may not have considered
but which definitely have the potential to bring in big money. For example,
did you know that you don’t have to live on an estate to have an estate
sale? One person I profile in the book held one in her suburban tract home
and took in $4,000 over two days.
Q: Besides cash for clutter, what other benefits will people get from
reading Toss, Keep, Sell!?
A: I want this book to help people clear out their excess stuff and love
living in their home again. I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to have
someone drop by unexpectedly, only to end up running around and closing off
the rooms in a disaster state before you answer the front door. Because
clutter usually isn’t limited to a single spot in the house, I’ve organized
this book so that the chapters go room to room. I’ve suggested tasks you can
do to slowly but surely to get your house, life and stuff in control over