How Decluttering Can Improve Your Life and Your Finances

In today's episode, Maggie is joined by Jenny Albertini, the founder and CEO of Declutter DC and the first Marie Kondo certified consultant based in Washington, DC. They chat about decluttering and how it can improve all our lives and finances.

As Marie Kondo’s first certified consultant based in Washington DC, Jenny Albertini has been transforming homes throughout the DMV since she opened Declutter DC in 2016. Whether or not you’ve watched the Netflix series or read one of Marie’s best-selling books, Jenny can help you use the KonMari method to move from feeling overwhelmed and stuck to experiencing calm and success in your home (and your life).

Declutter DC has been featured as a Best of DC service in The Washingtonian, on PBS News Hour, through Apartment Therapy and National Geographic, as well as on additional local and international platforms. By using her background training in global health programming for the US government, Jenny brings a classic DC touch of diplomacy to all of her client sessions and speaking engagements as she works on cleaning up the capital, one home at a time.

Want to learn more about Jenny? Email her at [email protected]!

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To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit

To get more involved with Money Circle:

The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano: 00:00 Welcome to the money circle podcast. My name is Maggie Germano and I am your host. Make sure that you are subscribed to the money circle podcast so that you can get all the episodes every single week and never miss one. It would also be amazing if you could rate, review, make a little comment, even just hit the stars and submit because the more people that are saying they like the show, the more that places like iTunes will bump it up so that other people see it. So that would be really amazing. I also wanted to take a quick second and say that this week’s episode is sponsored by Stitcher and Stitcher. You can listen to some of your favorite shows, ad-free with Stitcher premium like Conan O’Brien needs a friend, personal favorite of mine. Uh, my favorite murder, which I also listen to a fantasy footballers, science rules with bill Nye and more. I’ve also been recently listening to the neighborhood listen with Paul F Tompkins and also um, groceries by Erin Gibson and Brian Safi who are the hosts of throwing shade. And they are two very silly podcasts that are also just very enjoyable and delightful and a nice break from all the true crime that I listened to and they’re only available on Stitcher premium. So I highly recommend subscribing and trying it out. So if you use my promo code moneycircle, you can get one month free of Stitcher premium and take advantage and get hooked on those podcasts. See if you like it. And after that Stitcher premium is only $4.99 a month or $34.99 a year. So at least with a one month free, you can try it out, see if you like it, see if it’s worth adding that $4.99 to your budget and now enjoy the show.

Maggie Germano: 02:07 So this week I’m taking advantage of the fact that it is a Thanksgiving coming up and Friday is black Friday and next Monday is cyber Monday. And all the days in between our shore to be filled with deals and sales and lots of advertisements trying to get you to spend money. Um, so I’m not here to preach and lecture you about spending less and keeping your wallet put away and not leaving your house, although that might be good advice for some of you. Uh, but I am actually here with my friend Jenny Albertini who is the founder and CEO of declutter DC. Uh, Jenny is Marie condo’s first certified consultant based in Washington, D C and she’s been homes throughout the DMV area since she opened declutter DC in 2016. Whether or not you’ve watched the Netflix series or read one of Marine’s bestselling books, Jenny can help you use the KonMari method to move from feeling overwhelmed and stuck to experiencing calm and success in your home and your life.

Maggie Germano: 03:18 So Jenny and I talked a lot about how decluttering your home can actually help you declutter your finances and feel more in control of not only your home but also your money as well. So, uh, I’ve known Jenny since she was just getting started with her business. I, she hired me way back when to help her kind of get prepared to start that business and leave her full time job. And all of that. And so I’ve been really happy to watch the kind of work she’s doing and as she’s helping people feel more in control and less overwhelmed by all the stuff, not only the physical stuff, but the emotional stuff, the financial stuff. So I wanted to release this episode this week so that I could maybe inspire you a little bit to think about what you already have, what you really need and whether or not you need to add more to that and whether or not you need to add more to the homes of your loved ones. So I hope you take a listen and I hope you get inspired and are a little bit more discerning when black Friday and cyber Monday rolled around. So take a listen. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think.

Maggie Germano: 04:37 welcome, Jenny. Thanks for being here. Um, just to get started, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Jenny Albertini: 05:00 Thanks so much, Maggie. Uh, so I am the founder of declutter D C which is a home organization firm founded in Washington, D C based on Marie condo’s, principles of the KonMari method. Uh, I am the first Marie Kondo trained certified organizer based in D C. and what I do is I use her method to help people in their homes and sometimes groups of people and different settings like offices, uh, apply her method to different areas of their lives to declutter things and also the other stuff that’s going on in our lives that weighs us down unnecessarily.

Maggie Germano: 05:40 Mm. Yeah. I love that because you’re right, that it, it weighs us down not only within our homes, but I think emotionally as well. So it’s really important work.

Jenny Albertini: 05:50 Oh, thanks. Yeah, I think so. And I think it speaks to people in a lot of different levels. And you know, what can start with an overcrowded junk drawer, too many t-shirts is really usually a sign of some deeper issues that people are facing with their buying habits or what they’re choosing to spend their time or resources on. [inaudible] yeah, absolutely. Um, and so how did you discover this work? So I think it was, well, you know, just one of these people who was kind of always organized and I liked home design and, uh, it was maybe it came kind of a, you know, almost intuitively to me, but I first found my desire to help people declutter when I was living overseas in Southern Africa. And I worked with colleagues who had these huge shipment allowances, like 10,000 pounds worth of stuff that I’m working for.

Jenny Albertini: 06:39 The U S government would ship for you back and forth based on where you were moving to next. And I had colleagues who were really struggling with how to get, uh, under the weight allowance for their things. And so I thought, well, you know, I bet I could help you for an afternoon. And so I had this one colleague when I was living in Swazi land, uh, and I went over to her house and I spent the weekend with her going through things. And I found that being able to help her talk through why she had certain things and what she was thinking about, what she really needed as she moved her next place was really helpful for her to be able to let go of things. So that was my first taste of identifying that sometimes it’s the story that we tell ourselves about the things around us that is holding, um, ho makes us hold onto them for too long.

Jenny Albertini: 07:25 So fast forward a couple of years later and I was living in the U S and kind of helping friends set up their places and do organizing in a similar fashion when Marie condo’s the life changing magic of tidying up came out. And um, I read it and it just really instantly spoke to me and I thought that, Oh, this is uh, an excellent structure for how to go about identifying what’s most important to us in a way that, you know, lets us bring things together and, uh, tackle things category by category as opposed to just kind of straightening up shelves, room by room, which is what a lot of typical organizing does. Um, and so I applied her method and in my life and my home and it found that it was a really different experience, uh, for organizing. And so then in 2016, um, I was considering a career change, um, on my own and Maria announced that she was going to start training people outside of Japan for the first time. And so this like light bulb went off over my head and I was like, Oh, that’s it. Um, I want to understand how to really apply her method in a more structured fashion to be able to help people using this method. So that was how I got started, um, using her method and teaching it to other people.

Maggie Germano: 08:41 Yeah, that’s really interesting because it sounds like you obviously are already understood, you know, some of the importance around of, you know, decluttering and with helping your friends kind of get, get rid of things in order to make moving around a little bit easier. Um, so that was already on your mind even before Marie Kondo kind of exploded on the world stage. Um, but it also sounds like the timing was really good when you were considering considering your career change and the, you know, she started offering these trainings and things like that. So that sounds really fortuitous with the timing as well.

Jenny Albertini: 09:19 Oh yeah, I think so. And, um, you know, back in 2016 at that point, people were getting to know about the book. You know, it was gaining popularity pretty quickly, but a lot of people didn’t understand how to take her method and apply it in their homes. You know, some people can read a book and they’re like, Oh, I get it and can just go through the method and, um, and be able to do things on their own. But it’s, it’s like any type of coaching situation or behavior change, you know, we all need different types of help, uh, in different types of motivation and accountability, uh, to be able to achieve our goals. And this is, you know, just another option like that for people who need some help getting to achieve the goals that they have for their home and how they live in their space.

Maggie Germano: 10:03 Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’re totally right with what you said, that it’s, you know, a lot of people, anyone can read a book, but whether or not they can really transform their lives with what they’re learning in that book is something completely different. And I think that it’s exactly the same when it comes to money as well. Like you kind of intellectually know what it is you’re supposed to be doing, but you don’t really know how to implement it. You don’t know how to overcome your own mindset, your own stories, your own emotions in order to implement those changes. And it’s kind of the same with the decluttering and the organization, all of that. It’s like, you know, we intellectually understand how to kind of sort through things and get rid of things, but getting over those emotional hurdles is where we need more of that guidance.

Jenny Albertini: 10:49 Definitely. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, so you touched on this a little bit,

Maggie Germano: 10:55 um, but I, I kind of wanted you to talk a little bit more about why decluttering is important to you personally and then with how you kind of view the way you’re helping others.

Jenny Albertini: 11:08 Sure. Uh, so, you know, the, one of the things that’s really special about the KonMari method in particular for decluttering is that it really starts with this idea of joy. And you know, some people kind of laugh at the, you know, spark joy who’ve meant or thinking about that. But when you start from this place of like, what do I really want in life and what’s really most important to me, everything else, you know, it, it’s much easier to make decisions about the other things if you start from that. And so I use that with, um, you know, personally and with my clients to say, how do you want to live your life? And then if you, how do you visualize a home that is free from clutter and then it makes it much easier as we sort of are looking like a pile of clothing or a stack of books to be able to identify, well, is this really helping me get to that point of, of finding joy, of being able to design a home and design a life that’s based around, um, what is most important to us.

Jenny Albertini: 12:09 So for me personally, one of the things that I was identifying as I was applying, um, her method to things in my home was I was looking through the books that I had in my bookcase and realizing that I had been carrying around my old public health school textbooks from like country to country that I had lived in just because I thought that, Oh, there was a book, you know, I got it in grad school, I should keep it. But I realized, you know, the biostatistics books that I have are not making me happy anymore and lugging them around is this like emotional and sometimes financial clutter because I’m paying to move them in in certain situations. But the books that do really speak to me are my design books and my art books and really special novel. So if I create more space for those books, then when I look at my bookshelf, like I’m happier, I can more easily get to the books that I most want to read.

Jenny Albertini: 13:03 And so letting go of things that aren’t serving me anymore was a really powerful, um, space to be able to look at like, okay, one area of my home at, at a, at a time is helping me achieve this vision of like what’s growing in importance to me. Uh, so that’s one example. And with each client, I mean people really take to this method and we try and apply it for what they’re going through at that time. So whether it’s a period of transition or trying to get ready for, for a new step in their life, we’re really honing and I’m like, what’s going to be most important to you? And then we can create that.

Maggie Germano: 13:37 Yeah. I love that you start with the, you know, envisioning what kind of life your clients want to have and how you want to feel in your life and really what, you know, you want to be encouraging throughout your life. Cause, and that’s something that I work on with my clients a lot too. Cause I think you’re, you’re also right in saying that, you know, anyone knows how to kind of organize a drawer or at least, you know, intellectually, but when you’re thinking about it in terms of what do I really want to be creating in my life, what do I really want to be feeling? How do I want to be moving through my life? It gets a lot deeper and I think it ends up being a lot easier to be motivated and to stick to these kinds of processes with, whether it’s decluttering or with finance, it’s the same kind of thing. Like it has to touch you deep down. It has to really connect with who you are as a person and where you want to end up being. So I think that that’s incredibly important and, and I use that with my own life. And I also liked what you said about being able to evolve beyond, you know, what you were reading and focusing on in grad school to what you’re really passionate about now in allowing for that change and evolution. That’s really what it sounded like to me.

Jenny Albertini: 14:52 Definitely. I think one, um, aspect of this method that is different also is that we really try and take a moment and express gratitude for all of these different decisions we’ve made and items in our past. Um, and say, you know what, like that was a moment that was important. I learned something from that, but I’m not going to let that hold me back from the person that I want to become. Um, and I know that with finances it can often, you know, incur a great sense of shame for people. Like, Oh, I spent all this money on all these things or on that and it didn’t turn out. Like, that’s not the size I am anymore for those clothes. Or maybe I didn’t need that thing. And, um, and what I talk about with people is, you know, it’s, it’s important to look at that and to notice it and be able to reflect upon decisions that you made, but not to feel guilty. Um, going forward to really use this as an opportunity to say, what did I learn about how I spent my money, uh, and how I spent my time on things and how can that inform the decisions that I make going forward? Um, and, and hopefully what, you know, by being able to take that, uh, this time of mindfulness and making more thoughtful decisions, it can really change the way that you’re going to spend your money going forward and put it towards areas that are most important for you.

Maggie Germano: 16:13 Yes, definitely. And I think the mindfulness piece and the thoughtfulness piece that’s really key in, I mean, I think most things in life, but you know, if you’re not actually paying attention to how you’re spending your money or what it is that you’re buying or what you’re keeping in your home, it’s kind of impossible to actually make changes in a way that it’s going to feel good for you and make you, you know, be able to move forward and feel good about what you’re doing. So I think I agree that, that mindfulness is really important without also adding a too big, heavy dose of shame onto that cause I think that keeps us stuck as well. So like you said, acknowledging where we were and being okay with where we were while also recognizing how we want to move forward.

Jenny Albertini: 16:59 Definitely. Yeah. And you know, one of the things with the KonMari approach is that we take everything by category and we bring it together. Um, and so we can look at it all at once. So someone might say, Oh, well, you know, I don’t have that many, you know, bath products, um, in, you know, my seller and there’s just a few in my bathroom. And so what we do is we’re like, okay, well let’s get them all together. Let’s go through every room in the house and we’re going to pile them all together. And what we often found find is that because people haven’t had one designated spot for each of the items that they have, that there’s the sprawl effect. And so they’ve actually been, you know, buying lots of extras and, um, surplus items. And because they’re spread out more than one spot, they don’t realize that they’ve actually collected like a year’s worth of shampoo has an example.

Jenny Albertini: 17:46 And, and so what we do is we say, okay, well let’s and say, you know, which is the one that you liked the most in which do you wanna do use, um, uh, at a first, first path and going forward, let’s just have one spot in your home for this type of item so that, you know, before you go out and buy something that you already actually have enough and that you’re not going to run out. And so really trying to address for people like let’s pause for a minute, use the things that you have, use the ones that you enjoy the most. Um, before we get into, you know, things that you’re going to keep purchasing over time over and over again.

Maggie Germano: 18:24 Yeah. That’s something I, I wouldn’t have necessarily even thought of that we probably have more things than we need without even necessarily knowing, cause like you said, we’re maybe putting them under the sink but also on the shelf or somewhere in a storage closet or something like that, whatever, you know, depending on what it is. And like you said, that kind of fear of running out, if something ends up making us overcompensate and have too much. So not only are we spending more than we need to spend, but we’re also cluttering up our house more than we need to as well.

Jenny Albertini: 18:59 Yes. Yeah, that’s definitely one of the things that people contact me a lot about. Like they know they have things, they just can’t find them and they’re often using them inefficiently. And particularly if there’s more than one person who lives in a home. And so people are not in sync with what’s being purchased and where things are then living in the home and how they’re being used. So it’s a nice opportunity to come together and sort of look at all of the options that you have for what you want to use and where you want to store things and then get getting everyone in the home on the same page about how they’re going to change their behavior going forward.

Maggie Germano: 19:35 Mm. Yeah. I think that theme of getting everything in one place with the KonMari method is super important. Cause like you said, you’re not going to know what you have unless you can all, you can see it all at once. And that’s something that I focus on with my financial coaching clients as well, where it’s like you have to actually understand what your full financial life is. So what are all of the accounts you have? How much debt do you have? What are, you know, the different places that you’re either keeping your money or that you owe money. Because when everything is scattered like that, not only is it overwhelming and stressful because you don’t really have the full picture, but it’s really easy to forget about, you know, what it is that you need to be focusing on. And once I’ve, I have found that once my clients can fill in all of that information, whether it’s into a budget spreadsheet or signing up for mint or whatever it is, having all of that in one place where they can just fully understand what it is they’re working with, they automatically feel more in control.

Maggie Germano: 20:39 Um, is that something that you’ve seen with your clients at all once they’re able to see everything in one place?

Jenny Albertini: 20:45 Oh, definitely. I, you know, this, this categorical approach, and I think that’s what you’re talking about too, with spreadsheets or online platforms that are really helpful. It’s, it’s so important because people can see how much they’re spending in areas like food, clothing, household supplies, and you know, you’re able to see different patterns that emerged about where people have been spending their money. So usually when I’m working with clients, it’s over. I’m often a couple of months that we’re working together to get through all of the different categories in their home. And people work on different homework assignments in between times that I’m with them. But I often suggest that they do a, a spending pause while we’re working together and say, you know how before you might’ve just seen a book recommendation and then just automatically ordered it on Amazon and then it showed up at your house the next day.

Jenny Albertini: 21:38 Well, since we’re noticing that there are a lot of books in your home and many are unread, how about instead of buying the book automatically we start a list and I use the notes feature on most people’s phones and it’s a someday maybe list. And just on that list we put something like the title of the book or the article of clothing they saw recommended by by someone online and they thought it looked nice. I’m, I say instead of buying it automatically wait til we finish the whole KonMari process in your home. And if you still want that item at the end and it fits in with how you’ve designed your home and gone through this, um, you know, process of achieving a joyful living space, then that’s great. You know, you should go ahead and do that. But in the meantime, we’ve got to sort of get a handle on all of the influx of items.

Jenny Albertini: 22:26 And so we don’t want you to feel like you’re forgotten what that recommendation was for the item of clothing or, or, or a book, but you might not need it right now while we’re in the midst of doing this. And so it’s a really nice way for people to be able to say, Oh, you know what? Like I found that I put several book recommendations on my list during the month that I was in this shopping pause. But then at the end I realized that I had 20 books that I still wanted to get through and read. So I’m going to read through those first before I buy the additional ones. And so it helps people have a sense of peace of mind while they’re going through this process of changing spending habits and changing how they keep up their homes, uh, without being able to, to continue adding to the influx of items.

Maggie Germano: 23:11 You’re the second person that I’ve interviewed who also encourages their clients to do a spending pause and the other person was a style coach. And so it was understanding what you’re already owning and recognizing if you already have everything that you need before going out and buying more. Because I think a lot of us think that that’s a solution or I just need to go buy something new. I just need to buy something different and then I’ll feel better. Um, and so I love that you do the same kind of thing where it’s, you know, what is it that I already have? What do I actually need? And sure that they’re not going out and making impulse purchases while it’s happening, because that’s, that might be something that’s already getting them to where they are and feeling overwhelmed and over cluttered and all of that.

Jenny Albertini: 23:57 Yes. Yeah. No, I’m such a fan of that. And I think a similar pattern that people see as I’m buying something just for a onetime event and thinking like, Oh, I must have this one thing for, you know, this one event that I’m going to read this fancy pair of shoes that I have. I can only wear it with that dress or really try and get people to see first of all, you know, we should be using the things that we love, that make us feel good in our homes and that we enjoy using. You know, the idea of saving things just for one event is sad. You know, why wouldn’t you wear your favorite pair of shoes more often if it made you feel good. But also the idea that you can use things for more than just one, um, one activity often. And so why not give yourself the space to be able to, to try that out, uh, and use that as opposed to keeping everything just because it, you know, one day might come in handy.

Jenny Albertini: 24:52 One thing that just popped up for me recently is I don’t have ice cube trays and which is just something random in my freezer that I don’t have. If someone gave me a lot of freshmen the other day and I thought, Oh I, um, I need to freeze this. And so normal person would be like, Oh well I need ice cube trays for that. And I was like, well what else can I use to freeze this? And so I used a big sheet pan, you know, and it’s, it’s a really like simple way that if you think a little bit creatively about how to do the things that you want to do, you can probably find an item in your home that can help you achieve the same end goal without having something that is so particular, like a set of ice cube trays just for things that you don’t use very, very frequently.

Maggie Germano: 25:33 Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I think that touches on kind of the idea of, um, like the scarcity mindset of, well, I have to keep this cause I might need it someday. Even though maybe you haven’t used the thing in two years that you’ve had it and just every time you look at it you’re like, Oh, I haven’t worn that ever or haven’t used that ever, but you know, I might need it someday. And kind of getting over that fear of, of lack and scarcity or like, Oh I might need it someday. Cause it’s like, you know, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you got rid of it and then maybe you did need it. Maybe you’d have to go buy a new one if you really, really did need it. Or maybe like you said, you could come up with something creative and find a different solution.

Jenny Albertini: 26:17 Oh yeah. For sure. I mean we talk a lot about this with uh, KonMari you know, the idea of focusing on the love and not the lack that you have. Um, and actually the cost of using or being surrounded by items that don’t serve your life is so much more draining than having, you know, to think about things. So they find that most people when they’re able to finish decluttering in their homes, that they actually gained time, they reduce fatigue, they have more energy, and they’ve made space for all of these other possibilities. Um, but you’ve really got to have a mindset shift. Um, and so that happens kind of gradually as you’re going through this process, but it winds up being so much more valuable in the longterm in terms of, you know, how you’re able to free up time and emotional energy.

Maggie Germano: 27:03 Yeah. And I think that is so true with finances too, where it’s a little bit more effort and work up front and it’s maybe not as fun when you’re going through the process, but once you’re on the other side, whether it’s, you know, getting everything just in order and understanding where you’re starting from or paying off debt or figuring out how to stick to a budget, you’re actually in a place where, like you said, you don’t have to think about things as much. It’s, it’s pretty much understood of, you know, what you you’re spending your money on or how you’re organizing things or whatever it might be. You’re giving yourself that freedom through that, that period of work that you actually have to get through.

Jenny Albertini: 27:46 Yes. Certainly. And say both of these things are such good examples of, you know, uh, some time investment doing this deep work of thinking about what’s important to you financially and in your home really pays off in the long run, in many areas of your life. A lot of people think more strategically about, you know, how they spend time with people. Um, is an important to always be going out to eat for dinner or do I want to actually invite people into my home now and cook for them? Because now I feel better about, um, having people in my space. And this is also a reduction in cost savings because of that paying for expensive dinners all the time. So you can see there’s a lot of crossover in terms of how people adjust, um, the way that they live when they are able to spend time thinking about what’s most important for them.

Maggie Germano: 28:34 Yes, absolutely. So you’re getting double, double benefit, double solutions at the same time, which is great. Um, and related to that, and you’ve written an article on my blog in the past about de-cluttering finances. Um, and so how do you think that the idea of decluttering and the process and approach can be applied to personal finance?

Jenny Albertini: 28:59 I think, uh, the best thing to do is sort of treat money like another KonMari category. So when you’re doing the con, you know, the life changing magic of tidying up process, um, the categories would go through for that are clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous items and sentimental and finances are their own category too. So I really encourage people to think about, you know, what is the financial situation that you’re trying to achieve? And sometimes people want to pay off student loan debt or they’re looking to purchase a home. And so having or go on a trip, you know, whatever that thing is, you want to know what, because that is what makes it real for you, right? You’ve got to have a reason why it’s important for you to think about your money. Um, and then once you are able to do that, you’re going to look at each of the types of items that you’re spending money on.

Jenny Albertini: 29:52 Is it, you know, shopping? Is it going out to eat? Is it gym membership? And that’s gets to what you were talking about earlier in terms of being able to look on a spreadsheet or an online platform, uh, to categorize, um, how your bills are coming in. And then we just want to make sure that we’ve identified which are the aspects that are most joyful for you. You know, do you love spending money on a trip? Well, it if, so, like that’s an important thing to save for, um, because you want to be able to do that. And so if you’re naturally focused on certain activities like that, you’re able to say, okay, because that trip is so important for me to save for the other items that I was perhaps spending extra money on, I’m going to deprioritize them and I’m going to say, you know, that was a wonderful learning experience.

Jenny Albertini: 30:41 Uh, what’s the gratitude that I, I have for having done that? But it’s not an important item to keep in my financial situation. Um, and the other thing that I would really stress with people too is to, you know, make, give yourself a timeframe in which to do this because things that stretch on for forever stretch on for forever. And so with the KonMari process, we always want to say, you know, we want you to do this all at once. This is a one time activity of making a decision about everything that’s in your home or in your finances. And once you do it, then you’re done. And so once you, for instance, have set up automatic payments for debt reduction or putting money aside into a savings account that’s going to go towards a down payment for your house, you’ll know that those things are done.

Jenny Albertini: 31:29 And then you can just get on with the business of your daily life. And yes, you know, there’s some monitoring or you know, in the sense of a home, there’s some daily cleaning up or weekly cleanup you have to do, but you don’t have to spend the same amount of time investment or emotional investment thinking about those things all the time because you’ve done it. Um, and so this a allotment of a special sort of financial or home festival tidying, um, being done usually over, you know, one to two month period, um, is, is sufficient really to be able to make all of these decisions and then be able to enjoy living your life in this next phase of feeling really secure and strong with the decisions you’ve made.

Maggie Germano: 32:13 Yeah, and that’s so true that I feel like the idea of going through this process, whether it is titering up your home or tidying up your finances, I think people avoid it or fear it because they think that it’s just going to be taking over their life and it’s just something they always have to think about. But I think most of us are overwhelmed and stressed about those things if we don’t go through the process, the more intensive process. So like you said, as soon as you go through that one to two month period of just doing what needs to be done, you can just live your life and not have to worry about it as much, you know, that things are done. Whether that’s having decluttered or um, you know, set parameters for spending or are set those auto payments and things like that. So I think that’s something that kind of gets lost in a lot of the conversations that, you know, it does take effort up front, but then it ends up giving you a lot more breathing room and freedom to just do everything else that you’d rather be doing.

Jenny Albertini: 33:15 Sure. I mean, one of the things that I often talk about with people up front is, um, what would you be doing in your home and how would you be spending your time if you didn’t have to worry about the clutter around you? And so most people have different activities that they would rather be doing. You know, the average American spends something like 45 minutes a day just looking for things in their home. And it’s like, I would so much rather spend 45 minutes doing something else. Right. What in everybody. And um, and so if you can reduce that and take that away, there are so many possibilities and, and I think people would feel that way about their finances too. If I wasn’t always, uh, worried about did I have enough money for this or had I paid that bill for, for that other activity, they could put their money towards the things that really did matter to them. And so, um, it, it really does pay off. And then, and that’s, those are the types of goals to keep in mind as you’re trying to go through this process, whether it’s financial planning or organizing. Right.

Maggie Germano: 34:18 Yeah, absolutely. And I think most of us, I mean I hear a lot of people were always complaining about not having enough time and not having enough money. So it sounds like decluttering your home and decluttering your finances is going to give us back both of those things.

Jenny Albertini: 34:33 Oh, I, I totally support that. I was just working with a couple who was getting ready to sell their home and they weren’t sure if they were going to bring all of the items that they had accumulated over many, many years in this home with them. And so we, you know, as part of our decluttering process, we were identifying what they didn’t need anymore and what they didn’t want to bring into their new home. And so then they had a yard sale afterwards and they felt because they had been able to make these decisions really empowered about letting go of the things that they were letting go of and the money that they made from selling these items more than paid for the time that they had spent with me and help defray some of their moving costs. And so it was this, you know, new found sense of like, Oh yeah, those hours that we put in to do this work, not only lets us move feeling lighter and more free knowing we’re going to set up our home with just what we want, but also it was a great investment in time and resources for them.

Jenny Albertini: 35:35 And so you can find these tradeoffs all the time. Um, and they, they work out much better emotionally and sort of timewise, um, with that goal mindset of what’s really important for people to be working towards.

Maggie Germano: 35:48 Yeah. That must’ve been really wonderful for them having that. I mean, there’s so many benefits to that. Like have, you know, being able to declutter and not have to take so much to their new home as well as, like you said, feeling that empowerment over their own decisions of what they were getting rid of and then having that additional benefit of the, the impact of the money coming in by decluttering. So that, that’s, that’s amazing. Yeah. And, and I think you’re totally right with the, you know, when you’re keeping your goals in mind, the whole reason that you’re going through these processes, it’s going to be more empowering. It’s going to feel better, and you’re going to be more motivated to actually continue working towards those goals because that’s why you’re doing it and you’re doing it for yourself.

Jenny Albertini: 36:37 Oh, definitely. Yeah. And I think, um, uh, you know, I was thinking back towards when I met you several years ago and you were, uh, helping me with some coaching before I started this business. And it was really helpful for me to talk, be able to talk through my goals for being able to leave the previous job that I had and the money that I was putting into, um, into this business. And then thinking through what I was going to need to earn to be able to, to, to keep it going. And so knowing that I had a goal and that goal was to start this company, um, I knew, okay, the choices that I’m making about the, the finances and how to apply this to it will help me reach that goal. And through, you know, working through steps that will allow me to feel more empowered about making this decision was really helpful in terms of starting a business on my own.

Maggie Germano: 37:29 Oh, I’m so glad to hear that and, and I’ve been really happy to follow along with your business since then as well. You’ve been growing and I see your name popping up all over the place, so that’s really exciting to see.

Jenny Albertini: 37:41 Thanks. I think that, um, there’s a lot of really wonderful work by, um, women on businesses like yours and mine and others in D C and I’ve certainly found that, um, it’s, it’s such an important financial investment that women can make in their own learning and growth to be able to do this. And when we’re able to help each other and sort of share resources and guidance in the way that, you know, you’re very helpful in doing that within the community really helps people become stronger and more empowered to do that. Um, and so I, you know, I’m just so thankful to be able to be a part of it here in D C Oh,

Maggie Germano: 38:21 me too. And I think that there’s more people joining every day to people coming and supporting each other. So it’s always great to see. Um, and so is there anything else that you would want to add that you really want listeners to just walk away with when it comes to decluttering both your home or your finances? Just like one, one helpful tidbit that you want to make sure everybody walks away with.

Jenny Albertini: 38:49 Sure. I’d say that, um, you know, aside from I can’t stress enough that, you know, visualizing what your goal is for having a decluttered home, um, or lifestyle is so important, um, as a starting place. And if you, um, there are lots of different ways to work through, to focus in on that goal and that once you get that, that goal set, give yourself a timeframe and apply the methods sort of working through step by step and sort of making sure that you’re giving it the attention that it’s due, um, to be able to apply the method. And you will see sort of being able to move through, um, the structure of the program. You’ll get there. And on my website I offer a free checklist for people who feel like they have a good grasp on how to do this step by step. And it can just help you go through each of the categories, um, and processing that, um, to be able to, uh, achieve a home that’s more supportive of the lifestyle that you’re trying to create.

Maggie Germano: 39:52 Great. And I’ve downloaded that checklist myself, so it’s very helpful. I recommend it. Um, and so how can listeners find you?

Jenny Albertini: 40:01 Sure. So, um, people can follow me on Instagram, which is just at declutterDC. Um, and on my website, which is and you can sign up on the website. I do a monthly newsletter where I share different tips about decluttering, um, and applying the KonMari method to different areas of your life. And um, yeah, that’s, those are the two best ways to, to reach me.

Maggie Germano: 40:26 Great. And are there any products or services that you want to make sure that folks know about?

Jenny Albertini: 40:33 Well, one thing to say is because there’s, uh, there’s been such a great interest in the Marie Kondo method this year. I am very fortunate that I’m, um, booked through August for existing clients right now, which is really exciting. Um, so if people are interested in a personal services with me, they can send me an email through my website and make sure to get on my waiting list for early in the fall. Um, I do have some spots available for doing workshops and that’s become a really fun way to be able to share guidance about the KonMari method and how to apply it in your home, um, and beyond different areas of your life. So people can contact me, me about whether they want to do workshops and at their companies or small groups with friends. I’d be happy to find some times to do that with more people.

Maggie Germano: 41:18 Great. Well thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. I think that everyone is going to find all of this really interesting and helpful and I love how much of an overlap there is with the work that you do in the work that I do and how they really can benefit each other.

Jenny Albertini: 41:35 Great. I agree. Maggie, thanks so much for including me on your podcast today. I am so excited for this new venture for you.

Maggie Germano: 41:42 Oh, okay. Thanks.

Maggie Germano: 41:46 Thanks for tuning in to the money circle podcast this week. Make sure that you rate, review and subscribe so that you never miss an episode. It might not seem all that important, but subscribing and rating actually helps to get the money, circle podcasts and other people’s ears. If you’d like to get more connected with money circle or with me, there are lots of ways you can do that. To join the free Facebook group. Visit To stay informed of any upcoming events, Subscribe to my weekly newsletter at If you’d like to join the virtual money circle membership group, visit To learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings, or just to read my blog, visit you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter @MaggieGermano. Thanks so much for listening. Bye.