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In this episode, Chelsea speaks with professional organizer Jolin Polasek, owner of Sage Organization and Design, about all the things we're doing wrong in our homes, and how to fix them — from not using vertical space to letting dirty clothes pile up on that random chair.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Financial Confessions.

This is a very exciting and unique episode for us, because it is featuring a type of expert we've never had on the show before, and one that I am personally very, very intrigued by. But before I introduce you guys to her, I wanted to talk to you really quickly about our beloved sponsor with whom we make every episode of The Financial Confessions, Intuit.

If you haven't heard of Intuit, you have almost certainly heard of some of their amazing products. They make things like Turbo Tax, QuickBooks, Mint, Turbo, basically all of the tools you need to keep your financial life organized and efficient and working toward the goals that you want to reach. I personally have been using Mint to track my budget and manage all of my spending and work toward my goals for over seven years, well before I ever started The Financial Diet or even really got interested in money.

And it's one of the first things that made me feel like I could have some control over my financial life. And right now one of the most valuable things, I think, is to feel like you have control over something and can be certain about something in a time when everything feels a little bit chaotic. So for me and my husband and all the upheaval we've been living recently, it has been really reassuring to have that.

But I'll talk to you guys a little bit more later in the show about some of the specific products that Intuit creates. But in the meantime, if you cannot wait to get started, check out the link in our description or our show notes. As promised, we have a guest here today that I could not be more excited about.

Because it is a topic you guys love, request highly, but we haven't featured yet. It is organization expert Jolin-- Polasek. Jolin Polasek. [LAUGHING] Hi.

Hello. Hi. Good.

Thank you for guiding me through your last name. It's all right. It's not the first time.

So you are an organization expert. What does that mean? So I'm a professional home organizer.

So I basically go into people's homes and help them figure out how to optimize the function and flow of their space. Everything from kitchens, bathrooms, playrooms, storage rooms, attics, basements, garages, entry ways. Any space that someone's like, this space is stressing me out, I'm like, I got it.

Interesting. Let's walk through it. Yeah.

Very cool. And what is the name of your business? Sage Organization and Design.

Very cool. And so do you do-- you do some of the design elements as well, like the decor after the fact. A little bit, yeah.

So my mom is an interior designer, and so I grew up in that world of knowledge of use of color and texture and use of space, and like a little bit of feng shui and balance and things like that. And so when I started organizing for people, every once in a while someone would be like, can you help me pick a chair? And I'm like, yeah.

I can do that. Can you help me pick some pillows? Yeah, I can do that.

So like nothing-- I'm not a contractor. I don't move walls or anything like that. But if someone's like, hey.

I want to organize my space but also make it really aesthetically pleasing and beautiful on top of that, that's what I can bring a space to that next level. That's very cool. We-- it's interesting, because I feel like this past year, obviously, with the phenomenon of Marie Kondo and all that stuff, there's a-- I'm sure has been good for business for you.

Great. But there's also just-- I think there's such a heightened awareness for us on the financial end. Because we do talk a lot about, it's easy to think of money in a vacuum.

But ultimately money is just, in many cases, especially on the spending. And it's just a culmination of your decision making. What you deem important, what you're collecting, what you're not spending.

It's all a collection of decisions. And I think a lot of people tend to think of things like their home as very distinct from their money. But they're very much one and the same. 100%.

So what are some of the fundamental rules that you give people for picking out what should-- what deserves space in their home and how to use it? Yeah. My first big fundamental rule whenever I start working with a client is figuring out what's serving them and what's not serving them.

Right. Like starting with the great purge. And a way-- I sit with my clients and go through literally item by item by item.

And it's figuring out if things are serving them physically. Do you use this actual physical item? Do you use that table?

Do you use that sweater? Is it physically serving you? But also, can things serve you emotionally?

People have emotional connections to a teddy bear, to a China set that their grandmother gave them. There's different ways for things to serve you. And it's going through and figuring out what is still serving you and what isn't serving you, and figuring out how to let go of those things that are literally just taking up space, that a lot of times people don't even realize are just sitting there, taking up space.

If you have a set of skis from a trip that you went on five years ago, and you really want to go skiing again the one time. But you have to like-- you know that you've never gone skiing since then, and you're probably not going to go skiing again. And being a New Yorker, that junk in the closet that it's taking up that you're like, oh.

I hope I'm going to go skiing again. You just have to have that conversation and be realistic about what you use in your life. What is-- are those skis really serving you, or is it strictly aspirational, which is fine.

But you have to have that real conversation with what serves purpose and what is just taking up space and collecting dust. So once we've gone through that-- and that can take a lot of time. Some people can make snap decisions.

And New Yorkers are actually better about making the snap decisions. Like, yes I need this. I need this.

No, that can go. That can go. And I work with a lot of people in Wisconsin and some people in New Jersey that really are like, well.

When my grandmother passed, I inherited the this. And it's like, OK. Let's talk about it, girl.

Let's talk it out. I'm here for you. You're like a therapist a little bit.

Oh, 100%. Yes. Which it's a real thing, because people have very real, emotional connections to inanimate objects.

That is a very real thing. There's a reason why people are hoarders, Right. That's a very deep-- which I don't normally work with hoarders.

Because you like-- that's a very real psychological issue. Right. That I'm just not-- It's not your-- it's above your pay grade. 100%. 100% above my pay grade.

I'm not equipped to genuinely help those people in the way that they need to be helped. Sometimes landlords need to be involved. Family needs to be involved.

Police need-- sometimes-- it's like a whole big thing. Right. So that, if that comes up, I would kind of pass it along to-- I would say, here's some more resources for you that are better equipped to handle it.

But the more average person, it's more of just a conversation of like, yeah. Going through things. I just-- sorry.

Go ahead. No, no, no. It's good.

I imagine people must cry a lot. [LAUGHING] Some-- I haven't not come across criers. I've definitely-- yeah. I've heard a lot of like-- yeah.

There's a lot of sad stories that come up, because those emotional attachments are real. Yeah. And helping people through those, that process of the letting go.

It's not just letting go of the thing. It's letting go of that part of your life. And it's-- I help people through the process of realizing that just because you have-- you let go of the thing, doesn't mean that that isn't still in your heart.

Right. Yeah. I find that-- we talk a lot at TFD about the idea of spending with the intention of becoming a different person, being a different person.

You're the sort of person who acts. And I think in a lot of ways, and I-- this has happened to me. I'm sure it's happened to everyone.

When you are throwing away a certain thing or getting rid of a certain thing, you're admitting to yourself that you're not that person. Yeah. That you can't hold that mental image of yourself.

Right. Whether it's a person who's always maybe going on their next ski trip, even though it's been five winters. Or like-- it's-- I have a pair of tap shoes in my closet that I'm like, I went to two tap dance classes.

They're collecting dust, but a part of me is like, I want to hold on to the possibility that I could always still be that person. And I think one thing that's important to remember about buying things is that if you really are going to do something and you want to do something, you're going to find a way to get started with or without that big object. 100%. You're going to find a way.

Right. And so wait to buy the object until you're already doing the thing. Right.

Yes. [LAUGHING] So what are some of the most common mistakes that you see people making when it comes to how they're organizing, what they're keeping. People hold on to a lot of things out of guilt. Like what kind of things?

Things that have been given to them-- Oh god. --gifts. People hold on to gifts because they're given to them. And they're like, well, you know.

My boss gave this to me and I have to have it. Because I might host my boss for a dinner, and if they come over and they see that that thing isn't there, I'm basically fired. That's dark.

I mean, that might be an exaggeration a little bit, but that's a real thing. Or oh, my best friend gave me this sweater. And it wasn't necessarily my style, but they gave it to me.

I have to wear them. Or my aunt gave me this thing. It's out of guilt.

And my whole philosophy that I try and help people through the process of understanding is, the joy and the giving of a gift is in the giving, not in the gift. Right. And it's that exchange of that moment of the opening, and the like, oh my gosh.

I'm so excited to give this to you. Oh, thank you so much. I love you.

I love you, too. This is great. That's the gift.

Right. It's that moment of celebration and the joy. It's not about the thing.

Right. Can you go back and remember every single gift you've given someone? No.

No. It's-- And I would like to. Well, that's a whole other issue. [LAUGHING] No.

You know, but-- Yeah. No, that's totally true. Yeah.

So helping people through that process of coming to terms with the fact that it's OK to let go of things is a big part of that first step of the purge. Yeah. And also helping people realize that just because you don't love something doesn't mean someone else won't love it.

Right. That-- Give it a home. Yeah.

Give it a home. Find someone who will actually love it and who will love that sweater from your Auntie Tilly. Toss it to Housing Works.

Give it to Goodwill. Ask a friend. Yeah.

Someone will be able to get use out of that. And that's way more exciting than it collecting dust in your closet and taking up-- Absolutely. --space out of guilt. My mother-in-law has this-- she doesn't speak English, so I'm safe.

No, my mother-in-law has this gift that she got a couple years ago from a friend. And I use that loosely, because what friend would give this to you? But she uses it out of guilt, and I'm not exaggerating.

It is a probably maybe like two foot or three foot long, foot and a half or so tall, wrought iron or like cast iron decorative frog. How do you even use that? What is the use?

What is the-- Wait. It gets so much worse. That you fill with candles and light.

So it-- A fire frog. It's a fire frog. She has a huge-- It literally looks like a demon. [LAUGHING] That's- It's eyes are on fire.

That is a gift? That is the gift that keeps on giving right there. It is the most-- That is a joy. --atrocious thing I've ever seen in my life.

What? And it's not even like chic and sculptural. It's like-- it looks-- Wait-- --it looks like something-- --there's potential.

Yeah, no. It looks like something from Hobby Lobby, but like-- Amazing. --Hobby Lobby in hell. No offense to Hobby Lobby.

It's so funny. But she-- every time I see that, it's so comically ugly that it's not even that awkward to be like, what's the deal with that frog? Right.

Right. And she's honestly like-- This is a prime example. She's like, my friend gave it to me.

And she comes over. I can't not have the frog. The frog has to be part of the theme now.

She's gotten other frog things-- No. --and she doesn't even like frogs. But she's now building off of that frog. [LAUGHING] She's supporting-- It's such a nightmare. --the bad. Oh my gosh.

It's crazy. Anyway, I'm going to send her-- box-- Great example. --you up and send you to France, because she needs help with that. Yeah.

That's too funny. So we're obviously all spending a considerable amount of time in our homes these days. Yes.

Do you feel, as someone who I imagine has quite an organized, optimized, and well decorated home, do you feel that that has really worked to your advantage in this time? Oh, my gosh. Yes 110%, like 10,000%.

Living in New York in the best of circumstances, you should have-- it's my belief, at least, that you should have a space that makes you feel comfortable and you can block out the chaoticness of New York City. Because yeah. New York in the best of circumstances is wild and crazy and stressful and bananas.

And having a space now, more than ever, that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable and safe is paramount. We're not leaving our little cubes of comfort right now. And so to have a space that's optimized and just basic functionality, a lot of people don't have in this city.

Because they just don't know how to do it. That is so, so, so critical in a time like this when everything-- the world around us is literally swirling. And creating a space that makes you just go-- [SIGHS] Yes.

Everything's OK in my safe space. It's so important. People live in some really questionable living situations in this city.

Yeah. I've worked in a lot of them. Oh my god.

So that was going to be one of my questions. That's why I have a career. So I'm a nosy Nelly.

Please. I want to hear about some of the really, really questionable stuff you've seen in your days, going into people's homes. I mean, I've seen all the drugs, all the sex toys.

I've seen-- Drugs? They leave the drugs out for the organizer? I mean, yes.

It's shocking. Maybe it's like a little subtle enticement. Like, you want to party, girl? [LAUGHING] Yeah.

I mean, I've seen some things where people I've worked with-- there were-- this happened twice where people hired me to come and help organize their clothes. Great. Love it.

Closets are one of my favorite spaces to organize. And I walked in, and they literally just had a pile of clothes on the ground. They're like, I just-- I don't understand.

Why can't I keep this organized? Well-- A pile of clothes on the ground? Yes.

And I'm like, well, you need a dresser. You need a thing that holds things-- A container of sorts. Like a container of sorts.

Anything, boxes stacked would do. Literally, it doesn't need to be fancy. You need a thing to hold things.

It's not-- That's crazy. And they literally just-- I just don't understand why I can't keep it organized. I'm like, so you don't understand why you can't keep that pile of crap on the ground organized?

Oh my god. Literally people like-- and I work-- I mean, I work with some amazing humans, doctors, lawyers, professors, very high powered, educated, intelligent, like wonderful, respected, contributing members of society that just don't have that very specific skill set that is organizing. It's just such a weird niche thing that I just have this weird tic in my brain that I happen to be really good at it.

Yeah. That just because you can't-- you can be really amazing at your job and be a wonderful, intelligent human, and you can't keep your stuff organized for shit. Like-- sorry.

No. You can curse. Shit.

Yeah. So that always kind of blows my mind when I walk into these-- and beautiful homes. One of the coolest parts about my job is seeing incredible real estate.

I get to see some beautiful homes in New York City, which is super fun. Because it's different every day, and it's in different parts the city every day. And it's-- every space is a new puzzle.

But it never ceases to amaze me when I meet these wonderful, on point, intelligent humans and their closet looks like the Tasmanian devil vomited in it. And I'm just like, what-- how-- what-- I don't-- I don't-- rah. I just don't understand how that doesn't create such a high level of day-to-day chaos.

It does. Yeah. It does.

I guess it does. That is why I have a career, because people hire me when they get to a certain breaking point. Yeah.

When they're just, I can't-- I can't take it anymore. I can't handle the chaos in my own home. And yeah.

It's really interesting. I've been working to finish up a few rooms. We moved into our current apartment in November.

I finished most of the rooms right away, as is my nature. But we were just finishing the-- we have our bedroom and then a guest bedroom slash office and so we're-- I was finishing those. And I-- it's funny, because although I knew it in the moment, our bedroom was a space of great anxiety for me.

I hated being in there. I hated-- Why? Well, because it was just very unfinished.

Sure. It wasn't at all like what I wanted for it. It was like I wasn't giving it love.

It needed to be purged. It had like-- it was just-- it was the last room on the list, so== Yeah. --it was where a lot of stuff was going. And it's not a big room.

So it was one of those things where there was a space in my apartment where I always kept the door closed. And I felt bad when I went in there, and I felt better when I left it. Guilt.

And yeah. And I-- It's the guilt. And it's funny, because when I-- and I'm not totally done.

I have one thing left to finish on it. But when I mostly finished it, it's-- I sit in there now. I like to sit in there now.

And I feel good. And there's now no one room in the house that feels negative to me. And I think when I know people in my own life who live with every room like that forever, basically, where it's like they have frames leaned up against the wall for four years-- So many people. --that they never hang.

What is that? I'm like, honey. It's a nail.

It's not even-- I can do that. Yeah. Or they'll have rooms that they just throw stuff into and close the door.

They have these spaces that are so-- That's a real thing. Yeah. They're really unconsidered.

And I'm like, how is this not just bearing down on your life 24/7? And they're like, oh, it is, but I just don't like being home. Which inevitably for most people translates to being out all the time, spending money all the time-- Totally. --and feeling like you need to escape the feeling of your home.

Yeah. Who could live like that? People do.

So many people do. So many people do. So many people.

Why? It's a choice. I have no idea.

I don't-- and people-- a lot of people are like, well. I just can't help it. I can't-- well, the stuff just piled up.

Well, you made the choice to put that there. Yeah. Who piled it up?

Someone break in your house and pile it up? Sure didn't. They sure didn't.

Did the Clutter Fairy come and just take a crap in your extra room? No. That's one of the things though-- That's you.

I know a lot of people covet a big house. But I feel like I'm-- what would I do with more rooms but just throw crap in them? Totally.

I'm like-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] I would like to have a craft room. I'm not going to lie. That would be fun.

A craft room would be good. But that's a dream. What is like a trend in-- we-- so for the record, guys, we did ask you for your questions for Jolin.

And we have many and I will get to them. But one of my questions is, what is a decor or home design trend on Instagram, Pinterest influencers, whatever, that you're sick of or don't like or are over? Oh gosh.

I don't really-- this is maybe not a great answer to your question, but I don't really pay too much attention to what's trending. I'm much more interested in what's functional for organizing. Because, well, there is a really big-- the big, huge spending on the closets.

That's-- I totally get it. Having the huge built-in, custom master closet. That if you want to spend that money, great.

Live your best life. You're speaking Greek to me now. People have closets you can walk into?

Yeah. It's a thing I've heard of. It's a unicorn in New York City.

My bedroom literally doesn't have a closet. I have a wardrobe. I have a wardrobe and a bookshelf.

It's very functional. Great. I love it.

See, that is so much more important to me. The obsession with the super fancy built-ins are-- they're great, but they're not completely necessary. That's-- I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions about organizing is that you have to spend a ton of money to be able to be organized.

You have to have the big fancy closet. You have to have the built-in. You have to have-- The pantry.

Yes. The fancy pantry and all the stuff. And it's not-- you don't.

If you want to spend that money and you have that expendable income to do that and that makes your heart happy, absolutely. Do that. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but it's not completely necessary.

Being organized is a choice. It's a lifestyle. It's making the choice to take that sweater off the pile, wear the sweater.

When you take the sweater off, fold the sweater and put the sweater back. It's as simple as that. It's a one in, one out situation that if you break it down to this one thing-- just my keys.

I want to keep my keys organized. Every day when you-- you have to have your keys in your hand to get in your door, so you have them. Instead of throwing them in your purse and then having to rummage through your purse every day, have a little-- put a nail in the wall next to your door.

That instead of throwing them in that bag that you have to spend seven minutes searching for, put it on the wall every day when you walk in. It's so simple. Just one in, and then you never have to spend time looking for your keys ever again for the rest of your life.

Right. It's so simple. And if you think about organization in that way, breaking it down to just one thing at a time, it's like-- it was such an a-ha moment for me of realizing that you don't have to think about it big picture.

Think about it-- just one thing at a time. I guess that circled away from your, what's the trend question, but-- But I think that trend of having really big complicated solutions to-- Yeah. --what should be doable problems. I think-- Exactly.

Yeah. When I moved in to an apartment where my bedroom didn't have a closet, I was like, OK. Well, I only have one season of clothes in my room at a time and the rest is in storage.

Which is honestly better anyway, because I used to have to be filtering through my summer stuff looking for a winter dress. To get to your winter stuff. Yes.

So I think I definitely agree with that. On the opposite side, though, you have hyper minimalism, which I think is somewhat going out now. I think we've had our minimalist moment.

Yeah. One thing that would always drive me crazy on the minimalist organization blogs when people-- women usually would have just the clothing rack wardrobe. Yeah.

Where it's just a rack in your bedroom with your capsule wardrobe on it. Right. And the shoes-- and I'm like, any person living in this to any degree of practicality, this would be an abomination every day.

It would be so messy and gross. Yeah. And that is the kind of thing I think people often will go between extremes of fetishizing-- Yeah. --organization and being== Yeah. --hyper curated and hyper how perfect can I get it.

Or completely neglect it and live in chaos. Yeah. I agree.

What is something that you find when you're, for example, let's say-- and I assume, even though you don't pay too much attention to trends, you do use social media and you see a lot of-- For sure. --what's going on. What are some things that people might see? And I think a lot of times for our audience, because they're very-- they're budget conscious and they want to make sure that they're not overspending to get to something.

And a lot of the design blogs, the decor blogs, they can feel very aspirational. Totally. And I mean, quite frankly, a lot of that stuff is really expensive, or it's gifted, or all of that stuff.

What are some easy things that almost anyone could recreate at any budget that will help a home feel more rich, more intentional, more beautiful, all of those things? I think it's-- I love to look at those blogs that are-- yeah. The million dollar homes that have the huge walk in closets.

Looking at that and breaking it down into not just the closet itself, but saying like, OK. How is that functioning? How does that work for that person?

Why is that working? And taking away like the little things. Right.

And if you see in a beautiful thing of huge shelves floor to ceiling, OK. Well, maybe I can't afford to have 35 shelves floor to ceiling of this beautiful natural wood, and that's going to cost $4,000 to have that shelf. You can get two shelves from Target for $25 each.

They're going to give you that feeling-- Right. --of that. It's going to-- yeah. Accomplish that idea and that feeling without spending the $4,000 on that huge natural shelf.

It's seeing what they're going for, seeing what they're trying to accomplish, and then seeing if you can find that at Goodwill. See if you can find that at Target. See if you can find that at Walmart.

Going to those places that are much more attainable, and seeing if you can break it down and make it much more simpler and streamlined. But get the essence of what it is. But get the essence of it.

Yeah. I feel like one big thing that a lot of people have to get over, especially in cities, is get comfortable with mounting stuff on walls. Using your vertical space-- It's crazy. --it is my number one-- It's huge.

Yes. After-- well, number one is purge. Purge, purge.

Purge, get rid of everything. Not everything. I'm not into minimalism.

That's actually not my thing. But get rid of the things that aren't serving you. But number two is use your vertical space, every inch.

Even just looking around here, you have things up on the wall. You have things hanging. You have art up.

You've got shelves that are going up and using that vertical space on the walls, in the windows. Try to think of-- so when I go into space, I see it as a 3D Tetris board. And I see OK.

There's a chunk on the ceiling that's this long, thin space. Could I put an extra shelf up there that we can store some shoes up there that are out of season? I look and I see above the doorway.

There's just open, unused space. Can you put a shelf there to put some sweaters when you're not using them? Right.

Can you lift your bed? And because there's tons of space above your bed, can you lift your bed and use that negative space under your bed to put some drawers for seasonal items? It's all about using that space that's the negative space that is just breathing room.

Which yes. We all need breathing room in New York City. We need as many inch square inches of breathing room as you can possibly get.

Right. But you also have to be realistic and OK. If you want those skis, you are going to need to figure out how to mount them on your ceiling.

My fiancee has this super fancy bike because he loves cycling. But we do not have anywhere to put a bicycle-- You have a little mounted rack thing? So we put hooks in the ceiling Oh, wow.

And we flipped it up and it's hanging from the ceiling above his desk. Wow. So it's like art-- Yeah. --because it's is this beautiful, fancy bike.

But it's also not taking up floor space. So I'm like, OK. If you want that bike, it's-- It's going up there. --going on the ceiling. [LAUGHING] Even if something aesthetically is not really my taste, I always love when something feels very intentional and it feels like it really serves a purpose.

Yeah. And mounted things, things that are in the wall, you always know, man. You had to get out of stud finder.

You had to get a-- Make an effort. --drill bit. Yeah. This was a day of work for you.

And if it's well mounted, that is a-- that is a-- It will serve you. --beautiful piece of work. And so you don't make that decision lightly. Yeah.

And it always looks thought through and considered. And I think that that, in addition to adding such functionality, it automatically makes the space feel very adult-- Intentional. --and intentional. Totally.

Yeah, totally. When you have a person who feels like they've purged, they don't have too much stuff that's weighing them down, but they don't really know what's next. They feel organized, but they want the space to feel better and nicer.

But they're not going to go out and hire a decorator. They don't have a ton of money to buy new stuff. What are some good next things to do after the purge?

I think it's about figuring out-- once you've figured out, OK. These are all things that are serving me. These are all things that I do use.

Then it's about figuring out what things you use the most. Because I have sweaters that I-- I have my 12 sweaters, but I definitely have my six sweaters that are my go to's. It's the A Team.

Yeah. You have your A Team clothes. Yes, 100%.

And everyone has that, and that's OK. If it isn't overflowing your space, it's OK. I like to change it up once in a while.

We should all be able to do that. Not in the capsule wardrobes. I'm trying to get into them, but continue.

But I like being able to express myself through my clothes. Right. It's-- I enjoy that, and there's nothing wrong with that.

So I think it's figuring out how to organize in a way that makes those things that you use the most the most easily accessible. Right. Making those at an arm's reach where if that-- you have those six sweaters that are like your go to sweaters.

Putting those on a lower shelf and putting those second tier sweaters that are either for a special event or seasonal, or this, that, or the other thing. My Christmas ugly sweater. I'm keeping that sweater.

I'm not getting rid of my ugly sweater, but I'm also not wearing it every day. So that goes on like the top shelf. So it's figuring out what things are that A Team and making them the most accessible.

That's the next step of organization for me. That's great. Yeah.

Man. Now that you've like referenced our space, I'm ready for you to drag it. So we're talking a lot today about how to get organized in your life.

And one of the things that has been so important to TFD was getting and staying extremely organized in our finances. As a lot of you probably know already, we applied for and received the PPP loan, which was huge and amazing. But in order to do that, we had to provide a ton of documentation and reports about our company.

Payroll, key expenses, that kind of stuff. And we were able to very quickly and easily access all of those reports because we have been using QuickBooks to do our small business bookkeeping for years now, and we already had that stuff at the ready. QuickBooks is small business bookkeeping software that is perfect for keeping all of your various elements of business financial health easy to access and well organized.

You have a neat little dashboard every morning when you log on, and you can check outstanding invoices, who needs to pay you, who you need to pay. You can look at payroll. You can look at your P&Ls.

Do anything that you need to do to keep on top of your business expense management, as well as just the ins and outs of all of your business's financial health. I could not recommend QuickBooks more, in all seriousness. We've been using it for years, even well before we worked with Intuit.

And it has been a lifesaver in this time. And do remember that even if you are just freelance or a small business of one, quick books still for you because, hey. Freelancing is just being a small business with one person, so important to keep in mind.

If you've been thinking about using a better system for keeping all of your books clean, I highly recommend you check how QuickBooks at the link in our description or the show notes. So Jolin, the time has come. We have ample questions from our audience.

They are hungry for the organization knowledge and they're ready. Can a Roomba replace a normal vacuum? No.

No. Roomba's are like little robot cats. They just push stuff around and play on your floor or-- and they also-- they can't really get into the deep carpet.

I mean, I don't want to upset Roomba, but I just-- Bye, Roomba sponsorship that was never happening. I'm just-- I'm a detail cleaner. Right.

Right. You clean the baseboards? I do.

No. That's good. You should.

I do. I do. Sorry.

New York is gross. I mean, not frequently, I'll be honest. Not frequently.

Also, I feel like-- I don't know about you, but I live in a building from 1909. It never looks clean no matter how much I clean. It always-- there's like-- No, totally.

I mean, because also the apartment is like lightly crumbling at all times. Yeah. Oh god.

I have plaster on all of my walls. I have floors that are 100 years old. it's never going to look perfect Yeah. No.

For sure. You definitely have to let some of that go, moving to New York. Yeah.

That level of cleanliness, perfection. But also, yeah. Roomba just-- I mean, it's fine for like-- It smooshes stuff around.

Kind of smooshes stuff around. Yeah. That's not my jam.

I will say, though, and this is a controversial thing. I do not have a vacuum. I sweep and mop and I machine wash my rugs.

Oh. OK. I only buy machine washable rugs.

I have a dog. And also, I don't make my guests take off their shoes in the home, because I'm like, you came with a look. You can have the look.

Yeah. Only occasionally. The one time I'll ask guests to take their shoes off is when there's like a salt on the ground from like-- because it really fucks up the hardwood.

For sure. But for the most part, if I have a dinner party or if I'm having-- Oh, yeah. If you're hosting. --a bunch of people over.

If I'm having like an overnight guest, of course they take the shoes off like we do at the shoe thing. Right. But OK.

A, so anyway people are walking around their shoes. But also, I have a dog and like spills. Yeah.

So machine washable rugs to me are a revelation. 100%. I love throwing that bad boy in the machine. Yeah.

But yeah. I just sweep and mop. Yeah.

I rent a vacuum cleaner occasionally to vacuum out my upholstery and get in the corners, but, you know-- Yeah. I mean, you're not not cleaning. Yeah.

Like, I clean. You're cleaning I clean. Not as much as I should That's OK.

I am such a chronic apologizer about homes. How do you feel about that? Do you ever apologize when people are in your home.

Like, sorry about that. I don't-- this is going to make me sound like a dick, but I don't really need to. Damn.

You're that on your game? It's become such a lifestyle Oh my god. That I-- well, also, there's very few people that just pop in.

Oh, we're talking not about popper inners. Yeah. I'm talking about like when people come over, and it's like not exactly the way I would want it.

I just-- I've created such a functional system for myself and it's become so ingrained in me that things just-- it's like there's magnets. Things just go back where they are supposed to go. That's so exciting.

Once you create that system, it becomes fun and it feels really good to be organized. It feels much better than being not organized. How do I tackle that chair that collects everything?

The chair that collects everything. There's a couple of different things that you can do. One, get rid of the chair.

No. We're not getting rid of the chair. Listen.

We're not doing it. If that chair's being a dick, you get rid of that chair. No, I mean, that's a real thing.

Eliminate the problem. If it's a problem, eliminate the problem. But if you're like, well, I have two chairs in my home and I need a chair, Jolin.

Fine. Keep your chair. It's about-- if you can't eliminate the problem, eliminate the bad habit.

Right. It's-- no one is forcing you to come in and put all your crap down on that chair. You're making that choice to be lazy and pile all that crap on your chair.

So instead of at the end of the week, having to spend 45 minutes clearing off your chair, if you take 45 seconds every single day when you walk in the apartment to put your coat on the hook, to put your shoes back in their place, to put your bag back on its spot, instead of just throwing stuff down because you're like, oh. I just can't possibly spend 45 seconds right now. Well, you probably can spend 45 seconds.

It's-- and then you don't have to spend the 45 minutes at the end of the week. It's breaking that habit. That's just-- it's the choice.

You-- I'm sorry, but you have to-- three things have to be in your entry, even if it's a tiny apartment. Three things have to be in your entry. Go on.

Shoe rack. Yes. And you get them for like $15 on Amazon.

Do not say you can't get one. You can even get stacking tower ones that take up like eight inches that are completely vertical. Yeah.

You don't need a super huge wide space. You can get the ones that have those like doors that pull-- they like-- Yes. --rotate out kind of. IKEA.

Yeah. Amazing. Cheap.

Shoe rack, coat rack. Yes. I prefer wall mounted, the long one that goes along the wall.

Got it. Hang up a bunch of coats. Don't get those standing coat racks.

They always end up way over sized and they take up so much space. And they're ugly. No one has room for that.

And then some kind of a like mail, keys-- Yep. --face mask now, gloves-- Truth. That and-- those are true things. --also umbrellas, probably. But some kind of-- we don't have any space for like good console table, so we have it mounted.

But those three things, you will never leave shit all over the house again. Done. Done.

Done. Done. It's that simple.

It's setting up those systems that eliminate the problem in the first place. You've created a place-- you created a home for your jacket. You've created a home for your shoes.

You've created a home for your keys and for your masks. Literally put a nail in the wall. No one's asking you to spend $1,000 on-- Fight club energy of that.

Bam. Done. Problem solved.

Like-- Yeah. It's way easier than you think. I would also say I have a chair in my bedroom that was quickly becoming the everything chair.

I put a throw pillow on it, so it takes up the vast majority of the room on the chair. In that way, you eliminated the problem. I still will sometimes put things on it, but I cannot fit as much.

You eliminated half of the problem. I took up some space. Yeah.

And mama loves a throw pillow. Oh, who doesn't. How do I organize large kitchen appliances in a small kitchen?

Get rid of the large kitchen appliances. I know. What do you have?

What are we talking, a stand mixer? Crockpots? Everybody's got a crockpot.

Well, not everybody's got a crockpot. I just got a crockpot. But yeah.

It's the crockpot, the stand mixers. Have a conversation with yourself about how often you're actually using those things. If you're Betty Crocker and you're legit baking cakes every day, then I guess that stand-up mixer gets a place on your counter.

But if you're more like me and you bake a cake once a year, maybe you can sell that and get all of that money back, because they are wildly expensive, and get a little hand mixer that can be broken apart. Put on a shelf at the top where it's a lesser used item so it's up and away, and it's taking up way less space. It's just about really being honest with yourself about, are you really using that item?

And does it earn that space on your countertop. My coffee pot has earned its place on my countertop. You know what I mean?

It gets used multiple times a day, and it will never be moved, you know? Yeah. But I'm-- that's useful to me.

But that stand mixer just hasn't earned its place. No. And if I may pipe in.

I'm not an organization expert, but I keep chiming in. I will say also blenders, to me, is the number one culprit of things people keep on the counter. It's like-- Yeah. --how often are you using that blender, buddy?

How often are you using that? Probably not. Also very, very, very few things that you can do with-- that you can only do with a blender that couldn't be solved with some combination of an immersion blender, which is a stick.

Or one of those little tiny Cuisinart's-- Yes. --for spices and stuff. Yes. Come on.

Get it together. Do you really need a blender? Also, people who get those insane Vitamix blenders that blend so fast they heat the soup up while they're blending.

That's wild. Do you know about that? But if you get the Vitamix, get rid of everything-- Yeah. --else.

You get a Vitamix and nothing else. Right. Also lastly, I will say I do have some things that I consider frivolous but I love anyway.

Totally. Like my fondue pot and love it. Live your best life.

Twice a year, fondue night. What a night. But either mount some shelves-- Right. --and they each get their own little shelf.

Or put them on top of your cabinets. That's where we have our-- 100%. --our other stuff. OK.

Do you use a planner slash notebook organizer slash bullet journal? I do not. Good.

No, I'm just kidding. End of conversation. I'm just kidding.

I put everything in my phone. Yeah. If I were to lose my phone, I would basically just jump off a bridge.

It's not in the cloud? I would not jump off a bridge because it is in the cloud. But-- OK. --I would not jump off a bridge.

No. Don't jump off bridges if you lose your planner, please. It is all in the cloud, so fine.

But yeah. Digital. Why not use the tools?

A lot of people-- It's a whole thing, that notebook culture. I know. And that's fine-- She's feeling attacked.

Yeah. No. Well, I will actually say just since the quarantine started, I've started journaling for the first time-- Same. --in like 15 years.

Haven't journaled. I just really thought it was-- like, what a time to be alive, you know? It's pretty freaking wild.

And to have a handwritten account of this time and the day-to-day things that are happening. So something like that where you're really expressing yourself and having those memories, that's very different to me than having just a daily, oh. Check this off the list.

Check this off the list. If it's just a calendar, an account of your appointments and things like that, it's so much more optimal to me to have it all in one place in my teeny tiny master computer in my pocket. Why not use that tool if you have it available to you instead of having to lug a huge planner around?

They take up space. They're heavy. They kill trees.

Yeah. I don't know. I'm really into the digital when it comes-- I'm not actually super technology-- technologically advanced.

I'm not great with technology, except for using my calendar on my phone. That I have nailed it. That's awesome.

Yeah. It's one thing that I am like-- it's just so much easier. Do you use a specific app?

I just use the Google-- the one that's on your iPhone. Notes? Yes, I use-- I use Notes.

Notes does more than you think it does. Notes does a lot, actually. I also use voice memos a lot.

I'm one of those crazy people who leaves herself voice memos. I like that. Oh, do you have a junk drawer slash catchall drawer?

I do have a junk drawer. It's probably the least junky drawer Oh my god. Enough.

What is this? What's in it? But, I mean, so I have those-- Does it have little dividers in it?

Oh my god. It does. No.

That's not a junk drawer. It does. Stop co-opting junk drawer.

I love a good junk drawer. I have a junk drawer that has all my junk in it. It's got the random screwdriver and tape and pins and-- Does it have sauce packets?

No. Those are in my fridge in a container-- What kind of junk drawer is this if it doesn't have sauce packets? I mean, I have the sauce packets.

They're just in a different home. To each his own. But I like to keep them nice and cold.

Cold sauces? Yeah. Really?

Yeah, I do. What sauces? I like cold ketchup.

I like cold Sriracha packets. I like cold soy sauce packets. Cold soy sauce?

I do. I do. I like it cold.

I stand by it. Interesting, because it mutes the flavor. I enjoy it.

We digress. So tell us about your-- Junk drawer. --literally organized by little divider category junk drawer. So it's not-- I didn't-- to be clear, I didn't go and spend a ton of money on organizers for my junk drawer.

I literally used old Tupperware that's my junky old plastic Tupperware just to literally keep so my pens aren't flying around, and the tools aren't flying around. All the pens are together in a little old junky Tupperware. So it was super cheap, but it's more functional because I don't have to dig through my junk drawer to find my pen.

It's just the pen's right there. There's literally no disorganized place in your home. I don't know.

I just feel like-- doesn't every chef sometimes just eat McDonald's? You know what I'm saying? Doesn't every expert have their thing that's not perfect?

My thing about that is that I have not spent a ton of money on the fancy products. Fair enough. I haven't gone out and bought all of the beautiful bins and the baskets in my closet.

I have figured out how to fold things to optimize them, so I can see everything and they're all in a really nice stack. But I didn't go out and spend $700 on baskets. Do your clients like to buy the fancy stuff?

Some do and some don't. I have such a wide range of clients. Some people will literally-- I will never even meet them face to face.

I'll meet a housekeeper or like a personal assistant or a house manager. And they'll literally say, here's the credit card. Make it look amazing.

I'm like, great. That's fun. Wow.

And I can make my dreams come true and make it beautiful. And then I also have clients who are like, I want to spend $300. Where can we-- where is the very most important best place to spend those $300 on product?

And they're both super fun and they're both very different challenges. And I have everything in between. Some people-- I mean, we live in a city with a lot of very wealthy people who just want it to look beautiful and be super functional.

And that's great. And then there's also people who don't want to spend all that money, who just want it to be super functional. And that's great, too.

Yeah. What was the original question? If whether or not your clients typically opt for the really-- Oh, right. --expensive, fancy organizational tools.

Yeah. Both. I have I have a super wide range of clients.

Nice. Yeah. This is kind of a strange question, but I get it.

And we got it on-- from our audience. What do you do with clothes that you've worn? So they're not clean, but they're not laundry basket, like jeans and stuff.

Yeah. So I have a lot of these clothes, like the jeans. Don't we all?

Right. Yeah. My jeans I'll wear between five to 10 times, depending on what I'm doing in them, before I wash them.

And you can kind of answer the question yourself. If your jeans are dirty enough that you're not willing to put them back on the stack of jeans, they probably need to be washed. So they should probably go in a hamper.

But if you feel like they're tidy enough that they don't need to be laundered, then for me, personally, I feel comfortable folding them back and putting them back on that pile of jeans. Talking on wardrobe specifically, I have figured out a way to spend very, very, very, very, very little money on clothes in the city. So a colleague of mine, her name is Sandy Buskin.

She's another organizer in the city. Her company is called Dear Mess, and she has started something called the clothing swap, which is revolutionary. So she basically once a season will have-- she invites between 30, 40, 50 women to this event once a season.

And typically between 15 to 20 people will end up showing up. And she asks everyone to go through their wardrobes and bring clothes, shoes bags, housewares, kitchen supplies, books, literally everything in your home that you're no longer using. And we all bring it to her house in her apartment, and she literally sets up a store in her apartment.

Like shoe racks, clothing racks. It's like a Goodwill in her apartment. And we literally just trade clothes, trade books, trade shoes, trade bags.

And it has become the most incredible event that I have saved, no kidding, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars just by reduce, reuse, and recycle. And setting up this event and I've networked with so many incredible women in this city that I've met some of my best friends at these events that she hosts. Yeah.

Having a clothing swap is-- it has revolutionized my wardrobe. I would say about 70% of all of my clothes-- these pants are from a swap. Look at that.

We used to have-- yeah, like once a quarter clothing swap brunches with my girlfriend. Yes. It's amazing.

It's the best. And I've gotten so many beautiful things. And I'm like, are you sure you don't want this anymore?

She's like, yeah girl. Take it. It's amazing Incredible things.

So that has really helped me curb my spending significantly in the clothing department-- Yeah. --with shoes and bags and stuff like that. I've gotten like artwork and luggage. Luggage?

Yes. I've gotten amazing, amazing things. And good things.

I've gotten Kate Spade and like-- Wow. --like legit stuff that I'm like, why are you giving this away? I want to live in the mind of someone who's giving that away, but-- Right? --you know what? You'd be surprised.

Yeah. Yeah. They're like oh, I got it Housing Works.

I got it on the cheap in the first place, and it's not my style anymore. It doesn't fit me anymore. Have at it.

Go with grace. Take it. Wow.

Love it. You follow Apartment Therapy? Yeah.

Does it ever just make you feel like, wow. Yeah. All the time.

A little bad about yourself low-key. Well, it's something that I-- that's one of those things that I follow Apartment Therapy. I'm like, OK, what can I take out of there that-- out of the beautiful picture, I can take this one little thing and apply it to my apartment to make it a little bit better.

Yeah. No, I'm with that. The one thing that I always see that I love, but I'm like, how does this work in practice, honey, is people who have Turkish rugs in their kitchens.

Yeah. I'm like-- Yeah. --that thing-- maybe it's pretty for the day you took this photo. Those are people that store sweaters in their oven.

Yes. It's got got to be. Because I don't know-- They're not cooking in there.

If I had a fabric rug in my kitchen, that thing would be gnarly. Yeah. Yeah.

No, not cute. It'd be gross. Yeah.

I cook way too much. Yeah, same. But I will say machine washable rugs have really changed my life in that regard.

And also to be fair, if you want the rug look, there are jute. There are other materials you can get that are not fabric. But every frickin' kitchen on Apartment Therapy has this beautiful, ornate, vintage Turkish rug right under the counter.

And I'm like-- Right. Yeah. Those are people that are not-- Ew. --using those kitchens.

Got to be. So we have something that we do for every episode of The Financial Confessions where we ask our guests to answer some rapid fire questions about their money. You may not be super used to talking about money in a public context, so you're always welcome to skip.

But we encourage you to give a crack at them all. What is the big financial secret of your industry? And I think it would be even more interesting than just the organization to do just interiors in general, interior design, decor, organization, that whole industry.

I think it's the fact that Instagram and all of the websites and stuff, Better Homes and Gardens, and all those almost-- sorry? AD. Yes, yes.

Sorry. All those ones that are very aspirational-- Yeah. --make you think that you have to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to achieve that where you don't. I mentioned this several times where you can say, OK.

I love that look. How can I pull one thing out of it to make my place a little bit better and spend $25 versus $2,500? It's figuring out how to narrow in on what you like about that.

Is it all of the greenery? Great. Buy a plant.

Don't buy a forest. Buy a plant. Do you love that beautiful open shelving in a kitchen?

This is one thing that I've done with clients. People love the open shelving. if you love that open shelving look, you don't have to tear out your entire kitchen. Take the doors off of your shelves, Right.

Open-- that's open shelving. The dust, though. How is there not a ton of dust on all of that stuff?

You have to dust more. Man. I don't know.

It just-- but maybe-- so open shelves are not for you. [LAUGHING] I don't know. It depends what you want, you know? Yeah.

Because I have a bar cart and a glassware shelf in my dining room. And that is just constant-- The dusting. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Yes. Same we have a glass bar cart that's like brass.

Yeah. And like every couple days-- I also have a cat, that it's just like, poof. Oh god.

No. It's so true. Also, I will say sometimes the greenery in those photos is aspirational.

Sometimes, though, there's so many plants in those rooms I'm like, is it a terrarium in there? It looks moist. [LAUGHING] The photos are [INAUDIBLE] If that's what you're going for. Also, on your point, though, what you often are so coveting about that space is that it's so clean-- Yes. --and so organized-- Yes. --and everything is in its place, yes. --which is something anyone can recreate with what you have exactly today. 100%.

The mess is half the stress. It's your choice. It is your choice.

It's your choice. What do you invest in versus what are you cheap about? And perhaps in home goods.

Do you mean like in my personal life, or-- Yeah. Oh gosh. I invest in major experiences and vacations.

Yeah. I'm very interested in other cultures and food. I love eating food.

Yeah. And, going to other countries, Love that food. And eating-- God I love food.

It's so good. Eating other cultures' food and eating things that I'm like, I don't know what that is, but I'm going to eat it. I love that.

I love that experience and that excitement. And I'm ironically living in one of the most exciting food cities in the world. I don't eat out that much.

I cook a ton. Me and my fiancee cook a ton. We love cooking, and that is one of the biggest, simplest ways to save money in this city.

That I know so many people and eating out for lunch. Everyone eats out for lunch. It's so easy, and there's so much amazing food in this city.

And that's great, and I'll do that once a week versus four days a week. It's still-- I'm not not eating out. I'm still enjoying the fruits of living in an incredible food city.

But I'm also making that choice to not having those little daily luxuries and saving my money for a huge mega experience twice a year. Yeah. What about in your home?

What are you cheap about, and what do you invest in in your home goods? Cheap in my home. My fiancee is very handy, so he builds stuff, which is great.

He built our-- We stan. I'm sorry? [LAUGHING] I said we stan. We stand?

Oh my god. I still don't know. I'm sorry.

No. It's like a thing that people say like when someone says something-- What is happening? It's like someone-- A stan is like a really, really intense fan.

And like-- OK. So if you're saying we stan, you're like-- we love that. We're all about that.

Oh, OK. OK. OK.

Yes. So he loves building things, which has saved us a bunch of money. He built the most incredible TV media stand.

And he planed the wood and took the pipes and painted them and created this thing that looks like it's a million dollars. And he literally made it from old reclaimed wood and pipes. Love that.

Yeah. So that's-- And what do you spend a lot of money on home goods wise? Comfy furniture and bed.

The bed, we spent a lot of money on our bed. Because you spend a third of your life laying down in it, and having a stressful New York Life-- stressful life anywhere. Doesn't matter where you are.

Having a stressful life, you need a bed that you're going to be able to get quality sleep in. If you're getting crappy sleep, that affects your life in every aspect of everything. So I think the bed is 100% the place to spend.

What has been your best investment and why? Investing in myself, and not necessarily financially investing in myself, but investing in myself, knowing that I could be a small business owner. And believing in myself and trusting in myself and investing in my own future of wanting to create my own path.

That was really scary to do, coming from financial stability and having a full time paying job and having something that was easy in the bag. It was good. It was fine.

I knew I was doing well. And then being like, OK. I'm going to make the choice to invest in myself and keep my fingers crossed that that's going to work out.

But it was the best decision I ever made in my entire life. Deciding to be my own boss and write my own story and forge my own path has been incredibly rewarding. And just-- it was the best decision I ever could have made.

That's awesome. What has been your biggest money mistake and why? I think my biggest money mistake was not knowing when to fight for my worth.

Not knowing-- so there's been times when I had signed contracts, and the contract very shortly after having been signed, only a few months into a job, was basically ripped apart and said, we're not going to honor that contract. You're going to do this now. And I didn't know what my rights were, and I didn't know how to stand up for myself.

And I basically just was scared of not having a job. So I just went along with it, because I was like, well, I need to keep paying my rent. And even though it was not the best decision and it ended up snowballing into a whole series of other issues and problems financially and emotionally, having to deal with that and take that on.

Now, in hindsight, knowing how to stand up for myself and fight for my rights when it comes to contracts and what I'm worth financially, was a huge, huge come to realization for me. Right there with you. What is your biggest current money insecurity?

Having no income. Rona. Yeah.

Thanks, Miss Rona. #truelife. Yeah. I have no income right now.

And that is scary. Indeed. Being a home organizer, I'm literally-- it couldn't be more of an intimate job.

I am in people's everything. And that's the last thing that people want is a stranger coming in and touching literally everything in their home right now. Which I also don't want to touch everything in people's homes right now.

So yeah. I haven't been able to work in over two months, which is-- that's just the reality of the situation. Yeah.

That's true life. Well, listen. I think because people are spending so much more time in their homes now, when it gets a little bit more open, I think people are going to really want this.

Yeah. Well that's the flip side of the coin is that because of what I do, being a home organizer, and people being so inundated with their own stuff right now, I've had so much interest-- Yeah. --in my company. Even though I can't actually do the work right now.

A lot of people are like, when are you going to be available? Can you please come and-- Well, that's good. --visit as soon as possible? Yeah.

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel for whenever-- whenever-- I mean, who knows when the world will be able to slowly start reopening. When it's safe and a viable option. But whenever that day does come, when we're able to do it safely, hopefully, I think people are going to have serious reckonings with their stuff.

They're going to want help with it. So-- What has been the financial habit that has helped you the most? When I had my first job when I was 10 years old, I was a baby sitter.

And I would get paid $5 for the evening. [LAUGHING] Whoa. They were ripping you off. Tough times in Wisconsin in the 90s.

I mean, I was like 10. OK. $5 for a 10-year-old is like- Also, but should a 10-year-old be babysitting? A lot of questions here.

There's a lot of follow up questions. Not a lot options in Wisconsin. So I would have this little notebook, and I would literally write down, I made $5 today.

And when I would go to the candy store and spend $2 on candy, I would write, I spent $2 today. And I literally learned how to balance a checkbook when I was like 10 years old. Fun fact.

Hey, millennials. Have you ever heard of a checkbook? That's a thing that used to exist.

So learning how to balance what's coming in and what's going out. I was taught that at such a young age to be aware of every dollar that's coming in and every dollar that's coming out. And I've continued that habit through balancing an actual, physical checkbook when I was in high school.

And now having a digital record that is way easier. Thank you, technology. That I can literally every single day, I open that app and I say, great.

Here's my spending. Here's what I've got. Here's what's coming in.

Here's what's going out. That has been-- just having an awareness and of what's coming in and coming out has been a huge check in the pros column. Also, turning off automatic payments from a credit card.

Oh, yeah. Oh, interesting. Yeah.

I've got to keep them on for me. I-- see for me, it's-- I have automatic payments for my other bills, for my gas and electric. Absolutely.

Pay that baby. But when it comes to my credit card, those are things that I'm choosing to spend money on. So I like to be hyper aware of what I'm choosing to spend my money on and how much I've spent that much-- or how much I've spent that month.

And being aware of, OK. This month I spent X amount of dollars. I need to pay X amount of dollars.

Because for me, at least, if I had that on an automatic, the credit card just becomes a free for all. Yeah. That-- yeah.

Having that awareness and being held accountable to pay that every month so I'm aware of what I'm spending has been a huge help for me. When did you first feel successful, and what does that word mean to you? I first felt successful as a small business owner with my as my first client.

I'm-- Adorable. I'm a person that I love to celebrate the tiny victories. if you wait to celebrate when you win the game, that's-- you're going to be waiting for so long. Why not celebrate every single tiny victory along the way?

So when I had my very first client, I was like, I did it. And he wrote this amazing review for me, and I was just like, I couldn't believe it. And it shot me on a trajectory of celebrating every single client.

Because-- That's amazing. --honestly as a small business owner, every client is a success. That is very true. Because you never know when that next client is going to be.

I'm very lucky I'm in a place now where it's lined up. But yeah. In the beginning, I was celebrating every single one.

Well, thank you so much for being here, Jolin. Yeah. Where can people go to find more of you?

People can find me on Instagram at Sage Organization, as well as my website is sageorganization.com So we talked so much today about getting our lives in order and making it look the way we want it to look. And one of the best tools that I have ever found for organizing what can be a very, very messy financial life is the app Mint. I have been using Mint for over seven years now.

And as someone who for a very long time completely avoided even just really looking at my checking account on a regular basis because it gave me anxiety, it got me over the hump of feeling like money was something to be scared of. And got me intimately familiar with how I was spending, what I was bringing in, and just how to manage my finances on a day-to-day basis. I could set a budget and set goals and come in under budget, and plan what to do with my savings and all of that.

I've been using Mint for many, many years, well, before there even was a TFD. So I could not recommend it more if you want to get started, organizing your finances and taking control of them. You can find them at the link in our description or our show notes.

And don't forget that it's free, so what do you have to lose? As always, guys, thank you so much for joining us on The Financial Confessions. It was lovely to spend the afternoon with you, and we will see you next Monday.

Bye. [MUSIC PLAYING]