Deborah Cabral is an organizing guru.
She’s a certified professional organizer, an ambassador for the National Association of Professional Organizers, a productivity and efficiency coach, author of the organizing book, Declutter Your Life Now!, host of a weekly television program, and the president and owner of her own company, Cabral Enterprises.
We reached out to Deborah Cabral recently in order to learn a little bit about her past, her business, and her many accomplishments as a professional organizer. She has quite an interesting story and plenty to offer to anyone aspiring to become more organized.
Compassion and clarity: A conversation with Deborah Cabral
Jenny Young: Tell us how you got started in professional organizing, Deb.
Deborah Cabral: Well, I spent over 20 years in the insurance industry, doing corporate training and time management coaching.
In 2002, I was in a severe car accident. Since then, I’ve had seven surgeries on my neck and back and countless sessions with physical therapists, chiropractors, and a plethora of other doctors. Needless to say, after this accident, I was unable to work full time.
Once the immediate impact of the accident wore off, I realized I was left without a career. I needed something flexible, where I could make my own schedule and work at my own comfort level. So, I started Cabral Enterprises, my consulting company.
Jenny Young: Do you still struggle with physical limitations at work?
Deborah Cabral: I have pain every day, but for the most part, it’s manageable. I simply have to avoid heavy lifting, and sometimes sit or stand after a period of time, depending on the situation.
I’ve learned how to deal with it. I constantly remind myself that it could be much worse. I don’t have cancer, and I’m still able to work in a field that I love. Helping other people really takes my mind off of it.
Jenny Young: Can you tell us a little bit more about your business?
Deborah Cabral: Sure! Cabral Enterprises is comprised of several divisions: The DeClutter Coach (the residential organizing division), DC Efficiency Consulting, the corporate consulting and training division, Organization Motivation!, which ia a weekly television show I host, and Organized in 60 Seconds — a syndicated news segment where I provide viewers with quick tips to organize their lives, their homes, and their offices.
Jenny Young: Can you talk a little bit about the importance of professional organization?
Deborah Cabral: Anyone could use it. I work with lot of professionals — doctors, lawyers, and financial planners, but also children, couples, and families. My youngest client currently is seven, and my oldest is in her 80s.
I teach people how to save time, money, and most importantly, energy. My number one goal is to reduce stress for my clients. Everything else I do works toward that goal.
Jenny Young: What’s the toughest part of your job?
Deborah Cabral: My inability to help everyone. Saying no. I had a speaking engagement the other night, actually, and I spoke with a woman afterward who just completely unloaded, telling me all of her organization problems, many of which stemmed from personal issues. She knew she could use my services, but she just couldn’t afford them. That’s why every year, I give away my services to individuals and families in need.
Otherwise, I’ll give my book out or speak for free. That’s what I did for the woman that night — gave her my book and spoke with her for an hour or so. The books and the television show are great ways to help without actually consulting. However, it’s still hard. I want to help everyone. But this how I make my living, and I need to remind myself of that.
Jenny Young: What kind of advice would you offer someone interested in getting organized, but unable (or unwilling) to consult with a professional organizer?
Deborah Cabral: Number one, make sure you have “me time.” I always tell my clients, “You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.”
Aside from that, there are four rules I tell almost everyone:
- Use it and put it away.
- Everything in your home and office should meet two criteria: you absolutely love it, or you absolutely need it. If not, it needs to go. Simplify your life. The less you have, the less you have to maintain.
- Learn to say “no.” We live in a society of yes, yes, yes, and buy, buy, buy. Sometimes, we need to say no, whether to a purchase or a time commitment. Overspending and overcommitting will almost always cause stress and jeopardize your time, leaving plenty of room for everything else to get out of hand.
- Lastly, be grateful for what you have. When you buy something new to go in your home, make sure something else is going out.
A big thanks to Deborah Cabral! Her resume is amazing, and her experience gives her advice some additional weight. To learn more about Deborah Cabral and the services she offers, visit her online.
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