At work with ... Carol McCabe

Carol McCabe has built a business based on her organizing abilities, Simplify: The Art of Living Organized, that helps people clean up the clutter in their lives. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Jan. 2, 2013 9:46 pm Updated: Jan. 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Getting organized in the new year is a task that can be made easier with the help of a professional.

In Quincy, Carol McCabe offers such services through her business, Simplify: The Art of Living Organized.

"Some people are scared to have a professional organizer come in and help them. It is intimidating to them," McCabe said. "I am not in business to judge you. My goal is not to get clients to my definition of organization. My goal is to find out what their definition is and help them achieve that in their home or office."

She first became interested in an organizing career in 2006.

"I have always been an organized person. Instead of cooking or cleaning when I have free time, I prefer to organize a closet or cabinet," McCabe said. "In 2006, my husband gave me a book written by Dan Miller with a foreword by Dave Ramsey called, ‘48 Days to the Work You Love.' It helps identify God-given skills, personality traits and passions, and then utilize those gifts in choosing a career. I was able to take my love for organization and my desire to help people, combine it with business guidance from Mike to begin my organizing business."


Describe a typical day.

Every organizing job is different, and therefore, every day is different for me. I love the variety. Most days I work a three- to four-hour organizing session at a client's home or office. On a busy day, I will have one scheduled in the morning and another in the afternoon. Other tasks that I do outside of the client's space include taking their donated items to charity and dropping other items off at local resale shops. I may be shopping at any one of a number of retail outlets in the area or online for the perfect storage containers or products that will help to complete their newly organized space. If time allows and I am feeling creative, I will spend time writing an article about organizing for my e-newsletter. If I need some relaxing time, I will browse the Web in search of new organizing ideas and products.


What is the best and worst part of your job?

The best part of my job is the delight on a client's face after we have organized a space that has been a troubling issue for them. Many people don't know where to begin so they allow the area to stay disorganized for far too long, and it is such a relief to them when we clear out the clutter.

The worst part of my job is not having a Container Store in the area. It seems that they have the perfect solution to every organizing dilemma.


Who is your inspiration?

My husband, Mike, is my inspiration. He has overcome many difficulties in his life and has persevered through them with a strong belief in God and unconditional love for his family. Mike and his two partners own several successful businesses. When I first brought up the subject of starting my organizing business, he was encouraging and supportive. He has been a source of great information. And most of all, he is willing to lend me a hand when I need someone to assist me on a job.


What would people be surprised to know about you?

My basement, and sometimes my garage, can be messy. I could find anything there within five minutes, but the space doesn't look like what you would imagine from a professional organizer.


Other than your work, do you have any hobbies or passions?

My favorite hobby would be playing golf. My passion is that I would drop everything to go anywhere and do anything with my husband and two sons.


How do you unwind?

I love to spend time with Mike and our friends, drinking margaritas, talking, laughing, and solving life's problems or sharing stories.