Scams & Your Security
Can you imagine getting a call from someone impersonating a loved one saying they have been kidnapped or have been in a tragic accident? Then they ask you to send money to help them. That is exactly what Scammers are doing now. They impersonate and mimic your child or loved one’s voice. It is their voice! AI Technology makes it possible.
My family has a code word; just in case someone tries to scam us. Security/Alarm system companies use a passcode to validate that you live at the residence where an alarm is going off. If you don’t know the code the Police are dispatched. You can also ask the Scammer an important detail that would not be common knowledge. It is always important to pause before doing anything rash with your money.
I attended the 2023 American Association of Daily Money Managers conference in Chattanooga November 10 – 12th 2023. I learned a lot about scams from a Retired Police Officer that had worked in the Financial Exploitation department. It was so sad to listen to the horror stories he told us.
The most upsetting exploitation story was about an Elderly Couple and their Grandson. The Grandson convinced his Grandparents to add him to the deed of their house. He eventually SOLD their home without their knowledge or consent. He arranged to pick up the Grandparents when prospective buyers were touring their home. The couple lost their California home AND their relationship with their Grandson.
Social engineering scams: Text Messages becoming more prevalent
According to Conversationally Security Blog post dated Oct. 4, 2023
Social engineering is when scammers use deception to obtain personal information from an individual and use it for fraudulent purposes. Test your security knowledge by taking Ally Bank’s quiz. Click the link above to discover the latest scams.
Ally’s bank blog illustrates a provoking example: you have a family, your super busy, and you are making dinner. You get a text from your Utility company stating your payment is late. You are relieved that they are “so nice” to remind you. You click the link and give them your personal information. A few hours later you deeply regret it. Pause! Scammers catch us off guard and yes you don’t have to be in your 80’s or 90’s to fall victim to scammers. Have you ever received a Text from this biller before? Log in or call that provider directly. Never enter your information through a link.
This is a photo of my husband, Karl, and I. We are not delegating in this photo...just having fun.
September / October 2023
Are you doing the majority of housework? Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we do. I listened to a very interesting show about the distribution of Chores titled “Stuck Doing All the Household Chores.”on LifeKit. They instruct people to write down all the chores that they do. Figure out if they are all necessary for instance making the bed is one that could be removed if both people agree to it. They suggest discussing each chore with your partner. There may be chores you despise but your partner does not mind or even likes. Once you have everything written down you can discuss it in a planning session rather than pointing fingers and having an argument. It is a safe way to broach and present this very important topic.
Delegating at home and work. Who can you delegate to? At work this includes Colleagues, Assistants, Volunteers, and Interns. What bout at home? Do you ask your kids and spouse to help? I have worked with clients that have children of all ages. Many of them do not ask their children to do any chores. In the meantime, they are drowning in dirty laundry, dirty dishes, overflowing litter boxes, and inboxes.
Once, I had a client who worked full time. She was also studying to get her PHD at night. She had 1 older son and she was married. She also did all the cooking, laundry, pet care and cleaning. The laundry had taken over their master bedroom. The couple moved into their son’s bedroom and the son moved in with the Grandparents home. This situation did not prompt her to ask for HELP!
We taught our daughter, Jessica, and our son, Connor, to do their own laundry around the age of 11. Jessica, thrived in college. She did meet several struggling college kids that did not know how to do their laundry or to take care of themselves. Delegate! Not only for yourself, not only for your well-being but to raise young adults that will be self-sufficient and productive in life.
In addition to laundry our kids were also responsible for cleaning up after dinner at least once a week and they helped with basic housework. My husband, Karl, has always done some of the laundry, cleaning, cooking, organizing and grocery shopping. This makes for a much happier relationship. Dr.Phil had a show about housework and he stated that men doing housework is VERY SEXY! I agree!
Delegating work to others may not come naturally to you. I have experienced older clients with Caregivers and the client keeps doing all the work! Why? They are there to help you. This is usually a case of being stubborn or afraid to ask for what you need. I can understand a desire to be independent but if you are paying someone to help you…. let them help you. The Caregiver wants to feel a sense of purpose to.
If someone is always Delegating to you.You may need to say “no” or “Yes, if”. Here is a paragraph within an article in the Harvard Business Review titled, "To be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well.“
Practice saying “yes,” “no,” and “yes, if.” This is the art and science of being selective. Successful investors don’t divert their money into every opportunity that comes their way, so we should be equally discerning with our time. Start by carefully assessing every demand that comes your way, and align the asks with the highest-valued contributions that you’re most skilled at making. For those requests that draw on this talent, you say yes and carve out the time and attention to be intimately involved. But for those requests that don’t align, you say yes, if… and immediately identify other people to accomplish the goals through their direct involvement. You may still consult, motivate, and lead — but you’re essential as the catalyst, not as the muscle doing the heavy lifting. This discerning approach may mean delegating some tasks to others, negotiating a reduction in your direct contribution, or just saying no while making the business case for why your effort and attention will have a greater impact elsewhere.
I hope you can find a good balance in your life. This usually requires sharing home responsibilities with others. Whether they are people living in your home or hiring help. Need any help with Organizing, Downsizing or Financial Organizing? Give us a call!
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear what you think.
Guest Post from a Colleague;
Organizing Your Garage Like a Pro: A Guide to Organize the Home's Most Cluttered Space
The garage often becomes a catch-all space for items we no longer use, seasonal gear, and miscellaneous clutter. However, with a little planning and effort, you can transform your garage into a well-organized and functional space. In this guide, we will explore practical tips and strategies to help you organize your garage like a pro. Say goodbye to the chaos and embrace a clean and efficient garage that maximizes storage and enhances the overall functionality of your home.
-Set Goals and Prioritize:
Before diving into the organizing process, take a moment to establish your goals and priorities. Assess how you want to use the garage space, whether it's for parking vehicles, a workshop, storage, or a combination of these. By clarifying your objectives, you can tailor your organizing approach accordingly.
-Declutter and Sort:
Begin the process by clearing out the entire garage. Sort items into categories such as tools, sports equipment, seasonal decorations, and household supplies. Assess each item's usefulness and sentimental value. If you haven't used an item in years and don't foresee using it in the future, consider donating, selling, or disposing of it.
-Categorize and Zone:
Once you've decluttered, create designated zones within your garage based on the categories you identified earlier. For example, set up a sports equipment zone, a gardening zone, and a tools zone. This approach helps maintain order and makes it easier to find and access items when needed.
-Maximize Vertical Space:
Utilize the often-underutilized vertical space in your garage. Install wall-mounted shelving units, pegboards, and hooks to store items such as tools, gardening equipment, and sports gear. This not only keeps items off the floor but also provides easy visibility and accessibility.
-Utilize Overhead Storage:
Make use of the overhead space in your garage by installing ceiling-mounted storage racks or platforms. These are perfect for storing bulky items like seasonal decorations or rarely used equipment. Be sure to label bins and boxes clearly for easy identification.
-Create a Functional Workstation:
If you use your garage as a workshop, dedicate a specific area for your tools and workbench. Install a sturdy workbench with storage drawers or cabinets underneath for organized tool storage. Use wall-mounted pegboards to hang frequently used tools and keep them within reach.
-Optimize Floor Space:
Keep the garage floor clear to maximize functionality. Invest in storage solutions like freestanding cabinets or modular storage units to store items that can't be hung on walls or stored overhead. Store larger items against the walls to create an open area for parking vehicles or other activities.
-Label and Maintain:
Labeling is crucial for maintaining an organized garage. Use clear and legible labels on storage bins, shelves, and drawers to ensure items are returned to their designated places. Regularly review and maintain your organized garage to prevent clutter from creeping back in.
Organizing your garage doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. With a systematic approach and these helpful tips, you can transform your cluttered garage into a well-organized space that adds value to your home. Embrace the opportunity to create a functional and efficient environment where you can easily find what you need and enjoy the benefits of a tidy garage. Start today, and let your garage become a source of pride and inspiration. If you’re based in the Phoenix area and would like some professional assistance getting your garage organized, visit www.inspiredorganizersaz.com for a free consultation.
Bio: Kevin Connors is the owner of Inspired Organizers in Phoenix AZ and the Director of Membership of the NAPO Arizona Chapter. He enjoys traveling and playing golf in his free time.
June / July 2023
What my client forgot:
Success story – I have worked for a couple in Athens for 5 years. They hired Simple Solution Organizing initially to organize their office. After working with them for some time, they hired Adele Tusson-Gross to do financial organizing. Adele would meet with them every other week. Her tasks included going through their mail, sorting it into categories, filing important items, updating Quicken, keeping track of tax-related items, paying bills, and communicating with the client's CPA’s, adult children, financial advisors, and home service professionals.
Adele’s clients recently moved into assisted living for health reasons. At this time, she started reviewing their emails. She discovered emails from a large financial brokerage site. She asked the client and he had no recollection of it. She called the brokerage site and my client authenticated himself. He had 3 accounts totaling $25,000. Everything on this brokerage site was paperless. It probably was not intentional because he preferred paper. My client wanted all of their investment accounts together. I contacted their Financial Advisor to send the paperwork to make it happen.
Historically, the husband in the couple handled all of the finances. In many couples, there is often one spouse that is more interested in this role. In my marriage, that’s me! However, there are many couples that maintain their own personal finances and deposit some funds into a joint account that they pay bills from.
Regardless of how you handle your finances, your spouse/significant other, executor of your will, attorney, and/or someone you trust needs to be aware of all of your financial accounts. Do this now! Please don’t wait until you have a crisis. Unfortunately, we don’t know what our future holds. Don’t procrastinate this vital task.
Simple Solution Organizing can help you with this. We are happy to help you build your own Life Organizer. This essential package includes vital records, an emergency planner, as well as end of life items on a digital document, which is cross-referenced to a paper file. My daughter has a copy of my life organizer. This gives my husband and I peace of mind.
Our College Hunk staff is ready to help!
Did you know that Simple Solution Organizing can help you with your moving and downsizing projects? We have College Hunks and a team of Professional Organizers ready to help you downsize and get your home ready to go on the market!
Our team members Connor, Adam, and Brice have worked with several clients. A few examples of jobs they have successfully completed include:
At Simple Solution Organizing, we charge $50 per hour per team member. Based on our research, this is about half the price of our competitors.
Photo on Left: Brice is an aviation student at Middle Georgia, He is a licensed pilot and has 2 cats which he loves to death. He has worked for Simple Solution Organizing since 2022.
Middle Photo: My favorite College Hunk, Connor Gross, my son!
Connor is a student at Kennesaw State University studying Information Systems and Supply Chain Management.
Connor has worked for Simple Solution Organizing since 2017
Photo on Right: Adam
Adam is a student at UGA pursuing a degree in finance, He enjoys soccer and weight training.
Excess: according to the Oxford Dictionary excess is defined as an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable. A lack of moderation in an activity, especially eating or drinking. I would add consuming to this definition. Excess is exceeding a desirable amount. Do you have excess in your life? I would like excess cash and wealth and I don’t want excess stress or responsibilities. We see a lot of excess of things and stuff when we Organize and Downsize people’s homes. That insatiable desire to acquire more and more Excess.
A few stories of excess. Ann, not her real name, recently separated from her husband. She wanted help deciding on items to keep or get rid of before she moves up north. Her 2-bedroom apartment filled with stuff. We worked on creating homes for articles of clothing, toiletries, and décor. There was an abundance of Knick knacks and newly purchased items. Ann struggled with anxiety of where to put things…so much so that she did not put them anywhere. They just piled up. Does this sound like you? If so, just try something. It does not have to be perfect or permanent but try something! Move forward. We learn by storing items in different places. Where would you look for the item? Start there and make progress.
The other advice I give to anyone who might be moving soon: is to not buy any furniture or decorative items. It is very expensive to move, stuff gets damaged and you can buy practically anything and have it shipped for free.
Barbara, another client, has Elementary age girls, and a beautifully remodeled home with amazing closet organizers installed. Young girls, with lots of creative pursuits, will create a lot of clutter. There are so many fun items they use: art supplies, American Girl Dolls, Lego’s, stuffed animals and lots lots more. The toys were taking over Mom’s space too. During our session we moved all their items back into their bedrooms. Barbara reclaimed her living and dining rooms. I told her that she deserves to have “her” space.
A few tips to reduce your kids clutter is to 1) limit the amount of Lego’s or Dolls to a specific container(s). Once the container(s) are full they have to get rid of some (of that toy category) if they want more. 2) Growing kids change sizes frequently. Have a container in your kids closet designated for the clothing they can’t fit into or don’t wear anymore. It's best if you implement systems like this when your kids are young. They are more likely to keep it up. They are also more likely to do it if they see their parents “practicing what they preach.” My husband and I have a bottomless container in our garage for clothing and other items we want to donate. When the container gets full, we bring it to Habitat for Humanity and start all over again. Having a designated spot to put unwanted items in helps a lot.
One of my Team Members and I were working with a Downsizing client. Renee, recently retired and wanted to simplify her space. She donated a lot and is Consigning through Finders Keepers Consignment in Decatur. Renee told me she no longer makes impulse purchases. She shops online a lot and will place items in her cart. She waits a couple of days and returns to the cart and generally does not make the purchase. This practice deters impulse buying. Great advice!
Removing excess items that you and your family no longer want or need opens up your space for what you do want and need. Excess stuff weighs us down emotionally and physically. Let go of some excess stuff this month. You won’t regret it. If you struggle to let go of your stuff, we can help.