The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail per household in a year. That's 848 additional decisions that need to be made. Like you have time for that.
A little effort on the front end can eliminate a whole lot of effort on the back end. The tips below will help you get your name off of those pointless mailing lists. A year from now you're going to wish you had started this today!
Catalogs, Magazines, Direct Mail
The Data & Marketing Association allows you to customize your direct mailing preferences through their website http://www.dmachoice.org. This will not stop all junk mail, but it will slow it down considerably. It can take up to 90 days for direct mail to stop since these mailings are already in print or production. There is a small fee of $2 to unsubscribe for 10 years. Worth it!
Have a specific catalog you would like to stop receiving? Try https://www.catalogchoice.org
Solicitors also retrieve your information through all of the major credit bureaus. These solicitations are usually for offers of credit or insurance. You can elect to be removed from these offers for 5 years or permanently. Call 1-888-567-8688 or visit: http://www.optoutprescreen.com
For only $25 you can save a whale or Social Security!
You may have given to charities or political campaigns in the past, only to find that now you receive triple the amount of requests. The more you give, the more they want. Unfortunately, the only way to get off of these lists is to mail or phone in requests to each organization. When doing this you must be clear: "Please remove my name and address from your mailing list and do not rent, sell or trade my name or address."
$100 could be in this envelope!
Valpak & RedPlum are marketing companies that send packs of coupons and circulars for retailers in your geographical area. But did you know that you can go to their websites and retrieve those same coupons yourself? To get off of their mailing lists, visit:
Remember, “No, thank you” is a complete sentence.
It is ok to tell a cashier “no, thank you” when they ask for your phone number or email. It is also ok to decline that “free” tote bag or beachball in exchange for your name and address. Your personal information is confidential and should be guarded as such.
These steps may not eliminate all of the junk mail you receive, but it will keep it to a minimum. As long as you continue to practice guarding your personal information, you will experience less mail and less unproductive decision making!
P.S. Still getting phones call? Don't forget to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry at http://www.donotcall.gov (registry is good for 5 years).
Aimee Olson of Life Done Simply is a Productivity and Organizing Coach and is a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO).