I love getting mail. On occasion my niece mails me one of her paintings or a person I met through LibraryThing mails a postcard. My grandparents always, without fail, mail me a homemade card for my birthday. So I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I love getting real mail.
Conversely, I hate junk mail. It wastes my time disposing of it, and it wastes the paper that it’s printed on. I especially dislike pre-approved credit offers. If I want a credit card, I am smart enough to do research on my own. I decided that it’s time to take charge of this situation. Here are the websites I have enlisted to reduce the clutter in my mailbox:
- Catalog Choice is a free service that helps you request which catalogs you would like to stop receiving. As junk mail gets to my house, I open the site, search for the catalog, fill out the information exactly as it is on the envelope, and Catalog Choice files my request with the company. On occasion (I’m looking at you Yellow Pages), the company in question makes you fill out a request on their own website. However, Catalog Choice still makes a record of your request that you can access.
- I’ve also signed up with DMA Choice (Direct Marketing Association) to remove me from direct marketing lists like campaign postcards.
- To stop getting credit card offers, I added us to OptOutPrescreen.com. This site adds you to a list that opts you out of firm credit and insurance offers for five years. You can be permanently taken off the list, but you have to mail in a form that includes your social security number. That gives me the heebie jeebies, so I’ll just re-opt-out when I start getting them again.
None of these sites can get you out of everything. There are loopholes that can allow companies that you do business with (like your bank) to mail you offers. If you happen to be a Bank of America customer, you know that they will frequently send you offers for credit cards. The good news is that you can also opt-out of these requests through their privacy page.
I decided that it is well worth my time to put in a small amount of effort now to keep clutter and extra paper out of my home. It’s better for me, and it’s better for the environment. Win.