5 Surprisingly Easy Steps to Rid Your Life of (Most) Junk Mail

The following post is from Joshua of Becoming Minimalist:

source: dewitt

According to the US Postal Service, 100 billion pieces of junk mail are sent through the mail each year in the United States alone.

A Few Statistics

(source)

  • Junk mail kills 2.6 million trees every year
  • Every US household gets 6 pieces of unsolicited mail each day
  • Every 5 days, enough junk mail is produced to reach the moon
  • Junk mail produces 1 billion pounds of landfill each year
  • Junk mail weighs almost double the entire weight of US military’s tanks

But, you probably didn’t need statistics to tell you that junk mail is a household nuisance. You already knew that.

It lands in our mailbox, calls for our attention, enters our home, clutters our counters, sells us things we don’t need, and eventually fills our recycling bins, trash cans, and landfills.

One step to eliminate the problem is to throw it in the recycling bin immediately after you bring it through your door. However, the better solution is to not receive it at all.

Removing your name from mailing lists is not as time-consuming as you might think and it shouldn’t cost you a penny. You can quickly reduce your junk mail 80-85% by following these five surprisingly easy steps:

1. Register

Register your name with the direct marketing association’s mail preference service at www.dmachoice.org and you’ll be added to their “do not mail” database.

2.  Opt-Out

Opt-out of pre-approved credit card, mortgage, and insurance offers by using the online form at www.optoutprescreen.com.

3. Remove Your Name

When you order something from a catalog, your name and address is likely given to Abacus, an alliance of catalog and publishing companies. Remove your name from Abacus, via e-mail (abacusoptout@epsilon.com) by requesting removal. Include your full name (with middle initial) and complete address.

4. Call the Company

For unsolicited catalogs that you receive due to actual purchases, call the company and ask them to remove you from their mailing list. If you are unable to locate a phone number, ecofuture.org provides a sample form letter for you to quickly print and mail.

5. Contact Local Organizations

After 60-90 days, pick up a telephone and individually remove yourself from the mailing list of companies that were unreached online. These will mostly consist of local organizations, charities that you support, and alumni mailing lists.

And while those five easy steps above will remove most of the junk mail from your life… a handy, easy-to-reach recycling bin can always handle the rest.

How do you handle your junk mail?

Joshua Becker inspires and encourages others to live with less on his blog, Becoming Minimalist. He has also authored two e-books, Simplify and Inside-Out Simplicity. But more importantly, he loves his wife and two small children.