When I was a kid I loved going to the mailbox to find a card or a letter from a dear family member or friend. As I got older I still enjoyed receiving the cards and letters, but I noticed other things...bills, notices, and junk mail!
I quickly grew tired of the junk mail that seemed to take more and more space in my mailbox. I have found ways to effectively stop junk mail.
Junk mail takes many forms from credit offers to catalogs to coupons. All of this junk coming to your home can have a huge impact on your life. First, your name is on credit offers that could end up in the wrong hands causing you to have to deal with identity theft. Second, all that paper comes from a lot of trees. Stopping this mail will have a positive impact on the environment and our landfills. And third, sorting through your mail to find what you need will be a lot easier if all this junk mail isn't there.
Things You Will Need
In order for you to eliminate as much junk mail as possible, the best way to start is to collect the junk mail you are receiving for approximately a month. This way you'll have everything in one place and can better grasp what needs to be done.
Opt Out Of Credit Card OffersYou probably receive on a regular basis credit card offers, mortgage refinance offers, and insurance offers. These can be very tempting to follow through on and that's exactly what the credit companies want you to do. In one simple step you can "opt out" of these credit offers. By visiting the OptOutPrescreen website you can have your name removed from receiving credit offers. Once at the website you'll have the option to: 1) opt out for 5 years, 2) opt out permanently, or 3) opt in. You may also call 1-888-567-8688.
Contact The Direct Marketing AssociationThe Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is an organization of companies that promote their businesses through direct mail. Direct mail means you're going to receive junk mail. You can work with the DMA to provide your preferences as to the types of junk mail you want and don't want to receive.
You will need to set up an account at www.DMAchoice.org first. Once your account is set up you can set your preferences for receiving: 1) credit offers, 2) catalogs, 3) magazine offers, and 4) other mail offers.
These first two steps will help in reducing the majority of your junk mail.
Coupon MailersIf you're tired of receiving the envelopes full of coupons for things you'll never use or need, you can request they stop being mailed.
ValPakValPak coupons show up in the blue envelope. You can request being removed by going to this website: http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm. Have your envelope handy since you'll need to enter the information exactly as it appears on the label.
Red PlumRed Plum is delivered as coupon inserts similar to what you receive in the Sunday paper. Included in the insert is an address card usually with pictures of missing children.
You can remove yourself from their mailing list by filling out the form at http://www.valassis.com/1024/Contact/MailingListRemoval.aspx.
Money MailerMoney Mailer is the red, white and blue envelop full of coupons. You can be removed from their mailing list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and address as it appears on your envelope.
CatalogsSometimes when you order from one catalog they share your name and address with another company. Not long after your mailbox is full of catalogs from companies you may have never even heard of!
The quickest way to remove yourself from the catalog mailing list is to call them directly. Look through the catalog and find a website or phone number. Depending on the number of catalogs you receive this could take some time.
You can also update your catalog choices if you've set up an account with the DMA in step 2. However, if you've already purchased from a company you will need to contact them directly.
One other option for getting off catalog mailing lists is to create an account with CatalogChoice.
Stopping junk mail can take some time. If you work at it a little at a time you WILL see great rewards of less junk mail over the following months. Taking a stand and opting out of junk mail also has a great impact in other ways. By having fewer mailings coming to your home you are reducing the risk of identity theft since credit offers will not be created for you. You will also have a huge impact on the environment since all of that paper will not be created and shipped to you. And lastly it will save you a lot of time from not having to sort through the mail to determine what should stay and what should go.
Tips & Warnings
Because of printing a mailing schedules, stopping some junk mail may take 6-8 weeks. You may receive additional mailings during this time, but just be patient, your hard work will pay off!
Unfortunately not all junk mail can be stopped. You still may receive junk mail addressed to "current resident" or one of its many cousins. The US Postal Service works with small businesses and encourages this type of mailing.