Do you hum the Sanford and Son theme song when you open your mailbox? Is unsolicited junk mail cluttering your postal pristineness? How do you stop junk mail? In today’s video I will tell you how to stop mail from even getting to your mailbox. And next time you are pacing with your parcels, you can play a prelude dedicated to your pleasant postal package space.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/TCDMail.)
Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about getting rid of junk mail. Now, the Consumer Research Institute found out that we are throwing away 44% of the junk mail we receive unopened. So that is terrific. Yay for us! However, we are still spending eight months of our lives opening other junk mail. So, we want to get some of that time back, and we want to look at that in terms of prevention, reduction, and maintenance. Because as you know, I always say getting organized is a lot like losing weight. So, we want to keep some of those clutter calories from getting into your mailbox in the first place.
What you want to do with prevention is start by being more savvy and more conscious about giving out your contact information. Whether you’re on-line or you’re filling out some kind of form, look for the “opt out” opportunities and take advantage of those. If there’s not an “opt out” checkbox, you can contact the company in another way or even write directly on a piece of paper “Do Not Add Me to Your List.” So be pro-active so that you can prevent yourself from getting on the list, and then you don’t have to pay the other stuff that we’re going to talk about. So, if you do have a lot of stuff coming in already, which most of us do, to reduce that, you can go and register yourself at several different places that will remove you from the list over time. It is a gradual process, and you will see a reduction. So the first place to go is dmachoice.org – and that stands for Direct Marketing Association – the other place is catalogchoice.org. Both of these are free registries that will remove you from many of the major lists.
The other thing that I have found recently is an app that is called Paper Karma. And it’s for the Android and the I-Phone. It uses your phone’s camera so you register with the app, and then you take a picture of the mailing labels from the junk mail that you don’t want to receive anymore, and they will unsubscribe for you. So that’s a fantastic service, also free.
Now, we want to think about maintenance habits so that over time you continue to lessen the amount of mail you’re going to receive. So the first habit I want to teach you is something called scanalizing. Now, this is a word I made up, but there is a certain skill in sitting down with a stack of paper and being able to quickly understand what this piece of paper is, what it’s asking of you, and what you need to do with it. So, a big part of this scanalizing skill is really understanding how to identify junk mail in the first place. So, when you notice immediately that something’s junk mail, try not to process it any more. Don’t even open it if you can. Recycle it, shred it, get rid of it, and move on. And another tool that’s great to have in your junk mail arsenal is a very good shredder, because if you have credit card offers or anything with compromising information, you want to make sure your shredder has a very nice large capacity so that you can put it through without opening it, still in the envelope, and it will be taken care of.
Another thing you can do for a maintenance habit is you can have your own printable postcard handy so that while you are sorting through your mail, if you find something and you want to unsubscribe, it is a preprinted form letter so that you can write down the company address real quick, stick a stamp on it, and you’re done. So keep those habits up of unsubscribing so that you can get some of those eight months back.
If you would like to have one of those printable unsubscribe postcards, you can get that for free in our Member Area. Everybody can be a member for free for 14 days. You can find out more about that at https://www.clutterdiet.com/learnmore.
See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
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