12.13.2005

Cutting down on junk mail

For my American readers, some helpful advice below.

This has gotten particularly bad for me. I mean, I like getting the Lands End catalog since they sometimes have good prices on things and that reminds me to go online and check their overstock website. Although even they are going overboard lately, what with three catalogs arriving in the past month. But I also get several charity solicitations a day (my fault--I give charity) and tons of credit card offers or those annoying "checks" from credit card companies. The latter two categories go right into the shredder for me, since I'm not keen on dealing with the aftermath of identity theft. But it's time-consuming and annoying as hell. Plus, it makes me into a bad roommate. I come home, see the stack of 10 envelopes from the day, and can't deal with separating out the one or two important ones from the rest, so I let them pile up on the shelf and they eventually become mountainous and messy. I try to clear them away once a week, by which time I almost have enough to fill a paper grocery sack. Or so it seems.

So this is what I did today, and as soon as I have the energy, I will call my credit card companies and see if they will stop sending me things besides my statements.

Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service: you can pay $5 and do it online or pay 37 cents and mail them a letter (guess which option I chose!)

Opt-Out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers with the three credit bureaus: You can choose to opt-in, opt-out for five years, or opt-out permanently. It takes two seconds.

I found these two options above here. These were the two easiest, quickest, online options. They should make a difference over the next 1-6 months. There are other options, but they seem to involve placing actual phone calls.

You can also try junkmailstopper.com, and this website, although I haven't really looked at them in any depth, though, so use their advice at your own risk.

Let me know if you have any other tips or thoughts. Thanks!

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