An important part of de-cluttering for me this year has been de-cluttering my mailbox. Along with all the various envelopes for people who no longer live at my house, we also get a seemingly endless supply of magazines, catalogs, adtervisements, and coupons. These drive me a little bit crazy because a.) wow, what a waste of paper, b.) I hate going to get the mail and then realizing that there is actually nothing in that pile for me or anyone who lives here, and c.) I really don't need catalogs and coupons that encourage me to buy more "stuff" that I really don't need (How often does a really good coupon make you go out and buy something that you didn't want or need in the first place?).
So I've taken a couple of different steps to reduce the junk mail, and it's really been working really well! How did I do it?
1. I opted out of all credit card pre-screen offers Here (This site is endorsed by the US Trade Commission, so it's legit!)
2. I created an account on DMA Choice which allowed me to opt-out of all catalogs, magazines, etc. You can also use this site to just opt out of the catalogs you don't want. I've found that this site keeps you off of future mailings lists for new catalogs, but doesn't really stop the ones you are already receiving.
3. I used Catalog Choice to easily submit requests to the catalog companies that were still sending me material. This site makes it pretty simple to opt-out.
4. For any catalogs, magazines, newsletters, etc. that I was still receiving, I contacted the companies directly and asked them to remove my name from their mailing list. Most companies allow you to do this online.
5. For mail that I received not addressed to me, I marked it "Return to Sender" and put it back in the mailbox.
That may seem like a lot of steps, but it really didn't take long at all, and most of it can be done online. Finally being able to open the mailbox without being bombarded by random junk I don't need is so worth it, and by avoiding unwanted catalogs and coupons, I really haven't felt any urge at all yet to buy something new.
So the "buy nothing new" year continues and many trees are saved :)