I’ve found some great tools online to help you reduce the onslaught of paper and phone calls coming into your house. It could not be simpler.
Step one: Register for the “Do Not Call List” This literally takes less than a minute. You enter your phone number and provide an email address. The government sends you an email. You open the email. Click on the link. And confirm. Now the telemarketers can’t call you. Note that non-profits are exempt. And originally we would have to re-register every 5 years, but the program has proved so popular that Congress is considering eliminating that requirement. Go to this link: DoNotCall.gov. (Government can do good).
Step two: Reduce those catalogues. A great new web site called Catalogue Choice can help you do that. First you register – name, email address, real address. They send you an email and you confirm. Then whenever you get a catalogue in the mail that you don’t ever look at – you simple go to the web site, type in the number from the mailing code. And Catalogue Choice will do the rest and get you off the mailing list.
They have many common catalogues listed. But if the one you’ve gotten in the mail is not listed, there’s a mechanism for Catalogue Choice to help with that as well. And if you don’t have the mailing label, and only have your address, they can still help. Check it out: catalogchoice.org.
Step three: New American Dream is a web site with the mission to help us “live consciously,” “buy wisely” and “make a difference.” They offer many mechanisms to help us achieve these goals. (Last month, nilambu notes featured their Simplify the Holidays brochure). You do need to register, but then you get access to all of their services; much is still accessible regardless. And don’t worry, they won’t use your email to clutter up your mailbox. I have gotten some emails from them, but it’s not a deluge.
And they have a special section to help you contact all the folks necessary to rid you of useless mail. You simply type your address in, and the site does the rest. Click here to get started and generate the letters. You just print them out, sign them, and mail them away. Begin now!
One other option – which I’ve not tried – is a service offered by 41pounds.org. So called because, on average, each American gets 41 pounds of junk mail a year. 41 pounds! So, for $41.00 they will remove you from mailing lists and catalogues. If anyone tries it out, please report your experience back to me.
One final resource – Martha Stewart lists 100 ways and reasons to “Get Rid of It.” So if you want to get rid of that mattress or old lap top or suitcases or eyeglasses or pretty much anything else, check out this list of resources to help you figure out what to do with all your needless stuff.