It may be a few more weeks before you see dramatic decreases in your junk mail. I'm still getting the grocery circular. Everything left you can do to decrease your amount of unsolicited mail is more arduous. You basically have to contact individual organizations (charities, your alma mater) and ask them to stop sending you stuff.
Here is a sample letter:
Please remove my name and address from your mailing list. I want to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail I receive. (Be sure to include all variations of your name.)
Full mailing address
Signature and date
Here are some parting words of advice:
- Any time you give out your address, ask that it not be shared (if you can). Simply state: "Do not sell or share my name/information." Also ask that you not be sent any of their material by snail mail. Ask them to send you information and solicitations by email instead.
- Two things that don't work: refusing junk mail (by writing "refusal" or "return to sender" on the envelope) since 3rd class mail is not forwarded; sending junk mail back postage due. Both of these simply result in the mail carrier tossing your junk mail for you.
- Contact your service providers such as insurance, bank, and wireless provider, and ask them not to send you promotional material.
- Go to DMAChoice.org, register, and opt out of everything (catalogs, magazines, other mail). Note that I did not find this site useful for opting out of individual catalogs and things (not one of the catalogs I wanted to stop receiving is in their catalog list). Catalogchoice.org has a much more extensive list. But hopefully registering with DMAChoice.org will prevent you from randomly getting added to someone's mailing list.
- In a month or so (when most of cancellations should have kicked in), begin saving the mailing label from your junk mail again, keep it somewhere visible on your desk, and take a little time once a month or so to cancel those mailings.
The complete Goodbye, Junk Mail Series:
Step 1: Save Your Junk
Photo credit: Charles Williams
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