For some strange reason, it just isn’t as fun to get mail these days as it was when I was a kid. (That probably has something to do with the fact that my late grandfather loved to send my sister and I money for just about every holiday…) Now though, if the letter isn’t a bill, it’s just junk. And I don’t like to waste my time or paper.
After a seriously bad junk mail day (12 pieces!), I started thinking: I’m on the national Do Not Call registry, and I have a pretty solid spam filter on my email. So why not investigate ways to take back my mail box, too?
Here’s what I’ve tried able to do so far:
- Convert all paper bills to paperless billing. Duke Energy, like many other companies, offers a paperless billing option. This is super simple for me, because I’m always chasing a 2 year old and seem to be perpetually out of stamps. Now that my mortgage, utility and cable bills are automated, I don’t have to worry about missing anything.
- Cancel my paper catalogs and opt-in to store email programs instead. Paper catalogues were doing me no favors, and usually just piled up in inconvenient places. I canceled the booklets and opted into email programs, and got an unexpected bonus: coupons! I didn’t realize that many of my favorite stores were publicizing deals online that I was missing out on.
- Sign up on free opt-out websites. There’s a handful of free websites that allow you to opt out of many of the largest direct mailing lists. These free services won’t cover everything, but signing up is a big head start. There are also several paid subscriptions available through websites like 41pounds. I haven’t signed up for a paid subscription just yet—but am seriously considering it.
- Be proactive. Be wary of sweepstakes, product warranty cards and other non-essential cards that require your name and address in exchange for small tokens. More often than not the data being collected is sold directly to large volume mailing lists.
With a few simple steps, hopefully you’ll find the volume of junk and bills decrease significantly—so when you open up that mailbox, there will be mail you actually enjoy opening. SO follow the steps listed above and start taking back your mailbox today.