Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A painless way to stop unwanted mail

Since my last post was about getting rid of clutter, I thought I’d share a great resource for tidying up your home while helping the environment. It’s Catalog Choice, a free service that enables you to control the amount of catalogs, phone books, fliers, circulars, newsletters and other unwanted mail you receive. You indicate which mailers you don’t want and Catalog Choice contacts the respective companies to request they discontinue delivery.

You need to create an account (a login and password) and enter your mailing address. Then, when unwanted catalogs arrive in the mail, simply select them from Catalog Choice's alphabetical listing, confirm the name and address on the mailing label and enter the customer number (also from the label). Catalog Choice does the rest. It takes about 10 weeks for the change to become effective.

I signed up about two years ago and it has definitely made a difference in the amount of mail I receive. Every so often, a catalog that I’ve given the boot to ends up creeping its way back into my mailbox (yes, I’m talking about you, American Girl), but for the most part it’s pretty effective.  Catalog Choice is a free service, but donations are accepted. Annual donors of $20 or more are entitled to an unlisting service which, according to the group’s website, “proactively removes you from lists bought and sold by marketers.”

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