One estimate suggests the average American will spend 7-9 months of his life opening junk mail. No one would choose to spend that much time on junk mail, but most of us end up doing it anyway. Keep in mind that many folks probably spend much more time than this.
Even those who refrain from opening their junk mail still have to spend time looking at it, realizing it’s junk, tossing it, and carrying it to the curb. It’s also incredibly wasteful from an environmental standpoint.
Implement these steps to drastically reduce your junk mail:
1. Measure how much junk mail you receive now. For 30 days, keep all your junk mail in a pile. You might not think you get a lot if you process your mail each day.
* After a month, however, you might be shocked at how much you receive.
* You’ll also get a better idea of how well your reduction efforts worked at the end if you measure this in the beginning.
2. See what you have. Go through each piece of mail and ask yourself if there was any value in receiving this mail. You’ll find that most of the mail will have a web address, a phone number, or both. Simply call them up and ask to be taken off their mailing list.
* It can be helpful to have the piece of mail available. There may be an ID code that can speed-up the removal process.
* It also might be difficult to find you in the system unless you have the precise version of your name or address used by the company.
* You might be able to opt-out online. There may be instructions on the website. Alternatively, there may be a contact form you can use to make the request.
* It might take 30 days for your efforts to show progress. There may already be a mailing prepared to go out in the weeks following your deletion request.
3. Ask the companies you currently use to give you the maximum privacy settings. Many companies sell your information to other companies or share with subsidiary companies. Request that your information never be shared. Likely culprits include:
* Phone and wireless companies
* Cable companies
* Credit card companies
* Internet providers
* Investment firms
4. Use electronic statements. Whenever possible, opt to use e-statements. You might even save money as many companies now charge for mailed statements. You’re free to print out hard copies, if needed.
5. Opt out of direct mail marketing. Just visit www.DMAChoice.org to opt out. This is a great tip and will stop a lot of junk mail. You’ll need to create a free account, but it only takes a minute.
6. Stop credit card offers. You can eliminate most of these offers by going to www.optoutprescreen.com or calling 1-888-567-8688. The opt-out period is 5 years or forever!
7. Avoid forwarding your mail. If you move, you can eliminate a ton of unwanted junk mail by not forwarding your mail to your new address. Only change your address with all the necessary companies, such as your bank.
Collect your junk mail for 30 days starting today. Then apply these tips and see how much you can eliminate. In 30 days, after you have completed all the steps, take another 30 days and collect junk mail again. You’ll be excited when you see how much you’ve eliminated.
Junk mail can take over your life unless you take action. Be smarter than the average American by not wasting months or even years of your life weeding through junk mail. Eliminate it from your life starting today!