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How to Stop Junk Mail Overload

If your office is anything like mine, then you get TONS of junk mail every week. 

By now I have become a pro at spotting the deceptive envelopes.  Stamping “important information enclosed” is most often like an illegally parked car with it’s flashers on.  Just draws attention to the fact that something is not right.

But when I heard last month that the US Post Office had relaxed it’s rules on bulk mailing, I declared war.  Not only did I want to rid my inbox of the clutter to save time, but also to become a little more eco-friendly in the process. Here are some steps you can take:

Register with the Direct Marketing Association

The DMA is the leading trade association for direct mail. Registering will allow you to decide which topics you’d like to opt-out of receiving. While this won’t eliminate your direct mailings entirely, it should help cut it down. Even though their “do not mail” database is optional, most companies don’t want to waste money on people who have no interest in their products.

Opt-Out of Pre-Approved Mailings

Run by the four major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion), the site allows you to remove your name from lists that credit card and insurance companies use to offer you pre-screened offers. Personally, this makes up a large portion of the junk mail that lands on my desk. The good news is legally they must remove your info if you request.

Return Mail to Sender

If you see an envelope and your junk mail alarm goes off, you can write “return to send” and “remove me from mailing list” on it. If you already opened the mail, stuff the contents into the pre-paid envelope and do the same. Drop it into a mailbox and hope for the best. But remember, this only works for first-class mail. Other mail will be picked up by the USPS and then dumped…hopefully in a recycling bin.

Contact Sender Directly

I heard your sigh from here. This is obviously a time consuming task, but if you follow the steps above you should have drastically less junk mail to wade through. I found this was a good option for catalogs which often had opt-out direction on the back page. It was also good for businesses, such as my bank, that I would rather correspond with only electronically.

Avoid Giving Out Mailing Address

Don’t be tempted to enter store sweepstakes or sign-up for reward cards. If a warranty card does not require proof of purchase, be leery. Any time you fill out your address, take a moment and think about how safe that information will be.

Still can’t stop the influx? Get crafty. Junk Mail Gems offers ways to turn your junk mail into works of art!

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