Let’s face it… no one enjoys going to the mailbox to see once again it is full of “JUNK” mail, ads you don’t want, credit card offers you don’t need to be tempted with, not to mention the one they just sent your dog or 1-year-old child.
It’s just more paper clutter for you to have to deal with, and if your lucky you have the time to deal with it right now, but for most of us that’s not the case; so into the basket, pile, purse to deal with it later it goes.
I mean seriously; “HOW DO WE STOP THE MADNESS?”
This was one of the questions I was getting from my current client after I had spent an entire day helping her take back control of her paper nightmare. I will never forget the look on her face when she asked me, “Rachel, how do I stop this from happening again and again?” I wanted to have a magic wand to wave and say, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo
no more junk mail.. but honestly, I didn’t have any true answer; So, I told her I didn’t know… and so began my research journey and hopefully the answer to this question…
HOW DO I GET OFF THIS JUNK TRAIN?!?
Because’s here’s the sad truth, according to research done in an average adult life span you will receive over 68,000 pieces of mail into your life and home!
So I went searching for a hero, a defender of all things sane, and in walks the DMA! Who’s that you ask? The DMA is a service that was created in 1971 by ANA- and who is the ANA? They are the guys responsible for about 75% of the junk mail you receive.
Think catalogs, newspaper ads, broadcast advertising and yep, even the internet. They are there to make sure you get the offers you want, kind of like that sweater that keeps following me around, on my side feed, that I just haven’t said yes to yet. That’s what they do, they make sure you get the offers you want, but unfortunately, they are also like that visitor you were happy to see at first, but now they just won’t go away. This is marketing data research and they are very good at it.
Now they ANA is not really the bad guy in this story because like it or not we do like to buy things, and they help business marketers to try and spend their money wisely.
SO how did you get on these lists, (trust me there are many) well if you just bought a car you might need new insurance choices or a house, you might need new furniture or a lawnmower. So they see this need and pass on this information to the companies who sell these items.
BUT what if you don’t want new furniture or a lawnmower, what if you are trying to downsize, simplify and help save the tress? There are some simple steps you can take, and before sharing this info with you I went on this journey myself to make sure it works, and to find out if it is truly easy… and Yippee it is!
Because consumers want a say in the mail they receive the ANA created http://www.DMAchoice.org and here’s the lowdown- it will cost you; a whole $2.00! (so have your credit card ready)
It will also cost you about 15 minutes of your time if you take the quick road the way I did and just say “STOP ALL”
Once on the website, you sign up and send your $2.00 payment you will see there are 4 main categories the DMA uses to break down your junk mail- Catalogs, Magazines, Other Mail Offers and Credit Offers
Now you will go through a simple step by step process where YOU decide what you want to receive and what you don’t, or at least get a lot less of!
So let’s break this down-
Here is where you will start your mailbox makeover, you choose which catalogs you want to receive—and which ones you don’t—from a list below, or you can do like I did and said, ALL!
Now, this is going to remove you from any current list where they are trying to get you as a prospect, not a customer.
Now remember if you are already a customer of a particular catalog, that company needs to keep you on their list for invoicing—and just in case you need to return an item, this will make the process run much smoother, but it also means you will keep receiving mail from them and will need to contact them directly to be removed.
In most cases, you can do this on the companies’ websites or call the customer service department— BUT once you do, they are required by law to remove you from their customer list as well!
The DMA does suggest for best results, to chose from the list; but this girl is cataloged out, and I hit ALL!
It’s completely your choice! (that’s right, you have the POWER!)
Let’s continue your mailbox makeover, and choose which magazine offers you truly want — think also of newsletters or periodicals that interest you, and which ones that don’t—you will again have a long list and you can pick them one at a time or hit all!
DMA does suggest for best results, to chose from the list; but… It’s completely your choice!
(that’s right, you have the POWER) again!
Also, if there are any magazines you currently receive but you’re no longer interested in, you can ask to have your name removed or better yet go to the magazine website and cancel your subscription because many will automatically renew.
Other Mail Offers-
Isn’t this fun? Don’t you feel lighter already? Ok, next the extras.. so the cute pic of the puppy or the sad-looking child pulled you in, I get it, we all want to be the change and I highly recommend finding causes you think are important and donating time, money and your heart to, but that also doesn’t mean you want 20 letters per year asking for more or guilting you into it.
Instead, use one of the postage-paid return envelopes to expressly tell them to stop mailing these requests to you. Be nice, but firm, no swear words please.. also be sure to state your name and address in the letter.
Please remember your doing this actually saves them money, they are no longer sending that .5cents in the mail, using envelopes or wasting man-hours asking for something you no longer can or want to contribute to; and this does NOT make you a bad person.
You do what you can when you can, how you want. That’s how it’s supposed to work!
And for the ones that just show up? That you never donated to or even care about their cause -Choosing ALL on the “Other Mail” option will remove your name from the lists companies in this category use to find new customers or donations.
So this one is just a little more tricky because these lists actually come from the 4 major credit bureaus. That’s right, we now have 4- what does that tell you about credit?
Virtually all credit cards and insurance companies get your mailing and credit information from these bureaus who share their lists with one another. But it’s easy to stop these as well and you can actually do it for FREE; go to https://www.optoutprescreen.com/
Here you will find choices to opt-out for 5 years, you can opt-out permanently, you can even opt back in, but maybe check with Dave Ramsey first! lol
I am also of the belief if you ever want a credit card just go to their website and they will help you, no problem! (can you see me rolling my eyes?)
Here is my last suggestion for the things that aren’t junk but you need-
Opt-in for electronic statements from your banks, utility companies, cable, phone, and insurance. Some companies will even give you a small discount for doing this. Now you have this info right there and you can easily create a folder in your email to sort and save. Quick, Efficient and SIMPLE!
Well, guys and gals, I really hope you found this article helpful and that you take the time to put these steps into use, that they help let go of what no longer serves you to find what does!
P.S. Looking for my ways to declutter your life? Get your copy of my FREE Printable 30 Day Declutter Challenge here:https://cheerful-motivator-1432.ck.page/7afb68f379