Make Your Mailbox a Junk-Free Zone

Drowning in junk mail? New post office rules may make things even worse! Find out how to stop unwanted snail mail from clogging your mailbox.

By Reader's Digest Editors

If snail mail spam is one of your pet peeves, pull up a chair—you’ll want to be sitting down for this: A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals that in January the United States Postal Service relaxed the rules governing bulk mail (officially called “saturation mail” by the USPS), allowing more of it than ever before to jam your mailbox. In the past, a letter or package could not be delivered without having a specific address. As a result, marketers paid big money for mailing lists in order to promote their products and services. Now, direct mail firms need only address their mailings to “Postal Customer” and they’ll be delivered to every residential or business mailbox on an official route.

Feel like going postal? Here’s the good news: You can still opt-out of receiving bulk mail by contacting the marketer—or, rather, marketers of each and every unsolicited mailing. Luckily, there are several not-for-profit websites that do the dirty work for you. The following five steps will get you started, according to the folks at treehugger.com:

1. Contact the Direct Marketing Association. At your request, they’ll remove your name and address from numerous mass marketing lists for up to five years.

dmachoice.org

2. Register with Catalog Choice or TonicMailstopper to have your contact information removed from catalog lists.

catalogchoice.org

precycle.tonic.com

3. Review your privacy settings for all credit cards and utilities. Opt out of everything but communications from the company that are directly related to your account.

4. Say “No” to credit card solicitations. OptOutPrescreen.com is the official site of the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry dedicated to opting consumers in or out of credit card offers and promotions. Choose either a 5-year or permanent opt-out on the website or by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT.

5. Research junk mail reduction services. Organizations such as SlotGuard and 41pounds.org offer low-cost options along with advice.

For even more ways to fend-off junk mail, check out these planet- and privacy-friendly sites:

ecocycle.org

Global Stewards

Treehugger.com

Also see: 13 Things Your Mail Carrier Won’t Tell You

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Treehugger.com

  • Your Comments

    • Uncommonsensetoo

      None of these steps does anything to stop the biggest problem, the un-addressed junk that the USPS so happily stuffs our mail box with against our wishes. They blatantly disregard any requests of not to receive any un-addressed solicitations. USPS has turned into nothing but a junk delivery service. It is just a horrible company and I won’t be using them for anything. I hope they go out of business and that UPS and/or FedEx will soon take over mail delivery service, companies that at least respect customers.

    • Lorrisch45

      Please take me off your mailing list
      Eldred L. Johnson
      18815 N. 22nd Drive
      Phoenix, Az. 85027