As a Professional Organizer, one of the most common areas I deal with is paper clutter. So here are a few tips I share with clients to make dealing with the paper in your life easier.
1. Keep yourself off advertising lists
How did you get on these types of consumer advertising lists? Buy a mail order product, enter a public transaction such as a home purchase, birth, or buy a car. If you are listed in the white pages of the telephone book, file a change of address form at the post office, make a charitable and non-profit contribution, register for a sweepstake or a prize, submit a registration card or consumer survey, your name may be gleaned for future solicitations. To protect yourself, always check the Opt Out box or state “Do Not Contact”.
2. Get off the unwanted mail lists
Write or email the Direct Marketing Association to get off most advertising lists. You’ll see a drastic reduction in the amount of mail you receive in about three months. This is a general opt-out list; you cannot specify certain mailers. To get off specific lists, contact each advertiser directly.
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
3. Eliminate unwanted credit card offers
The three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Trans Union established the National Opt-Out Center. Call 888-5OPT-OUT to remove your name from pre-screening or other marketing purposes.
4. Reduce “Current Resident” mailings
Locate the name of the distribution company near your mailing address. Contact the company in writing or by telephone and request that your address be taken off the distribution list. Include the mailing label with your letter.
5. Trash, Shred and Sort
Toss and shred as you open mail and sort the remaining important items into a Family Transition Center with mail slots for kids, parents and bills.
6. Contain and Limit
Choose a specific container for your catalogs, magazines, newspapers or other periodicals. Each time a new issue arrives, place it in the back of the container. When the container is full, toss the front (and oldest) issue.