Paperwork, specifically incoming mail, is a top complaint of my organizing clients. Why do we get so much junk mail?! It takes time and effort to process, and we end up tossing most of it.
In my blog about strategies to reduce paperwork, I detail some steps you can take to get rid of incoming junk, but today I want to help you get rid of the junkiest of junk mail.
Supermarket Circulars: the junk mail bane of my existence!
I hate getting those newsprint flyers. They go straight from my mail slot into my recycling bin. What a colossal waste!
Do you really need the info that’s on them? No, because it’s all available online. In fact, if you really love getting the weekly sales updates, just subscribe to get the emails from your favorite stores. You may even get bonuses for subscribing online or through the app. A friend told me that she gets free products from her local supermarket just for using their app.
What about coupons? Unless you’re a super-couponer, you probably don’t need those. I’m not a couponer because my thinking is that it takes too much time and effort to clip a coupon, shop for that specific item, remember to bring the coupon to the store, and hand it to the clerk. In the end, I’m just going to save 50¢ on something that I probably wouldn’t ordinarily buy.
OK, so now you’re on board with stopping the circulars. How do you do it?
My first thought was to go to an expert: my mail carrier. Sadly, his response was, “You can’t stop getting those. They just come to everyone automatically.” Seriously? I couldn’t believe it. His words were like a gauntlet being thrown down. I had to take on the challenge.
So I set out on an investigative journey to banish the circulars.
Step 1: Read the Fine Print
You need to make a list of the companies that are sending these circulars to you. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.
This is where the detective work happens. Get out your magnifying glass (or granny glasses, as the case may be) and scour the paper’s edges because you are looking for some seriously FINE print.
Occasionally, you can just call the company whose name is in giant print at the top of the circular, as I was able to do with a local furniture store. But more often than not, you’ll need to find the name of the advertising publisher, not the store name, so you can contact the company that distributes the circular.
You might even need to unfold some of the papers because sometimes they sneak two or three circulars into your house all folded together and disguised as one.
Step 2: Find the Contact Info
Now that you know which companies to contact, go online and search for the contact info. You might be able to find an online opt-out form, as I did for RetailMeNot Everyday. You may only find a phone number or email contact, as I did with a furniture retailer and the Providence Journal.
Step 3: Opt Out
Fill out the form, make the phone call, and send the email. It will only take about 10 to 15 minutes of your time to free yourself from those pesky circulars.
Just think how beautifully empty your mailbox will be!
Am I crazy for doing all of this work to save a few sheets of paper? Maybe. But I couldn’t resist. It was just so satisfying when the mail carrier said it couldn’t be done!
Now that I’ve done all the investigative work for you, maybe you’ll think twice about letting those circulars pile up on your counter or clog your recycling bin. Will you banish them from your home?