If you’re fed up with coming home to a mailbox full of unsolicited credit card offers, catalogs for companies you’ve never heard of or done business with and other junk mail, you should know that there are some solutions.
Programs like OptOutPreScreen can help you take some control of what mail you receive and hopefully help declutter your daily postal deliveries.
There’s really no surefire way to stop all junk mail for good, but in this article we’ll take a look at some options for eliminating at least some of it.
How to opt out of preapproved credit offers and other junk mail
My first preference for opting out of preapproved credit card and insurance offers is to go to OptOutPreScreen.com (or call 888-567-8688).
The OptOutPreScreen website is a joint venture from the credit bureaus that lets you tell them you don’t want their junk mail. It’s free and signing up one time covers all three bureaus.
You will be asked to give your Social Security number on the website. But it’s not necessary, according to the site’s FAQs:
Your Social Security Number is not required to process an Opt-Out request through OptOutPrescreen.com. However, we strongly urge you to provide this information because it helps to ensure that we can successfully process your request.
Two special notes about OptOutPreScreen.com: First, as you’re doing this online, be sure you select the ‘Electronic Opt-Out for Five Years’ option. The default selection will actually sign you up for more junk mail, so be careful.
Second, opting out of these offers is especially important if you move and your mail goes to an old address, or if you have a shared mailbox.
See our full story on How to stop junk mail with OptOutPrescreen here.
Another way to cut down on junk mail is to opt out of receiving catalogs from various companies. A nonprofit company called CatalogChoice helps you accomplish that for free!
If you sign up with CatalogChoice — it only requires your name and an email address — they can help you automatically cancel catalogs you no longer wish to receive.
You can also use the site’s Cancel A Catalog search function without even signing up. In that case, you’ll be given a link or a phone number to use to cancel the catalog yourself.
While CatalogChoice is free, DMAChoice costs $2.
You can stop catalog offers, magazine offers and other direct mail offers with three clicks of your mouse once you sign up — and your name stays off those marketer lists for a full 10 years!
Just be sure to give it 30 to 90 days to take effect once you pull yourself off those annoying lists.
Take the ‘search and destroy’ approach to junk email
Finally, we all know that junk mail isn’t limited to physical mailboxes. Only spam is a huge problem, as well.
Luckily, there’s a low-tech trick that works to declutter your email inbox. Simply go to the search bar in your email and enter keyword ‘Unsubscribe.’
Your email will then pull up all the mail from legitimate companies that offer an unsubscribe link.
You can quickly go through it and unsubscribe from whatever you no longer want to receive. It’s that easy!
Virtually no one likes getting junk mail, but we’re all busy. Think of it this way: Each of the options above will take just a few minutes of your time and could have a positive impact on your life for years to come.
So, set aside a little bit of time to fight the junk mail plague — and think about how many trees you will be saving in the process.