There is so much mental and physical clutter that keeps us from staying focused, and on task (even if that task is chilling out!)
Every piece of rubbish junk mail that fills up our physical or digital mailboxes, and each pesky call that comes through to our cell phone asking us to buy this or that or the other add up!
You can think of each disturbance as a little stone thrown against your peace of mind, focus, and energy. Day in and day out, it can be energy sapping! And certainly, keep us from our task at hand!
So what to do? I started considering the cost of such disturbances. How much does it “cost” to have to go through dozens of pieces of mail every week and figure out which pieces you need to shred, which you can trash, and which are actually important. Calculating the cost of going through the actual process, and then the accumulated cost of mental clutter it causes the see the stack pile up each day. Not to mention the actual time or money cost of shredding documents with your sensitive information on them.
There is also a hidden cost we rarely think of. That is the threat of identity theft. With so many credit card offers and other types of credit-extension offers circulating through the sometimes, unsecured post systems, we ought to stop or minimize the volume of documents with our sensitive information from even being created.
Well, it was started to get on my nerves (a lot!) so I thought to myself, “Self, why don’t we find a solution?” And that I did.
I started the process back in late March, and now it’s September and I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in credit card offers, car loan offers, other offers from credit card companies, mortgage insurance offers, catalogs I have no or little interest in, and other random junk mail! Now, we just have got to get my other half to do this and we’ll be all good.
Here’s what I did and what you can do:
#1: Stop calling me!!
The national “Do Not Call Registry” was created by the Federal Trade Commission to help protect consumers from incessant sales calls. It helps gets you off of the telemarketer’s radar. There are still those that fly under the radar of the law, so you can report them separately through the same link.
You can register your phone and put it on a “Do Not Call List” for 5 years by registering online, or do it permanently, and do it through mail.
You can also report unwanted calls and check your registration. My calls have gone down significantly since I registered.
#2 Choose How You Get Marketed To!
The Data & Marketing Choice Association has a service where you can decide what types of direct mail marketing you’d like to receive and stop receiving from different companies.
You’ve got to register for the site and there is a one time fee of $2 for this service. (I think it’s a fair trade off for how much we have to gain!)
You can see in the above image, the once you get registered, you can decide how to manage catalog, magazine, credit card (at the very bottom) and other offers. You get a lot of choices, so if there are mailings you want to begin receiving, you can do that here. See the shot below and all the catalogs you have to choose from. You can also do a one step opt out of all paper catalogs as well.
They also have an email preferences system. You can include yourself on a list to be cleared from email list services that are in compliance. This is not all marketers, and it does not include business to business marketing. They maintain that they do not sell or provide the list for any other purpose rather than to clear you off of marketing rosters. It is a free service that lasts six years.
ValPak anyone? The Valpak poses a special problem for me. I can’t just recycle it or throw it away without looking at it first. And looking through it takes time and mental processing. What if there is a really cool deal in there? So I go through them, more often than not, save coupons I won’t usually use and take up my precious time, space and keen, yet finite mental processing energy.
So what’s the solution? Opt out of the physical ValPak and browse their coupons online for your location, when you are going to buy local products or services. The best of both worlds!
RedPlum Mailers too!
The same goes for the RedPlum mailers! Go digital and on demand!
Hopefully, this was helpful! Less clutter, less stress, more happiness. Also, junk mail takes a YUUUGE bit out of our precious natural resources and our precious time here on our little blue planet.