How I reduced junk mail

If you are inundated with junk snail mail in your mailbox then merely throwing it in the trash can or recycle bin is not going to solve the problem for you. So try my tips below and watch the amount of junk snail mail drop dramatically in a very short time.

Use their postage-paid envelope to send a message
I read this tip a couple of years ago and have found it to be quite effective. Simply take the return reply form that is inevitably included in the junk letter, write something along the lines of ‘Please remove me from your mailing list”, and highlight it with a highlighter pen so that it is hard to miss. Then place the form in the postage-paid return letter that was enclosed with the junk letter and mail it. Usually this works the first time, but those stubborn companies or organizations that choose to ignore your request the first time usually get the message loud and clear the second time you do it.

Why this approach works is very simple – it’s free to you because you are using their postage-paid envelope to correspond with them but they don’t get the donation they want and they have to pay the postage to boot.

I used to feel bad about doing this to religious and charitable organizations because they have, by nature, limited monetary resource, but not anymore. However, when a religious and/or charitable organization that I’ve never heard of, nor interacted with previously, sends me an unsolicited donation letter then I assume that they chose to purchase my name and mailing address and go fishing for cash, so I don’t feel so bad. Plus it saves them money in the long run; they don’t send me follow-up communications, which frequently run to multiple double-sided pages (I see you nodding your head; you know what I’m talking about). So both their money and valuable trees are saved in one fell swoop.

Send an email or call customer support
If the junk sender lists a website or customer service phone number on their correspondence, then sending them an email or calling the number should prove a faster avenue to removing yourself from their mailing distribution(s). For example, earlier this week I realized that my roommate and I were both receiving the same category from a pet supply company, so I emailed the company and asked to be removed from their distribution. I included my name, address, and customer ID information exactly as it was printed on the back of the catalog and received a reply the next day advising that the company had honored my request. They save money, more trees are saved, and there is now one less item in my mailbox once a quarter.

Use your own stamp
A third option is to write a short letter to the company and mail it to them using your own postage stamp. I’ve taken this approach in the past and it is very effective but I usually use it only when I know that the organization has limited resources, I respect the organization and want to maintain a good relationship with them, but want to cease their flow of solicitation mail for whatever reason. Some organizations send a solicitation every few months and that’s acceptable (there are certain organizations that I do support financially) but receiving a request for cash every couple of weeks gets old fast.

Keep the letter short and to the point and generic in context. For example, in my letter I used the generic To whom it may concern introduction, stated my desire to be removed from their mailing list, and mentioned that all future correspondence from them would be ignored and thrown unopened into my recycling bin upon receipt. I then printed 20 copies of the letter and kept a list of each organization I sent the letter to so that I wouldn’t duplicate my effort.

I started this approach sometime during October 2012 and I’m happy to disclose that my mailbox has been noticeably sparse since the beginning of December. Some organizations even replied to my letter thanking me for taking the time to correspond with then and confirming that I had been removed from their mailing lists. Another example of how sometimes you just have to ask to get what you want.

How bad is the junk mail situation at your house? Have you tried anything similar to my three tips above and been successful? Comment below and let me know.

I’m an Independent Brand Partner of Nerium™International, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website:


About Shy Witness™

My blog posts range from observations about current events to technology, general life observations, and the antics of my dog Sandy, her brother Ricky, and her half-brother Morgan. View all posts by Shy Witness™

2 responses to “How I reduced junk mail

  • UltraSexy911

    The comedian Lee Evans has an interesting yet drastic approach to dealing with junk mail.
    He said “When you get junk mail, s**t in the envelope and send it back them. You send me some of your s**t, I’ll send you some of mine”


    • Shy Witness™

      That’s definitely another way way of dealing with the problem huh. Although I’m sure the USPS would prefer my methods better he he.

      FYI: I edited your original comment to mask the profanity. 😉


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