five minute fix: make a call, stop spam snail mail


Every time I go to my mailbox, I find myself aggravated with the amount of junk mail that comes my way. From prescreened credit card offers to catalogs I never asked for, my mailbox is usually filled with little more than wasted trees. I always say I’m going to do something about it, but the motivation is replaced with a mental fatigue spurred by the assumption that figuring out how to stop the assault from various sources will amount to no more than a colossal hassle with unreliable results. Well, there’s nothing like moving to a new place to spur an organizational renaissance, and while changing my address I decided to confront the beast head on. Great news! Taming the junk mail dragon is as easy as making a few simple calls. Here’s how:

To stop prescreened credit card offers: Call 888-567-8688. Answering a few simple questions will stop the mailers that arrive as a result of information obtained by the main consumer credit reporting companies.

To keep your junk mail in check all around: Fill out a temporary change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service when moving. Filling out the permanent change-of-address form makes your new address available to direct marketers who pay a fee to access the National Change of Address database. The temporary option buys you 12 months to contact all parties you’d like to hear from to notify them of your new location individually.

These steps, both easy and quick, go a long way on their own to not only taking back the mailbox, but also protecting your privacy. I stumbled upon this comprehensive guide (typical of Real Simple, love it!) while doing my reseplace and suggest taking a peek and tying up more loose ends when you have a minute. From getting on the FTC’s Do Not Call list to blocking personal phone numbers to stopping the receipt  of unsolicited catalogs, each of these tips can be completed in little time and deliver big, stress-reducing results! — Sarah C.

From our partners is a great site for turning off the seemingly endless stream of catalogs that appear in our mailboxes!