Okay, back to papers. I could keep a nice, tidy house if it wasn’t for all the papers that seem to invade and pile up around here on a regular basis.
It really annoys me. Someone – a store, bank, charity, politician, business, magazine – decides they need to send me something, most usually trying to get their hands on my wallet. That’s easy to say no to. But what I can’t say no to is the time it takes to deal with it all.
One month we saved all the credit applications we received. Between the two of us we were getting, on average, ten to twelve a week. A week! And it’s not like you can just toss those out. They really should be shredded.
Don’t get me started on catalogs. You buy one thing, once, from one and you’re on their list forever. And on the list of whoever they decide to sell your name to. There is one we get, Home Decorators, that I will never buy another thing from. I’ve called no less than half a dozen times to be removed from their distribution list. Three years later, those darn catalogs are still coming.
Then there are the charities. I never knew there were so many orders of nuns, priests and monks. Health and human service organizations abound as well. At least when many of the charities come looking for your money, they send you a little “gift”. At the rate we get these solicitations, I’ll never need to buy another return address label, prayer card or rosary as long as I live.
Add to all of that the credit card, utility, bank and mortgage statements that you legitimately get and you’ll have one large pile of paperwork. I’m finding it pretty easy to lose something important in the midst of all the junk mail.
I can’t bring myself to do much of the on-line bill paying that’s out there for my convenience, ;-) , but I have found a few ways of shrinking Mount Paperwork. When we first moved into this house, we were getting four “free” local newspapers, most of which went unread. I called and had those stopped. Sorry, Fr. Joe, I don’t have any more bags for the green recycling bin for the school fundraiser.
There’s also a phone number to get unsolicited credit applications stopped. Just doing that has made a big difference in our weekly mail delivery. Check these out:
To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreeen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
To get off of mailing lists:
The Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a "delete" file and made available to direct-mail marketers and organizations. This will reduce most of your unsolicited mail. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA's Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA's Mail Preference Service, go to www.dmachoice.org (it’s free on the website), or mail your request with a $1 processing fee to:
I’m still plowing through all sorts of paper we have lying around and stored in those bottomless wicker baskets, but at least the inward flow is slowing down.
Now, if someone wants to send me a big check, that’s another story. That’s paperwork I like!