Tips for Tuesday
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the biggest problem areas in my home as far as order is concerned are my kitchen table and counter. The biggest culprit – mail. Thanks to my church mailbox, I have mail landing on my counter seven days a week.
The easiest way to deal with excess mail is to not get it in the first place. I've found several ways to reduce the amount of mail sent to my house.
1. Get off the bulk mailing lists. This takes a while to take effect, but worth the wait. Companies pay to buy mailing lists and don’t want to waste their money and mail on people who don’t want it. You just need to let them know you’re one of those people. For the best results, go to each of these sites:
- At top right of home page, click on “contact us”
- When asked to select what kind of user you are, choose “consumer” from the drop down menu.
- When asked to select the appropriate question, choose “I would like to be removed from your mailing list” and click on the “next” button.
- Enter the required information, click “send” and in 5-6 weeks those circulars will stop
- Click on the “Get Started” tab on the far right and type in the requested information.
- You can set up separate accounts for each person in your household, and list up to five versions of each name. YOU MAY WANT TO KEEP TRACK OF THE NAMES YOUR MAIL IS SENT TO BEFORE DOING THIS SO YOU CATCH ALL THE VARIATIONS.
- Call the toll free number you find in catalogs and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Even if it’s a number used to place an order, they’re still able to remove you from their list.
- Return the postage paid envelope to organizations looking for a donation. There’s no need to get nasty, just include the contribution slip with a request to be taken off their mailing list. I usually cross off the donation information just to make it clear that I’m not contacting them to make a contribution. Be sure to keep your contact information clear so they know who to remove.
3. When making a donation, make it clear that you do not wish to receive any excess mailings. I keep the following letter on my computer and send it whenever I am making a one-time donation:
"We would like to thank you for the service you provide and offer you this donation to further your work. Unfortunately, there are far more worthy causes looking for funds than we have funds available, so we must look for those organizations who will be the best stewards of the gifts given to them. We have been disappointed by those organizations that accept our donation and then seemingly spend a great portion of our gift to send numerous mailings and requests for additional funds back to us. While each mailing contains information that we’re sure the organization finds necessary, to us it is just overwhelming.
"We humbly request that you would not place us on your mailing list. We will continue to support your ministry as God leads us, but if you choose not to honor our request our support will be sent to one of the other worthy causes."
Now that we’ve begun the process of eliminating unwanted mail, we’ll continue next week by looking at how to manage the mail that does come into your house.