Halting the Catalog Flood Starting Today

Is your mail box getting stuffed each week with a growing number of catalogs from your favorite stores to those you don’t remember signing up for? Are they mounding up on your counter/table because you think you might look at them or are they filling up your recycling bin (and you feel guilty about all those lost trees)? If you answered yes to either question, then take some time now to cut down on the deluge before you get buried.

First, grab all your catalogs

Sort into 2 piles – keeping and recycling

With the catalogs you keep, set a specific time to go through them, figure out what you are going to order and order it. If you are not going to do this step over the next two weeks, throw all the catalogs out. You will be receiving new ones.

Take your recycling stack of catalogs and take a seat near a computer and phone. You can stop these catalogs arriving in your mailbox in several different ways (from most work to least work):

1. Call up the Customer Service number on each catalog and request to be removed from their mailing list. They will need the customer number located on the back of the catalog (usually it is highlighted in some color). They will probably inform you that you will continue to receive catalogs for the next (insert number) of weeks because they have preprinted their mailings that far ahead. If you notice after that time that you are still getting their catalogs, you will have to call again. Also take note that if you order from them, you might just get added to their mailing lists again. Before hitting the order button or getting off the phone with customer service after you have bought something, make sure you are not being automatically signed up to receive any mailings. 

2. Visit https://www.catalogchoice.org/ and sign up for a free account. Input all of your catalog information and they will submit to each company your request to be removed from their mailing list. Or if you have an iPhone, you can use their MailStop Mobile app where you can take a picture of the back of the catalog where you info is and upload it. The company will take it from there.

3. Or if you don’t want to spend the time, you can order a MailStop Envelope ($6.75). As you receive unwanted catalogs, you tear off the back page and put it in the envelope. After you have collected about 15 pages, mail in the envelope. The company will process the cancellations for you.

This process does take some of your time and it can be weeks before you see a reduction in the catalogs but the payoff is well worth the effort.


Photo by jgrebedw hosted on Flikr.com 

About Gabriela Burgman

Gabriela's mission is to empower her clients with the tools and motivation they need to get and stay organized. Prior to becoming a Professional Organizer, Gabriela worked in a photograph archive as well as several university archives, assisting offices, administrators, and retiring academics to sort through their files for preservation or disposal. She became a professional organizer in 2007 working as an independent consultant before joining Living Peace. When Gabriela is not learning new ways to organize photos or paper both physically and electronically, she is spending time on what matters most to her: visiting with family and friends, reading a good mystery book, or cooking a tasty meal.

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