For every catalog you order from, you probably get dozens more you never look at. Minimize the stack with a few calls (or clicks). Make your preferences known every time you buy something – when ordering by phone, tell the operator not to add your name to the mailing list (or rent, sell, or trade your information). When placing an order online, always check the opt-out box. If there isn’t one, complete your order and then look for the customer-service email or mailing address and send a separate request. Before you sign up for newsletters or calendars, see if you can access that information on the Internet instead.

Some unsolicited mail will always manage to sneak in. To keep it from piling up, be ruthless about disposing of it: Tear up junk mail as you get it or run it through a paper shredder before dropping it in the recycling bin.

To be removed from the major credit bureaus’ mailing lists for preapproved credit card and insurance offers: www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688.

The Ecology Center of California recently launched www.catalogchoice.org, a site that allows you to search for catalogs by name and cancel those you no longer wish to receive. If you can’t find the catalog you’re looking for, click on the ‘suggest a catalog’ link at the bottom of the results page.

www.41pounds.org (named for the average amount of junk mail sent to each adult in the U.S. each year) will contact dozens of direct-marketing organizations and catalog companies on your behalf. (fee charged)

(Some information borrowed from RealSimple magazine’s Homekeeping Solutions.)

Direct Marketing Association
212-768-7277 x1888

Allows customers to stop unwanted mail from showing up in their mailbox, including catalogs, credit offers, etc.

Website

Valpak Coupons
888-797-1896

Allows customers to remove themselves from the Valpak coupon mailing list.

Website

Valassis Intelligent Media Delivery
860-285-6100

Allows customers to remove themselves from RedPlum Direct Mailings.

Website