Get less coming in
Last week was part one of the series, Identify to clarify. This time, I'll write about some simple things you can do to keep down the volume of paper you receive.
Get off those junk mail lists
It sometimes takes several attempts, but the flow will lessen. Go here to opt out of catalog and other offers: https://www.catalogchoice.org/. Try this site for getting off credit offer lists: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t.
Note that you will speed up the process by contacting the publishers of catalogs you currently receive directly. If you don't, you'll have to wait till your opt out request filters down from the national registry and that takes months.
I suggest tearing off the catalog cover or masthead page of each one you want to stop getting and put them in a folder till you've got the whole bunch. Then go through them one by one and opt out in the way they request; a phone call, sending snail mail to their office, etc.
Get bills and other documents electronically
You can get bank statements, bills, receipts and even books in electronic form these days. There's no compelling reason to receive paper copies.
It's a good idea to go to the websites in question and download the PDFs so you have a copy and could print it if need be. This is especially important for bank statements. Some banks only keep your electronic statements posted for a few years and you'll have to pay a fee to get older ones.
Winnow down your subscriptions
As noted in part one of this series, magazines keep comin' at ya. If you don't read one before the next one comes, you now have two to read. Soon there will be three. You know how it works.
I suggest not subscribing to magazines at all. Kinda drastic, I know. As a treat, and when you have time to read it (going on vacation, for instance), buy yourself a few. Many magazines have online versions and some are free. Read those instead.
As for newspapers, they come every day! It's critical that you read what you can each day and then toss that baby to make room for tomorrow's news. News gets old faster than any other type of information so there's really no point in hoarding it.
Less coming in means less to manage and less to clutter up your house. The age of information brought us the world at our fingertips, or doorstep. The next step to take is to carefully vet what information we allow in so it doesn't overwhelm us.
Stay tuned for part three of the series, Be more ruthless.