A while back, I read several articles on eliminating the delivery of catalogs with CatalogChoice.org. The system is simple – you register and fill out a form, then Catalog Choice forwards your request to discontinue delivery of the catalog to the merchant. It takes a few weeks for the request to kick in – you can’t even re-submit your request for 10 weeks.
But the fabulous thing is, it works! For most catalogs, anyway. A few of the catalogs I submitted are listed as “not participating,” apparently meaning they won’t accept an opt-out request from Catalog Choice. Catalog Choice does provide a number I can use to call each merchant, but I haven’t bothered yet.
Even with the handful of catalogs that won’t honor my request, I’ve noticed a marked difference in our mailbox. There’s a lot less mail, which translates into a lot less shredding. I don’t waste nearly as much time tearing out labels and flipping through the pages out of curiosity.
And I’m less tempted to spend money, too. There’s a good article about the impact of advertising on spending at Get Rich Slowly, and it applies perfectly to this situation. Perusing catalogs would make me think about all the things I could or might find handy, especially at a sale price. But if I never see the items at all, I’ll never think to buy them. So eliminating catalogs eliminates a lot of temptation.
If you haven’t sign up with Catalog Choice yet, I encourage you to do so. It’ll eliminate stress and clutter from your life.