Sep 22, 2008

Reduce junk mail and spending with Catalog Choice

A while back, I read several articles on eliminating the delivery of catalogs with 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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I have gotten a few catalogs recently from companies I haven't bought anything from, but which I thought of as typically house-wifey catalogs that my mom used to get - and I was shocked at some of the adult-only type products they had in them. I guess that has all gotten much more mainstream than I imagined. So I can't wait to ask them to not send me any more!


Unknown said...

Also be sure to sign the petition for a a national Do Not Mail Registry at This will apply to all junk mail-- credit card offers, coupons, ads, fliers, and catalogs.

This is a 20th century business practice that will not help us meet the challenges of the 21st.

Will Craven
Do Not Mail Campaign

Anonymous said...

I hate junk mail with a passion. In this election year we have been hit many many times from different people asking for donations. I admit to being a bit of a jerk. I took their 'request' and sent it back to them in their postage paid envelope asking to be removed from their list. I have done this 2 times. So far neither of them have called me or sent me more 'requests' to donate.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Jennifer - Glad to help! Whenever I get a catalog I don't want anymore, I take it to the computer with me (it helps if you can provide the customer number and source code printed on the label). That way, I don't forget!