1) Switch to online payments and/or automatic debits from checking account, if you are comfortable with that (some people aren't, it's OK). The latter helps to give you an excellent credit rating.
2) For paper bills, immediately write the check, seal envelope, write due date on back flap, and attach stamps and address labels. Mail immediately; or else save and mail closer to the due date (have a "tickler" to remind).
C) USE THE FOLLOWING WEB-LINKS TO DE-CLUTTER YOUR MAILBOX:
**These suggestions might be especially useful for seniors to cut down on stuffed mailbox clutter.
1) CATALOGUES: The Mail Preference Service (DMAchoice)
It works! You still get catalogues, but only from companies you already do business with or ones you choose. Switch to online delivery of e-catalogues, or access websites only when needed. The latter is a good choice for those prone to impulse buying, and getting more stuff to store.
* The online opt-out expires in 5 years, so it needs to be renewed. But if you send a hard copy, it will become permanent.
* Does not apply to local businesses. One can selectively opt out of certain charities.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE NOW ON YOUR WAY
TO A LESS CLUTTERED MAILBOX AND HOME!
ORGANIZING DAILY MAIL
The mailbox can be a major culprit in excess papers around the house. Out of control, it produces disorder, delays in locating an item, wasted trees, and possibly, household strife.
Below is a systematic way to organize it. It's as simple as A-B-C.
A) SORTING DAILY MAIL
First, set up a dedicated mail-only workstation in the home.
Do this as soon as the mail is brought inside:
1) Toss recyclables in bin. It is not necessary to open obvious junk mail.
2) Sort out magazines and publications.
3) Slit open all letters at the same time, then remove all contents at the same time. Throw envelopes and extraneous paperwork into recycle bin.
4) Separate out bills.
5) If a letter is more than 1 page, immediately paperclip or staple papers together, along with reply envelopes.
6) Finally! Review relevant mail, and dispense with it ASAP.
7) For documents that need to be shredded, identifiers and critical information can instead be deleted with a permanent marker, then recycled. (This is optional).
8) Use desktop vertical or horizontal shelves and label slots for each family member, and use them.
2) PRE-APPROVED CREDIT CARDS, Insurance Ads, and Prescreened Mailings from the 4 Credit Bureaus:
http://www.optoutprescreen.com Or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
3) TELEMARKETING: The U.S. Government-sponsored National Do Not Call Registry.
http://www.Donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. It is a violation of FCC regulations for companies to call if you have opted out.
4) ROBOCALLS AND CALL CENTER TELEMARKETING:
NoMoRoBo blocks these calls very effectively-- the phone rings once, then stops. It's free. Unsolicited calls that do get through can be reported. NoMoRoBo will immediately add that number to its database, and permanently block it. At first, your own caller ID might come up as "Unavailable" or "Private Caller" on outgoing calls. If so, call your provider to reverse it.
This service can be especially helpful for seniors, who can be targeted by unethical marketers and fake charities. Just explain that "the phone company can tell" if the call is trying to get money from you, and cuts it off.
5) CHARITIES: Always do your own due diligence on charities before donating. Most phone solicitations are low-rated charities or even scams. The website below formally rates charities, and if you scroll to the bottom, it shows the salaries of chief executives-- sometimes in the millions.
6) BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS ADVERTISING: Contact Dun and Bradstreet to eliminate mailings.
Call 1-800-234-3867 and request to Opt Out.
7) YELLOW PAGE PHONE BOOKS: