Take 10 minutes now to remove yourself from junk (e)mail and telemarketing lists using the links below and you’ll get more time back, spend less on things you didn’t want in the first place, and cut down on wasted resources.
1) To get off ~80% of direct mail marketing lists, go to https://www.dmachoice.org/ and register for an account. Then, go through the 4 categories of direct mail and request that all mail be STOPPED.
Follow the link on DMA Choice to a separate site (OptOutPreScreen.com) to stop those annoying credit card offers. You can electronically remove yourself for 5 years, or (my recommendation) print out and mail in the paper form to be removed PERMANENTLY.)
2) From the same folks that brought you the above link, go to http://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/optoutemps.php to remove up to 3 emails at a time from commercial emailing lists. (You’ll still get spam email from other sources outside of the DMA’s control, but this should help reduce the total burden.)
3) Go to www.donotcall.gov/register to register up to 3 phone numbers at a time (including cell phones) with the federal governments National Do Not Call list.
4) (optional) For getting off specific catalog mailings (such as ones from companies that you had bought from in the past), go to http://www.catalogchoice.org and they will submit an email on your behalf to remove you from whichever companies’ catalogs you select.
5) To get off Red Plum/Retail Me Not, go here. For Valpak, here. (Props to Seattle.gov for those links!)
6) For miscellaneous promo mailings, try this tip from the helpful bureaucrats in Yamhill County Oregon.
First, look for any of the following phrases: return service requested, forwarding service requested, address service requested, or change service requested. If you find any of these phrases, write "refused, returned to sender" on the unopened envelope. Mail sent to "Resident," "Current Resident," or "Current Occupant" can be refused if it contains one of the above endorsements, or is sent First Class. When you receive unsolicited promo products, you can mark the envelope “Return to Sender” and put it back in the mail.
If one of the links above is no longer valid, please let me know in the comments, and check the FTC’s site here: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email
Each of these registrations is free, and with the exception of the mail-in credit offer removal in step 1, can be done in about 5 minutes online with a valid email account. If at any time you decide you actually WANT to receive junk mail/telemarketing calls etc, you can change your preferences with each organization.
Less time filtering junk mail and spam calls = More time to relax and enjoy life!