How to Clean Your Mailbox + Inbox

How to Declutter Mailbox + Inbox

Ever since buying our first house, I’ve become acutely aware of the amount of cr@p you can get in the mail. Now I LOOOOVE getting mail (my husband may never understand this!), but I don’t want mail that I’m uninterested in. So for the last few years, I’ve been on a mission to figure how to clean our mailbox…i.e. unsubscribe from unwanted mail.

How to Clean Your Mailbox

It all started with those weekly newspaper-esque mailings for local deals and/or coupons. For whatever reason, I just accepted those as part of life. Just as leaves fall from trees, weekly newspapers with ads must come!

I thought I was a little silly for this, but I shared this on my Instagram stories and a lot of people replied that they’d accepted it as a fact of life too, so I’m not the only one.

While unwanted mail is a headache when it comes to your sanity, it’s also a waste of paper (and valuable space). While you can recycle paper, it’s better just not to create a “demand” for it (knowingly or not), so here’s how I’m handling this silly nuisance…

How to Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists + Newspapers

How to Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists

First, let’s talk about those newspaper mailings. We were receiving two of these per week – one distributed by the local newspaper and one distributed by RetailMeNot.

For the local one, there was a customer service email address on the mailing itself, so I sent them the following email…

“Please unsubscribe us from you mailing list. Our address is:…” 

The following week, I received a reply that we would be removed and to allow 2 weeks for the change. Once I got that response, my mission was clear!

For the RetailMeNot Everyday (I only knew them for their website of coupon codes btw), you can just fill out this unsubscribe form online. It says to allow up to 6 weeks for the mailings to stop.

It’s been 3 years since we first did it, and we still haven’t received these again!!!! #WINNING

If you stop here, and it isn’t hard to do the above, you will feel quite successful in cleaning out your mailbox.

So I hate to say this, but for all the rest of the unwanted mail we get, I’m having to use contact forms and email addresses to get off their lists.

It’s absolutely some legwork, but I will sing for joy when I no longer have all this madness in our mailbox. And my husband will be harmonizing with me considering his distaste for mail.

There are likely magazines and catalogs you receive as well…

I know the joy of looking through those publications, but if you don’t absolutely love one (or more) of them and look through it every time you receive it, seriously consider getting your name off the list. You can always sign up for their e-newsletter!

Journals & laptop on table -  - How to Clean your Mailbox & inbox

Bulk Unsubscribing

In all my researching, I did stumble upon DMAchoice where you can get off of mailing lists for businesses registered with them. There’s an online form and it costs $4 to be removed for ten years. I haven’t done this one yet, but I’ve heard only positive reviews about it..

I found some reviews of it online, but many of their complaints seem to be outdated or (as in the case of it only lasting ten years rather than being permanent) worth it to me.

Clean Out Your Email Inbox

Can you imagine if your mailbox got as many pieces of mail as your inbox gets emails?! I can’t even imagine!

While email ads certainly save paper (yay!), they can clutter your life and cause unnecessary shopping. Here are a few ways I’ve been cutting back on what’s coming into my inbox over the past few years.

Update Email Preferences to Clean Out Your Inbox

If you like a store/brand but don’t want an email every. single. day. (I’m looking at you, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm!), see if you can just update your preferences.

The default for many emailing lists is to send you EVERYTHING. The business person in me thinks that’s a little silly since, I believe, people will more quickly unsubscribe from being overwhelmed.

To tone it down and clean your mailbox, click the “update your preferences” at the bottom of their next email and see what options are available. I’ve seen email options to only get emails by topic (Nordstrom’s technique) or to limit the number of emails you receive per day/week/month (GOOP’s technique).

And if you’re just ready to break it off, click unsubscribe! Nobody has to know. And it doesn’t mean you won’t still hear about sales (that’s what social media and bloggers are for these days)!

And, honestly, if I’m going to get up on my soap box here for just a quick second, one of the biggest issues I see with overbuying and overconsumption (the opposite of sustainable living) is buying something because it’s on sale, not because you needed it (or even desired it) in the first place.

To cut back on buying too much, it’s best to buy only what you know you need or want. Don’t let emails, sales, and other gimmicks trick you into something you weren’t already considering. Save wish lists and see what sticks, but impulse buys are usually not a good idea.

{If You want to stay up to date with everything around here, however, sign up for my weekly email that sends you everything from the week at once)!

Holiday Greeting Cards - How to Clean your Mailbox

The Good Kind of Mail

So while I’m ALL ABOUT eliminating unwanted mail, I do still so love sending and receiving personal mail. So send your friend a happy note to say hello!

The USPS is actually a very sustainable method of mailing since the routes are already predetermined – no extra transportation. And you might notice that postal workers often walk to deliver instead of stopping/starting their cars so much!

Cards and letters don’t have to be life stories; they just need to be a reminder that you’re thinking of someone!!

Happy Mail! ANd Happy Clean Mailbox!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *