Mail: the nemesis of so many ADHD’ers. Do you ever wish it would just stop coming?

You know how it feels when the mail gets out of control. We’ve all paid bills late because they got buried, and we all know that’s not even the worst of it.

This hasn’t been overlooked by the authors of countless organizing blogs and books, all of whom have great advice on managing the flow of mail into your house.

Like every organizational system, though, these recommendations are only as good as our ability to implement them. Even if we do a great job for a while, most ADHD’ers eventually slip up.

With that in mind, take a few minutes to make digging out a little easier when you get behind.

Take a few minutes to start getting less mail.

Hopefully you’ve already enrolled in online billing and e-statements for any accounts that support it. Now you’re ready for the fun part: cutting out the junk mail.

Opting out: easier than you think

The Direct Marketing Association lets consumers opt out of all mailings from their member organizations. While this won’t stop all the junk mail from arriving at your door, it’ll make a big dent. The DMA also provides a link to opt out of credit card offers, which account for a lot of our household’s junk mail.

I completed the opt-out process at www.dmachoice.org last month and it took no more than 10-15 minutes, including the credit card portion. When I consider the amount of time I spend sorting, recycling, and shredding junk mail, that seems like a small price to pay. And less mail means less clutter and less opportunity to bury something important.

More quick hacks to reduce your junk mail

Some other tips to reduce the quantity of mail you receive:

  • Whenever you receive something that’s not for you — it’s the wrong name entirely, or a former resident of your address — write not at this address in bold letters on the envelope and stick it back in the mailbox. The mail will be returned to the sender, who will remove the incorrect address from their database.
  • If a junk mail sender includes a self-addressed, prepaid envelope in their materials, use that to drop a little handwritten note in there that says, “please remove me from all mailing lists.” Make sure to write your name and address as it appears on the envelope they sent to you — or you can stick a return address label to your note.
  • If you’re frustrated by the volume of mail you receive from one sender — for me, this was the AARP — do a quick Google search for ‘[name of organization] remove from mailing list’. In my case, this turned up a ‘contact us’ form on the AARP’s website, which I used to request that our address be removed from their database. It only took a few minutes, and the customer service representative who replied to my message actually clued me in to the Direct Marketing Association’s website.

Despite the repeated claims that snail mail is becoming a thing of the past, most of us still receive an overwhelming amount of it. Hopefully you’ve learned something new today that will help reduce the amount of clutter the mail carrier brings to your door.

Did I miss any good tips? How have you managed to limit the mail you receive every day?

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