Junk mail pours into our mail boxes daily, which can cause our home to have unneeded clutter. Having a system to getting rid of it, will help reduce one of the biggest clutter culprits in your home. This is a guide to disposing of junk mail.
Solutions: Disposing of Junk Mail
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I recycle everything! My husband and I use the cloth bags that we use every week to get our groceries. We use various sizes to accommodate different products). We have one particular size that is excellent for mail, catalogs, newspapers, and magazines. I keep one next to my office desk, my living room chair, and the kitchen pantry, in order to toss things in after they are read. When they are full, we take them to those recycle dumpsters that are located around and are used to collect paper for charity.
To cut down on junk mail, first, I "unsubscribe" from as many websites as I can. That cuts down on a lot of junk mail.
Then, from the outfits I want to stop sending me mail, if they have included a postage paid envelope, I'll go ahead and fill out their survey (or whatever) but not include a check. See how much they value my opinion then! Sometimes I just return the postage-paid envelope, or I might include other junk mail. Fun! It almost makes it fun to get junk mail.
Whenever I receive an "invite" in the mail for a credit card that I do not want (an unsolicited invite), I tear it up into several pieces because I do not have a shredder and can't afford one right now. Then I take the pieces and put some in each waste basket around the house so just in case a thief wants to paste the information back together, all the pieces are not there.
Some pieces are in the bathroom waste basket, some pieces are in the kitchen waste basket, some pieces are in the bedroom waste basket and not all waste baskets get emptied at the same time. This eliminates the risk of any personal information getting into the wrong hands.
To keep the clutter down of junk mail coming in the house, we keep a shredder handy and go through the mail as soon as it comes in. Magazines, newspapers, ads, etc. go into a bag to be recycled. Anything with our name and address on it is opened and the "address" part of the mail is shredded to prevent anyone getting a hold of it. The rest of the mail is put in the recycle bag with the rest of the items.
Dealing with the mail as it comes in daily has helped us a lot with having things setting around and cluttering up the desk. When the shredder is full, we recycle the shredded paper by putting it out in a bag marked with an X as instructed by our county waste disposal. Anything we want to look at goes on the desk to be looked at, at a later time. I can't tell you how much the shredder has helped to get rid of junk mail.
I save up my junk mail until I get enough to mulch a section of my flower garden where weeds are a problem. You can lay the pieces of mail two, three or four pieces deep and spread over the area to be mulched. Make sure to cover any bare spaces, because wherever it's bare, a weed will find a way to pop up! Then cover the whole thing with your favorite decorative mulch.
We have tons of pine straw here that I can just rake up and cover up all the paper. This should last a couple of years. I guess you could do your vegetable garden too, but I mostly use newspaper for that because I am not sure of the chemicals in the colored ads.
I mail it back to the sender if they enclose an envelope for which they will pay. Let them pay twice for the spam and they can get rid of the clutter. Otherwise if I can use the backs for note paper, I do that.
I have a shredder. I shred all of my junk mail. I use the strips for packing materials when I mail boxes.(eBay) I also use them for paper mache projects with my children or kids in my class. I sort the colored paper out. I have bins of pink, yellow, blue, and white paper that I use for making my own homemade paper.
I tried using the strips for mulch around bushes and in my garden, but they blew in the wind and what stayed in place turned really hard so they are not good for that use. If I have too much for my own use, I give some to others to use or there is a place in a close town that accepts them for recycle.
I have, in the past, just written "refused" on the unopened junk mail and put it back in the mailbox. The postal service will take it away.
Other than that, since I live in a rural area and burn wood for heat, much of it, in the colder months, is used for kindling to start the woodstove. It is also accepted at the recycling area of our local landfill at no charge.
The quickest way to get rid of junk mail is to have a wastebin (waste basket) somewhere near where you pick up the mail. Don't let the junk mail get any further. Drop it in the wastebin right there and then and you will have no worries about junk mail clutter.
Do not allow junk mail to enter your home! It seems once mail gets in the house, it takes on a life of it's own and never leaves. If you pick up your mail at a post office, throw your junk mail in their paper recyclables container. Less to take home.
If you have home delivery, keep a grocery bag (plastic or paper) for the junk mail in your garage. You can even put it in a pretty trash can or basket (found at a garage sale) so you notice it more quickly! Less clutter and greener for the environment. Oh, don't forget to occasionally, get rid of the full bag or you have only moved your clutter from in the house to the garage.
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