Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Making the Most of Your Junk Mail

Isn't junk mail such a pain? I have done a number of things to limit it including:
  • going paperless and paying most of my bills online
  • contacting companies who send me catalogs, etc. kindly asking to be removed from their mailing lists
  • opting out of credit card offers (these ones are the worst because they pose such a threat for identity theft) by calling 1.888.5 OPT OUT (or 1.888.567.8688)
Even after ALL that, some junk still slips through the cracks. So here's how I make the most of it and why I will never have to buy an envelope again (specifically the security-type):

1. Nasty junk mail: I think this one was for me to buy insurance for my appliances (an extended warranty) thanks.

2. Open and sort: A) Shred pile (anything with my personal info on it). B) Whatever can be utilized later pile. C) Recycle pile. D) An awesome, perfectly functional, brand spanking new envelope.

3. Use that "whatever can be utilized later" piece of paper from pile "B" (already just the right size) in a window envelope (also salvaged from junk mail) - I usually mark an 'x' through it or whatever scratch paper I am using, flip it over and...

4. Address whatever mail I might have to send out (believe it or not, some places still have you snail mail an actual check ;)

5. This envelope happened to have an address already on it so I just used a sharpie to mark it out. I will use these types of junk mail envelopes for things I don't have to address like my HOA payment which I pay in person. Otherwise you can just slap a label on top of it if you need to address it.

6. My stash of "free" envelopes. Safe to say I will never have to buy a security-type envelope...ever.

For more tips on stopping junk mail check out: I need to check this out too, I already see some more things I can try!

Do any of you have other tactics for stopping junk mail? Or, how do you make the most of your junk mail?

09/22/11 - I'm linking this post up with "Your Green Resource"
on Live Renewed, Sorta Crunchy, A Delightful Home, and the Greenbacks Gal.


  1. When I get a full sheet of paper that is blank on one side, I put it in my scrap paper pile. I started this pile in 1990 and have never used it up. I used it for all my class notes for the last year of high school and all of college; I've written letters, drawn, made lists, and done creative writing on it; I use it for all my hand computations at work as a data analyst.

    When I get paper that is blank on one side but smaller than 8 1/2"x11", I give it to my six-year-old son, who cuts it into small sheets for shopping lists and memo paper; we supply our church as well as our family. The sheets can be stored in larger-size excess envelopes.

    I also save envelopes as you do, but I have such a surplus that now I'm only saving the stamped ones some charities send.

    Because I donate to several organizations, many other organizations seek my money. The waste makes me sad, but they send a lot of stuff I can repurpose! Here are some details on other uses for adhesive labels.

    We used to have gerbils, and rather than buy bedding for them we let them shred junk mail. Then we composted it.

  2. Genevieve, sorry I never replied! Sometimes, that's all you can do is keep up, totally understand.

    Becca, thanks for ALL great tips, especially on the adhesive labels! I love how you're finding creative ways to utilize every last piece of what otherwise would be "junk." Nice work :)