mailbox

5 minimalist tips for reducing mail

In this digital age we receive a lot of our bills, notifications and magazines digitally. Often, there is just no need for physical mail because an e-mail does the job just as well. But still, paper clutter tends to sneak into your home through your mailbox. Whether it is bills, newspapers, flyers or other letters: we still receive quite some mail throughout the week and if we’re not careful, it can pile up and clutter our home. Most of this mail is nothing more than paper waste and that is why today I would like to share 5 minimalist tips for reducing mail. So you can keep the oversight on your paperwork and there is less paper waste going on in your home.

#1 Say No to Folders and Flyers

paper clutter

I don’t know how it works in your hometown, but in the Netherlands, we get folders and regional newspapers shoved into our mailboxes if we don’t specify that we don’t want them. We can put up a sticker to notify the person delivering the mail that we don’t want to receive it, so we did. We no longer get folders and newspaper and we’re fine with that. If we want to know about what is happening in our neighbourhood, we use this magical invention called the internet. This simple sticker saves us a ton of paper waste each week and we don’t miss out on anything important. Look up how it works in your town and say no to this big source of paper clutter too!

#2 Say No to Advertising

mailbox

Some companies have made a habit out of sending advertising through the mail addressed to you. This way their mail can’t be seen as a simple advertising folder and they’re allowed to send you this. If you don’t look at these folders or letters, call up the company and make them cross off your name from whatever list they are using. If you have a loyalty card from some store, make sure to notify them that you don’t want to receive any physical mail from them. This way you won’t receive this clutter and you are less tempted to buy things. It’s a win-win!

#3 Digitize Your Mail

mail

A lot of the mail you receive now, after you stopped the constant stream of folders and advertising, will be more or less important to you or your household. Still, there are ways to minimize this. A lot of companies nowadays are more than willing to send their mail digitally. All you need to do is contact them by phone or log in on their website. There you can notify them that you wish to receive your messages digitally from now on. It might take a few weeks, but you will no longer receive physical mail which you have to sort and store. In my article about minimizing paperwork, I already gave the tip of digitizing all your paperwork. This way you have everything you need just a mouseclick away and you won’t be stuck with folders full of paperwork in your home that are just gathering dust. If you’ve digitized everything, receiving your new mail digitally just makes this system work even better because you won’t have to scan any new letters coming in. I can recommend it to anyone!

#4 Read Papers and Magazines Online

newspaper

Don’t you think it’s such a waste that todays newpaper will end up in the trash by the end of the day? Just imagine how much paper waste this is causing in households all around the world? Wouldn’t it be much easier and environmentally friendly if everyone just read their news online? Every paper and every magazine has a website and most of these papers and magazines have an online subscription possibility so you have full access to all their articles online. There are even platforms where you can have access to a whole collection of papers and magazines from all around the world with just one simple subscription. I personally use Blendle for this and I love it! This step in the decluttering process might take some getting used to, but it will eventually save you a lot of paper waste and clutter around the house and it really is much cheaper and more efficient.

#5 Digital Best Wishes

letters

Every december we feel this urge to send people we hardly ever see or speak to our best wishes for the new year. Every year I feel more and more resistent to keep this tradition alive, just because it feels strange to only send our best wishes once a year. Nevertheless, if you do want to send out your best wishes for the holidays and the new year, or for a birthday/birth/wedding/promotion, you can just as well send it out digitally. Most people have e-mail or a social media account and it is becoming more and more common and accepted to send out your best wishes digitally. It not only saves a lot of paper waste, it also saves money! And isn’t it actually the intention that counts and not so much the card itself?

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