Last month The Happy Housewife tried to help us organize our homes, and one day recently she wrote about paper clutter.
I hate paper clutter.
And the biggest culprit in our house is charities. We get so many charitable appeals it's ridiculous.
I'm quite a pushover, and a few years ago I would give $20 here and $20 there, and feel better about myself. But I realized eventually that the mail just multiplied. I guess we got on multiple charity mailing lists, and soon we were getting solicitations from everyone.
So last year my husband and I sat down and whittled our charities down to just a handfull, who get a lot of money each, rather than a bunch who each get less. I figured that once we stopped giving to so many, they'd stop mailing.
And in most cases it's true, but back in 1993 I gave $20 to MADD, and they only stopped mailing me a year ago. Don't ever give to MADD.
Some charities really pull at your heartstrings by sending you beautiful cards, and then asking you to donate money to "pay" for the cards. I used to give in to that, but now I don't. I just keep the cards. Is that bad? I just can't stand people mailing me stuff when I didn't ask for it.
Or what about the people that send you address labels? Again, I'd use the labels, but I don't send them any money anymore. I suppose it must work, or they'd stop doing it, but I have to admit I resent it.
Charity phone calls drive me nuts, too. I just refuse to give on the phone anymore. I don't want to encourage marketing calls, so I never respond, even if it's something I would normally give to. I always figure they can just email me, and then I can answer at my leisure, rather than interrupting my dinner.
The funniest comeback I ever heard to a telemarketer was by a comedian named Tom Mabe, who makes a living doing this. Here's how he pranked one poor guy. Warning: some rather rude language, but if you can get past that, and ignore the silly ending, it's quite funny. I would never have the guts to do this, and I think it's a little cruel to the poor schlep who's just got a lousy job, but it fulfills all those fantasies of what you just WISH you could say to get people off of your back:
But I find that I spend several minutes everyday opening and recycling mail, without ever responding to it. It is such a pain.
So what do you do? How do you get people to stop sending you solicitations? How do you deal with all your paper clutter? I'd love to know!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.