Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Articles > Work & Family

Make Your Life Easier: Trash Junk Mail

Does your mail pile up? Here’s how to sort through it all.

"We get more mail in a year than our grandparents got in their lifetime," says Ellen Epstein, a Maryland-based professional organizer and owner of Concierge America. "People are drowning in paper."

Credit-card offers. Charity appeals. Coupons. Catalogs. It piles up. Here's how to stop some of that junk mail and to deal with what's in your mailbox.

* Call 212-768-7277 or go to to put your name on the Direct Marketing Association's do-not-mail list. Within three months, you should see junk mail taper off. But you'll still get mail from companies you do business with, and from local merchants, political candidates, and professional and alumni associations. And it won't stop mail addressed to "occupant" or "resident."

* If you really want to be vigilant, contact catalogs you order from and magazines you subscribe to and ask that they not sell your name and address.

* When mail comes in, "Sort it right away," says Helen Montfort, a professional organizer and owner of Creative Order in Bethesda. "Put bills in one pile, magazines in another pile, catalogs in a pile." After sorting, put the magazines near your favorite reading chair, the catalogs in another logical spot, and throw away the junk that's left.

* Don't open junk mail. "If it says '0% interest' on the outside, you know it's junk," Epstein says. "I can't believe how many people read junk mail. Men are worse at this."

more from Washingtonian

Most Popular on Washingtonian

9 Restaurants Native Washingtonians Love (Even If No Else Does)

“Life Below Zero’s” Andy Bassich on Why He Moved From Washington to Rural Alaska

20 Great Walks Around Washington, DC

Dear New York Times: Here's a Better Way to Spend $100 on Washington Food

How a Fish Sandwich Became a Symbol of Shaw's Changes

How the Strange Story of Sweet Briar College's Founding Could End Up Saving the School

Gillian Anderson Is in DC, and the Reason for Her Visit Might Surprise You

The 25 Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Washington

The Great Washington Bucket List: 50 Things Every Local Needs to Do