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Mail, Mail, and More Mail

September 21, 2017

One of the tasks I routinely fall behind on is going through my mail. This is true with both the electronic and physical varieties, but the latter is continually adding to the visual clutter surrounding me, so I need to work on that. Starting now, with the stuff on this card table I use as a desk in one of the guest bedrooms when we do not have guests.

I do a pretty good job staying on top of bills and bank statements and other important stuff (not as good a job as Mr. K, I freely admit), but that still leaves lots of stuff to accumulate.

There are charity solicitations, mostly from places I’ve given money to in the past, including some Detroit area organizations. My least favorite are ones like the Arbor Day Foundation mailing; they sent so many separate pieces of paper with my name on them I’m super annoyed and will never give them money even if I do find out they do something worthwhile. Why does them splashing my name all throughout bother me? Because in this household, we shred anything with our name and address on it, but since shredded paper is not recyclable here, we tear out just the part we’re shredding, which takes extra time. My second least favorite type of charity mail are the ones with a bunch of random stuff they’re hoping will guilt me into sending some money. One envelope in this batch of mail had a notepad, a calendar, stickers, gift tags, and address labels. I do not need those things. I do not feel bad about putting them in the trash or recycling as appropriate.

There are many catalogs, most from companies I’ve never bought anything from. A few are for clothing, including the new to me Carbon2Cobalt, which appears to specialize in clothes for men and skinny women who don’t like bright colors but do like faux aged leather footwear to go with their subdued outfits. There are a lot with furniture and other items for the home. Some of those are targeted at people with way more more money and space than I have and also people who would rather have a pre-faded synthetic rug than an actual antique.

There are non-catalog ads for businesses both local and national. SiriusXM is a regular correspondent; they can’t seem to understand that I am never ever going to reactivate the radio in the car I totaled, no matter how good a deal they offer. Some of the things in this category have coupons I might use if I had a better system for getting them into my purse in a timely manner and remembering I have them.

There are magazine subscription offers. I’ve mostly let all my subscriptions drop, but I do still get Time (which we were switched to when Newsweek stopped publishing a print edition except I guess they’re back doing a print edition now?). That gets pulled out and put in downstairs reading pile when it arrives, but my Teen Vogue gets stuck in my mail pile. I subscribed to that to thank them for the politics coverage they’ve been doing in this new “post-fact” era.

There are miscellaneous notices that just need to be noted and either filed or recycled. Most should be recycled, yet I have to fight the “but what if I need this later” urge. That’s less of an issue now that in pre-internet days, but I still fight those sorts of thoughts.

When I’m done, I have a much smaller pile of paper than I started with, a few things in the trash (mostly waxy paper and stickers), and a box of recycling ready to be taken down to the big box in the front hall, which waits there until it’s full and we have time to go to the transfer station. No curbside recycling up here (though they do have it in town).

I should probably work at getting off a lot of these mailing lists. Sure, it can be fun to page through a catalog and think about what I’d buy if I had a different lifestyle, but I can think about that without the visual aids, too. But that’s a project for another time. For now, I’m going to enjoy the accomplishment of getting through this batch of mail.

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