May baby steps challenge: mid-month report

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about May’s baby steps challenge, which is to stop those catalogs and junk mail once and for all. We get WAY too many catalogs, and even before I joined The Compact, I only ordered from a fraction of the ones we receive. I’ll be working on other challenges throughout the year, like using homemade cleaning supplies, composting, and air-drying laundry, but for May I’m focused on the junk mail and catalogs.

So how am I doing so far? I’ve already completed the first 3 items on my to-do list for the month. I’ll go through them one at a time.

1. Sign up for Catalog Choice. DONE. Finally. I should have done this years ago when I first heard about it. But better late than never. This took maybe 30 minutes. I was surprised that I had to check catalogs one at a time. There’s no way to simply say “no catalogs.” But I tried to check as many as I could think of that we receive. Hopefully we’ll see the results of this within a few months. Incidentally, if you’re afraid you’ll feel remorse about no longer receiving the Pottery Barn catalog or suddenly get an urge to peruse through Harry & David’s mouthwatering photos, you can always go to the site and ask to resume service from that vendor.

2. Put my name on Forest Ethic’s Do Not Mail List. DONE. This was actually a petition to create a “Do Not Mail” list similar to the “Do Not Call” list. Then they sent me a thank you for signing the petition and at that point I put my name on a list to stop receiving junk mail. This one probably took only about ten minutes.

3. Go to and “opt out” of all credit card offers. DONE. This one only took about five minutes.

That just leaves item #4, which is: Every time I get a catalog or piece of junk mail, set it aside and call the toll-free number and ask to be put on their “Do Not Mail” list. NOT DONE YET. I did start setting the catalogs and junk mail aside, and two week’s worth is what makes up the photo at the top of this post. That’s a LOT of junk mail. A total of three credit card offers and nine catalogs.

So I’ve done 3 out of 4 tasks, and I’ll work on making those calls this week. I haven’t seen a difference yet from completing the first three, but it might take a few months.

Have you taken the challenge to stop catalogs and junk mail once and for all? Do you want to start now? It’s easy! Please leave your ideas, tips, and questions in the Comments section. And let me know if you’re in!


  1. calimama says

    I can feel good about signing up with Catalog Choice a couple years ago. But I’m way behind on #2 and #3. In fact, I didn’t even know about them until you started your challenge. I will get to those sites this week. I challenge myself.

    Thanks for the resources.

  2. Alea says

    I have found that step 4, while time consuming, is the most effective way to stop junk mail. Especially when I tell them they can still send me offers as long as it is by email. I set up a separate email account for this. When I am not planning on spending any money I delete all offers without looking at any of them. When there is something I need, I will go through them to see if I can find a bargain.

  3. Angela says

    Calimama- I’m glad to hear from someone else that Catalog Choice is working. And you’re welcome.

    Anonymous- thanks!

    Alea- Thanks for your suggestion. That stack is piling up…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *