How to Stop Delivery of Unwanted Mail

Written by miranda brumbaugh
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How to Stop Delivery of Unwanted Mail
Unwanted mail is a waste of paper and your mail carrier's time. (mailbox image by Pix by Marti from

Finding your mailbox full of unwanted mail is aggravating. When you receive letters, catalogues and other mail that you immediately discard, it is a waste of the sender's resources and your time. Changing your mailing address, renting a post office box or moving are all ways to stop receiving unwanted mail. However, there are a few simpler ways to prevent the delivery of unwanted mail.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sender's address
  • Phone or computer
  • Stamped envelope

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  1. 1

    Contact the sender if the mail came directly from a company or person. Write an official letter stating that you wish to end all correspondence by mail. Have the letter notarised, which will make it an official document and will make the sender more likely to take notice of your request. Send as certified mail through the post office, so that you are notified by mail that your letter was received.

  2. 2

    Contact a company that provides opting-out services, such as Catalog Choice, if the mail you want to stop consists of catalogues, phone books, advertising flyers or coupons. Gather the names or return addresses on unwanted mail deliveries. Search for the names of the senders through the website of the opting-out service and choose the companies whose mail you want to stop. Report any companies that continue to send you mail even after you opted out by filing a formal complaint through the company that provided you the opting-out service.

  3. 3

    Write "not at this address" on the front face of the envelope of mail that is unwanted, then place it back in your mailbox. The letter is then sent back to the sender. If you receive unwanted mail that is threatening or you consider harassment, contact your local law enforcement agency. Give the police officer assigned to investigate your case the actual mailed document for evidence.

Tips and warnings

  • Any time you subscribe to a magazine, mail in a warranty card or participate in a contest through the mail, the affiliated company may use or sell your address.
  • Whenever you participate in any of these services, write "no mailing lists" next to your signed name somewhere on the document.
  • Opting out of solicited mail delivery is available free of charge, so if you are asked to pay a fee for this service, consider using a different service provider.

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