How to Stop Junk Mail from Being Delivered

To really stop junk mail from being delivered to your home, you'll need to attack on multiple fronts. But this small amount of effort will be well worth it in the long run --less work for you to sort through and discard and a significantly smaller impact on the environment. To learn how to combat junk mail once and for all, read on!

RETURN ANY JUNK MAIL THAT'S RETURNABLE Before destroying your unwanted junk mail, carefully look over the front of the envelope. If you see the words "address correction requested" or "return postage guaranteed," then you're in luck! These types of junk mail are returnable at the original sender's expense. Simply handwrite the words "Refused - Return to Sender" on the front, and drop in any mail box. With the rising costs of postage and materials, your name and address will be deleted from their lists quickly.

CALL CATALOG SENDERS If you are receiving unwanted catalogs, look inside for the company's toll-free phone number. This will usually be located on the back or inside of the front cover. Call the number and request that your name and address be removed from their distribution list. Have the catalog on hand and they'll likely need information from your mailing label.

SUBMIT AN OPT-OUT REQUEST The major credit bureaus have centralized a service for consumers to opt out of receiving preapproved and prescreened offers of credit and insurance. You have the option of having your name and address removed from the lists for 5 years or permanently, and you can opt back in at any time. To start the process, go to or use the direct link in the Resource section below. Choose which option you prefer and follow the steps as directed.

About 80% of all junk mail can be stopped through the Direct Marketing Association's mail management website. Go to (or use the link in the Resource section below) and create a free account. Once your account is activated, you'll be able to opt out of credit offers, magazine offers, catalogs, and other forms of junk mail (solicitations, flyers, etc.). You can choose to stop junk mail from an entire category, or select specific senders within a category.


  • To expedite email requests, create a standard message that you can forward to each company. If your junk mail contains a postage-paid return envelope or postcard, use it to send in your request. Attach the mailing label on the original junk mail to a short note asking to be removed from their mailing list.


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