Recently by Bill Rounds: My Privacy Library
I hated having to check the mail. When I did receive mail in my mailbox, it was mostly ads, bulk mail and mass mailers that were a complete waste of my time and a waste of trees. Before I had figured out how to stop junk mail, I still had to go through that pile of junk in order to not miss the occasional important piece of mail that I got. I found a way to stop receiving mail and don’t receive regular mail anymore. You don’t have to either. I will show you one way to stop receiving mail.
Problems Sending Mail From Home
Sending mail from the curbside mailbox in front of your own home can be dangerous, especially if you are paying bills through the mail. You should never leave a piece of mail with a personal check in your curbside mailbox. These problems sending mail are related to the problems receiving mail at home. By receiving mail at your home, you disclose the identity of the people who live there to anyone who might be curious. Not only might your mail contain your name on the outside, there may be sensitive information on the inside. You may receive checks, credit card offers or other pieces of mail that sit unattended near the street. This kind of information can be gold to private investigators and identity thieves. Receiving mail at an address that is not your permanent home might also expose you to income tax in a state that is not the state with which you have the strongest connection.
To Stop Junk Mail, Start Online
There are ways to stop receiving mail that you don’t want by contacting many of the mass mailing marketing agencies that keep track of you and send junk mail to you. I may cover that in another post, but my purpose here is to show you how to stop receiving mail altogether to stop junk mail. It is actually possible to stop receiving mail at your curbside mailbox, even if you have received mail at that address before. First, it is helpful to eliminate all important mail, like bank statements, credit card bills, etc. Check those kinds of important accounts online if possible. Online security protocol should be followed of course.
To Stop Junk Mail, Use A New Address
You still may have items or accounts that do not allow for electronic monitoring, or you may not want to risk the potential insecurity of online activity. For these items you can use a PO box or private mail-receiving agency, like Earth Class Mail, to receive your mail. Another option is to receive mail at an office or location that has more security than a curbside mailbox. All of these options will prevent someone from snooping through your mail, possibly taking important items or even stealing your identity. Earth Class Mail is also a good way to easily dispose of unwanted junk mail easily.
Once you no longer depend on the mail for service, you can take steps to stop mail delivery to your home. The post office allows requests from customers to hold delivery of their mail for up to 30 days. I am unaware if there are any limits to how often you can do this, or if you can extend this request for longer than 30 days.
Stop Receiving Mail By Not Checking Mail
You can rely on another postal regulation to cease mail delivery to your house completely. I don’t think the USPS likes people doing this, but it is within the regulations of the post office. If your mail accumulates in your mailbox and more mail cannot be reasonably delivered, the mailman will take all of your mail and hold it at the post office. Oreo will double stuff their cookies, the post office will not. He will not deliver more mail to your house until you pick your mail up at the post office. You will be notified with a short note left in your mailbox where your pile of useless junk mail once sat. Once you have read the note, you should leave it in the mailbox for good so that the mailman is not aware that you have ever seen the note. They will only hold your mail for a few weeks, so anything older than a few weeks will be returned to sender.
This is easier to do if you can avoid the mailman. It might make for uncomfortable conversation if you regularly do yoga on your front lawn whenever your mailman comes by or if you see him at parties. If your house appears to be a vacation home, this technique will also be more effective.
I do not think the post office intends for people to stop checking their mail so they can stop receiving their mail. That is the unintended result of their policy. This is just one of many of the strategies discussed in the book How To Vanish that are legal but that the authorities don’t really want you to know about. Do not let your private information sit unattended at the curb every day. If possible use a reputable CMRA such as Earth Class Mail as this will both protect your privacy, increase peace of mind and save you time. It will also help you when you are traveling outside of tax free states so that you don’t expose yourself to unjust tax liability. Fight the urge to check your mail just for a while and you will never have to check it again.
Reprinted with permission from How to Vanish.
Bill Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and a law degree from California Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and financial freedom and civil liberties.