What to do about junk mail

Last year we packed up and moved to the country. All things considered, it has been a great move, minus one thing…trash. I grew up in the country where trash pickup was not an option. Trash was often one of my childhood chores, and is probably why I HATE having to deal with it today. As our mail began forwarding to our new address I couldn’t believe the amount of junk that had made the move with us. Junk mail I couldn’t remember ever receiving at our previous address. Junk not even addressed to us! Ever day our mailbox was full on this useless information and the volume of trash I was having to deal with was unbelievable.

So I dealt with this problem the way I deal with all of life’s annoyances: I Googled it.

Opting out of Junk Mail

paper karmaI found several online solutions for unsubscribing to junk mail, most of which required online sign-up and then finding companies, submitting requests, etc, etc. Too much work! The little gem I finally landed on is PaperKarma, an app for smartphones that allows you to simply and quickly rid your life of junk mail. To use the app you first have to enter your address and names for the people who are receiving mail at your address. The app uses your phone’s GPS functionality to help fix your address so you don’t even have to type it in. Score one for being lazy!

After you have your mail recipients set up you just take a photo of whatever mail you receive that shows the side of the mailing that has your address. That’s it.


PaperKarma is so smart/magical that it figures out who the mail is being sent from and submits a request on your behalf to remove you from their mailing list. You can pull up the app at any time to see the status of previous requests.


I started using this app a couple of months ago and am now starting to notice a huge decrease in the amount of junk mail we are receiving. As soon as I pull the mail out each day I snap a quick photo of the junk and throw it directly in the trash so I don’t forget to unsubscribe later. You should note that a lot of direct mail companies have their mailings scheduled months in advance and after you subscribe there may be a few mailings already in the mail queue that you will still receive.