|Live simply. Live well. Cut the stress. Increase the joy.
SIMPLE LIFE CORPORATION - SIMPLE LIFE TIPS
Probably the first step in life simplification is just getting rid of complete time and space wasters. Here are some suggestions for starters:
1) REDUCE UNWANTED TELEPHONE SOLICITATION:
First: Write to:
Include your name, address, and telephone number and ask that your name be placed in the "delete" file and that you do not want to have unsolicited telephone sales calls. While this will not eliminate the calls you receive, it will reduce the volume in about 2 to 3 months.
Second: Sign up online for the national do not call list. This should begin eliminating calls about 2 months after sign up. (Note! the National Do Not Call Registry does not call individuals and ask them to sign up. If you get such a call, it is a scam.)
Allow 30 days for the calls to stop. If they continue, you can file a complaint at the same site (www.donotcall.gov)
Third: In addition, be sure to plainly (and politely) tell each unwanted sales caller to "please remove my name from your contact list". This should eliminate an additional batch of callers. The callers are required to remove your name from their own list when you make this request. Further, if they have rented the calling list, they will report the removal request to the owner of the list to get a refund of the cost of renting your name. The owner that is renting out the list will most likely then remove your name from the master list.
Finally, we recommend a polite, "No thank you" and a hang up on unwanted callers. We do not recommend hostile reactions...why use up part of your life's energy on an unwanted salescall? Better to put it out of your life as quickly as possible and with as little involvement on your part as possible!
2) REDUCE UNWANTED E-MAIL
Unsolicited e-mail has become a real headache, filling up our email boxes and forcing us to take the time to sift through the junk to find the few pieces of welcomed email. We often get bulk e-mail that we find downright offensive in content and in the website that it is advertising.
First: Find out how your ISP (Internet Service Provider) allows you to filter e-mail. Look for "Spam Contols" or "Email Filters." You can also purchase programs that allow you to filter your emails.
Use your judgement on the "remove" instructions listed on most if not all unwanted emails. If the email is coming from a source that you recognize and trust, such as a mailing list that you signed up for that has now gotten out of hand, then using the "remove" instructions is an efficient and effective way to stop getting emails from that company and all its affiliates and list renters. If the email is coming from an unknown source or a suspicious one (for example, the sender's name is a jibberish of letters and numbers), then you should just use the delete button. You may also want to take some of the steps in the next paragraph.
For annoying or enraging email, you can also take two other actions. The first is to report the sender to their ISP. There are also programs, such as McAfee's Spamkiller that will allow you to filter email, send complaints, block senders, etc.
The other step for annoying email is not available yet on AOL, but is great for those using Microsoft Outlook and many other email programs. With these steps, you simply set up filters that block certain senders, phrases, etc. For example, if you've gotten 50 emails that all advertise how to refinance your mortgage, you can have your program automatically send emails with the phrase "refinance your mortgage" or even just "mortgage" to the delete folder. You can then just skim the delete folder to see if you want to "rescue" any messages.
3) GET RID OF THE CLUTTER
When cleaning out clutter, we have found that the very first thing you have to do is to acquire the ability to admit that you have and will make mistakes. When you get past this, it gets much easier to get rid of that expensive pair of pants that look absolutely hideous on you. It also allows you to admit that at some point in the future, there will probably be one or two things that you threw out or gave away that you wish that you didn't. Actually, we have found that very rarely do we regret having gotten rid of something! It just seems that way when you are moving it out. If you are very fearful of the possibility that you will desperately need something that is just clutter right now, then pack it in a box, list the contents, seal it up and date it. Open it in six months or a year and see if you missed it. If not, get rid of it.
Check out our Clutter Control Page for ideas on where to give your good, useable clutter and for more ideas on how to declutter your home.
4) SIGN UP FOR AUTOMATIC PAYMENT OF YOUR UTILITIES, MORTGAGE, and OTHER REGULAR BILLS
Call the utility company and ask for a form for authorizing the company to automatically debit your checking account for the monthly bill amount. You will still get your regular bill prior to the automatic debit. You will no longer have to worry about remembering to write the check on time and putting it in the mailbox. You will also save $.45 postage for each transaction. Of course, you WILL have to be sure to deposit enough money to cover the debits!
5) SCHEDULE REGULAR REST and RELAXATION TIME.
Read a book, take a long shower, visit a museum, take a walk...whatever activity makes you feel completely relaxed and content. Many report that this regular time-out actually energizes them and recharges their creativity.
6) REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CATALOGS YOU RECEIVE.
If you find that you are regularly receiving a catalog that you have no interest in, tear off the name/address label and mail it with a "please remove me from your list" note to the catalog company. Yes, you will have to spend your own money on the stamp to do this, but the savings in your time and the savings in wasted resources should more than make up for the small cost. And we have found that the catalog companies are especially responsive to these requests. After all they have quite an investment in each catalog and the postage to mail it.
7) REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CHARITIES THAT YOU DONATE TO.
Instead of sending $5.00 to every charity that sends you a mailing, do some research and pick just one or two charities that you will support with your (larger) charitable donation. This will have several beneficial effects: First, you will not randomly send money to every non-profit organization that solicits you. This will eliminate the sending of donations to some of the appealing but not-so-valid non-profit organizations. Second, you can now send a polite and guilt free post card to the charities that you will not be sending donations to and request that they remove you from their mailing list (no need for an explanation). Third, you will be able to concentrate your efforts on the charities that you have chosen. Maybe even volunteer some time. And fourth, if we all participate, the charities will be able to process larger donations, rather than numerous tiny donations. I'm going to add a fifth point, too. As we have so painfully discovered, not all charities are legitimate. Some charities have been found to be shams and some have been found to be fronts for accumulating money for terrorist activities. Find out what your money is doing before you donate.
8) REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF JUNK MAIL THAT YOU RECEIVE. Write to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 9008
Farmingdale NY 11735-9008
Legibly type or print your full name, address, and zip code on the letter. Include a request to be removed from any marketing mailing list. While this will not eliminate all of your junk mail, it will make a drastic reduction within a couple of months. You may still need to specifically address certain catalog companies (see above), especially those that you may have ordered from in the past.
9) STOP THE PRE-APPROVED CREDIT CARD OFFERS!
Those 'pre-approved' credit card offers are a nuisance and a potential credit rating danger. (Be sure to shred all that get sent to you.) To stop a lot of them, you can call Trans Union at 1-888-567-8688 (1-888-5-OPT-OUT). They have options to remove your name for 2 years or permanently. They also share data with Experian and Equifax, so you don't have to duplicate calls to remove your name from the three major sources.
SIMPLE LIFE CORPORATION - Simple Living At Its Best!