If you're anything like me, you receive at least one catalog in the mail each day, sometimes five or more (especially during the holidays).
Well, I'm sick of it. In an effort to declutter, I have decided that keeping a basketful of old catalogs is completely unhelpful. (Plus, my one-year-old has discovered the joy of emptying said basket, and after three or four times of cleaning up 100+ catalogs, I've had enough.) So, I've created an SOS:
Shopping Online Strategy
When I receive a catalog, it still goes into the basket. But that basket is now conveniently located near my television. When I plunk myself down on the couch to watch something on my TiVo, I now pick up a catalog and thumb through it. If I see something I like, I tear out the page and add it to my SOS file sitting by the computer (it helps that my tv and computer are in the same room).
If I need to order something right away, I flag it with a Post-It note and order it as soon as possible. If it's not immediately needed, I keep it in the file. When I check my junk email account, with all those online deals, I skim through the file and play matchmaker between my catalog pages and email coupons. This way I cut down on the catalog clutter and I take advantage of online savings and free shipping offers.
Another blogging friend - and Real Simple - also suggest using Catalog Choice for reducing catalog clutter. As I understand it, this service lets you choose which catalogs you'd like to receive, and eliminates you from the mailing lists of all others. I think this is a fabulous service, though I first have to create that preferred-catalog list. What if I miss something really good, like Uncommon Goods or Constructive Playthings?
In the meantime, I'll enjoy my much-lighter catalog basket and congratulate myself each time I find a great deal. After all, isn't the fun of deployment really the "it's-Saturday-night-and-I'm-sad-and-lonely" online shopping?