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Since embarking on my minimalist journey, stopping unnecessary noise that might otherwise influence my decisions was one of my top priorities. This includes things like visual noise (labels, advertisements, too many colors), and email junk. After almost purging my email of all junk mail, I had my sights set on reducing or stopping the delivered mail coming to my home.

This is how the letterbox area looks like at my otherwise great apartment.
This is what the letterbox area looks like at my otherwise great apartment at the end of the week.

I remembered that as a kid, I was excited each time I get mail. Because my dad would go through the mail and give me only the letters or cards from my friends, each mail had importance and value. As an adult, I take on the chore of having to filter through all the unsolicited coupons, brochures for the thousand and one services around me. Stopping it would save time, reduce the external influence on my consumption and save the earth since they get tossed anyway.

Unlike junk email, you cannot simply unsubscribe to them. Calling each of them up is also not sustainable as they are probably just using some sort of marketing list for residents here. Luckily, I found a way that works.


This simple little label on the slot cover was the secret to this problem. A small label that says “チラシ禁止”.

And guess how much junk mail I received in the past 2 weeks that this sticker was on? ZERO. What sorcery is this, I thought. I’m guessing that the Japanese mailman, being both a stickler for rules and also respectful of customers’ wishes, simply followed the little sticker. After all, if you deliver junk mail even after requested not to, the customer would not think highly of the product or service that goes against their wishes.

My one mail of the week. I tossed it.
My one mail of the week. I tossed it.

For your reference, this was in Shibuya-ku, so I hope it works for your area as well.

Tagged minimalism