When it rains, it pours. And we're obviously not talking about precipitation here in Los Angeles (rain, where art thou?). No, no...we're referring to the deluge of junk mail we've been receiving in the last few weeks leading to the holiday shopping season. Many of us want to take back our mailboxes, but you'll have to jump through some hoops to make it happen. Below the jump are a few ways to reduce the piles of junk mail clogging your mail slots and boxes... Getting off of national mailing lists: The Mail Preference Service (MPS) of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a free service provided by the DMA to assist consumers in reducing the amount of unsolicited national advertising mail they receive at home. In your letter, request your name and address be deleted from all mailing and marketing lists. Provide them with all possible ways of spelling your name, as well as the names of anyone else at your address who does not want to receive junk mail. Be sure to sign and date your letter. MPS will retain your information in their database for five years and will mail this information to business subscribers four times a year. Send your letter to: Mail Preference Service / DMA ATTN: Dept. 9407644 P.O. Box 643 Carmel, NY 10512 Tel. No.: 212-768-7277 How to reduce coupons, ads and product samples: To reduce or stop receiving coupons, ads and/or product samples in your mail, you will need to contact the companies distributing these materials to your residence. You can write or call these companies and request that your name and address be removed from their company's mailing lists. One such company mailing these materials is: Advo Incorporated Consumer Assistance Dept. P.O. Box 249 Windsor CT, 06095 Tel. No.: (888) 241-6760 It's also recommended you contact list brokers, those information scavenging businesses that specialize in selling your address to advertisers. Three of the major list brokers are: R.L. Polk & Company Attn: Opt-Out Coordinator 26955 Northwestern Highway Southfield, MI 48034 Tel. No.: 800-464-7655 Donnelly Marketing, Inc. Data Base Operations 416 South Bell Ames, IA 50010 Tel. No.: 888-633-4402 Acxiom Corporation 1 Information Way Little Rock, AR 72202 Tel. No.: 501-342-2722 And to stay off as many of these mailing lists, you'll have to avoid any contact with companies that do not guarantee that they'll sell your information to a third party (and even then, we're not sure if this is any insurance it won't happen). Warranty cards, surveys, contests and even phone calls to companies can result in having your information added to a database of some sort. It's practically a losing battle in many ways, but we'd rather make the effort to have even a little less unsolicited junk mail, because it all adds up.