Mailbox litter – how do we stop it?

How do you feel about businesses attaching their self-promotion flyers on your mailbox? I think it is a violation of USPS rules, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. Don’t know about your area, but my neighborhood gets the flyers from landscapers, deck builders, maids, churches, driveway sealers, and yes, even a dentist.

I personally don’t care for these flyers as they make the neighborhood look messy, especially when they blow away into our yards and streets. Similar to these flyers are the “free” newspapers that are thrown in our drives.

As a Realtor®, this “litter” creates real problems when the home being sold is vacant. To keep the home looking presentable – and NOT look vacant – I do frequent drive-bys to remove the papers and flyers. I know the days the newspapers are delivered, so I time my schedule to do the pick-ups then. The other business flyers are random, so they are harder to monitor.

In my previous career, I traveled frequently. I would make arrangements with the P.O. to hold my mail while I was gone. There was nothing I could do to stop the incessant flyers other than ask my poor neighbors to toss the junk around my mailbox when they saw it. There was one real estate agent who habitually left flyers, so I called her to explain my situation and asked her to please not leave the flyers at my address. Apparently my multiple requests to her fell on deaf ears, as it didn’t stop. When it came time for me to sell that home, guess which Realtor® I DID NOT call.

With the issues we have today of thieves entering vacant homes to steal copper, these flyers have become even more of a concern because they are a bold advertisement of an empty, unoccupied home.

I would like to make a plea to to the businesses using this form of advertising and to the newspaper delivery folks. If you see a “For Sale” sign in the yard, please don’t tack your flyer to the mailbox or throw your paper in the drive. You might just be contributing to a burglary.

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