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The Recyclist: Kicking the catalog habit

May 11, 2010 |  7:00 am

The vast number of catalogs I receive suggest that I must be a shopaholic clothes horse. Couldn't be further from the truth. I like to hang on to my money. But I also like to live vicariously -- to plop down on the couch or into the tub and take a mental vacation to the land of J. Crew, or even Land's End. I'll happily flip through anything from Victoria's Secret  to Harriet Carter. (Who knew I needed an ironing mat?)

My catalogs land in a wicker basket that fills to overflowing. Then they all get tossed into the recycling bin. What a waste. As I try to tame the clutter in my life and limit the amount of stuff I throw in the trash, I have been focusing on one problem area at a time. Now, it's time to kick my catalog habit.

One by one, as each catalog arrives, I call the toll-free number to request removal from their mailing list. Someone suggested I try Catalog Choice, an online service that would allow me to get off many of these mailing lists in one fell swoop. But the thought of creating one more user name and password makes me want to scream. I am probably just being cranky. 

I also like doing it my way because I have a system to sustain my mental vacationing: As I call each retailer, I add a web page bookmark on my home computer. That way, I can still do my catalog "shopping" at the end of the long day -- on my laptop. Well, on the couch. Maybe not in the tub.

Still, I look forward to the day when all my favorite stores offer up i-catalogs. The best example I've seen so far is the Lego catalog, which is actually the real catalog, online. If you click on the lower right corner of the page, it will allow you to "turn" pages. That way, you get to see everything on each page, and you don't feel like you are missing out on anything.

-- Rene Lynch

On Twitter @renelynch.

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