This morning I delivered three streets worth of flyers for the new Soul of the City choir (Wednesday lunchtime in Hanover starting on April 18). As I was wandering the streets, posting flyers, and with my brain idly taking in my surroundings, I started to look at the variety of ‘No junk mail’ notices on various doors.

I only took photographs in the final bit of the last street I flyered so I don’t have a great variety, but I did manage to collect these four different signs.


Great placement with this, no way I could try and pop something into the letterbox without seeing it


Three exclamation marks. This feels like somebody coming home from a holiday and having to fight their way into their house through a sea of unsolicited material and writing a sign out of sheer frustration.

NO free newspapers OR junk mail

This left me wondering what they didn’t mind receiving. It’s semi-specific. So, how would they feel about community magazines (like the 7 Directory which we get through our door every now and again?)


More specific. But, what about free newspapers? Would that be acceptable? And what counts as a circular?

In addition to these, but before I started taking photos, I also saw signs that said

“No junk mail please.”

And I must admit I quite liked the politeness. It made it feel like responding to their request by walking past was a good thing to do. Oddly, it made me feel kind.

“No commercial flyers or leaflets.”

Hmm, semi-specific again. What about free newspapers?

But, was I delivering junk? It is unsolicited. But is it junk? One person’s junk is another person’s community notice. It is for commercial gain - the choir is a business. But for me choir gives me a sense of belonging, a sense of community. For me, it isn’t in the same league as another menu for the Chinese takeaway down the road. But for others, it may well be.

If a door visibly had any sign on it that looked like it wanted me to walk on by, then I didn’t leave a flyer there. Some houses had a small green square sticker with writing on that the Green party distributed some years ago. There were also some houses which just had a green square. In retrospect, these squares probably used to have the Green party’s words on them, but they’d worn off. Some of these houses probably got flyers. Sorry!

So what did I learn?

Well, if you’re thinking of putting a sign on your door, then I suggest putting a decent-sized sign on your letterbox. If you want to receive some things but not others, i.e. community newsletters, free newspapers etc., then it’s probably worth being specific. Otherwise a generic, catch-all ‘No Junk Mail please’ is probably good enough. And I would definitely add the ‘please’ as seeing that addition made me smile.

I’d also make that sign large enough so that it is visible from the street. The only houses where I got frustrated were those where I opened the gate, walked up the path, got to the door, and only then saw a small ‘No junk mail’ sign, which meant I then turned around, trudged back down the path, opened and closed the gate, and walked on to the next house.

I’ve got enough flyers for another few streets. I wonder what I’ll end up observing when I deliver those? I did spot a few doors that had really nice furniture or were a really pleasing colour, so maybe that’s where my attention will wander next.