Telemarketers, spam emails and spam texts have become heavily engrained into our everyday lives.  So much so, that most of us do not even realize how much time we spend deleting the spam that fills our lives.  Whether it’s the latest political candidate asking for money, credit card offers, people wanting to sell you magazines,  the constant barrage can wear away at your peace of mind.

While it’s very difficult to rid yourself of unwanted spam entirely, there are things you can do to greatly reduce it. The government has passed some laws that make it easier, and now there are websites that allow you to opt out of much of the junk mail that comes to you through the postal service. Here’s how to take back your inbox:

Below are some suggestions that can help you lighten the spam load…

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was designed to better regulate email spam and set rules for businesses that contact their customers electronically. The Act includes any email with a primarily commercial message and essentially dictates several rules that must be followed when sending commercial emails. The rule of particular importance for reducing spam is the one that says commercial emails must include an opt-out link that removes you from the mailing list in a timely manner. If businesses don’t comply, the punishment is stiff—up to $16,000 in fines per email

Making use of your email spam filters, it takes a few minutes to set up your filters, but it will save you time in the long run. In addition, you can use a program such as Spam Assassin, which provides another layer of filtering. These recognize spam through things like known spam domains, certain header characteristics, and content. Many mail clients will also use an algorithm to “learn” what is junk and what isn’t depending on how you tag it.

You can add  yourself to the National Do Not Mail List; it won’t get rid of everything, but allows you to opt out of a lot of direct mail. Another, similar site called the Mail Preference Service allows you to opt out of mail sent by the major marketing associations in the U.S. If you receive a lot of unwanted catalogs, you can call and ask to be removed from their mailing lists, as well.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), states that solicitors must remove you from their call lists if you ask them to during a solicitation call. In addition, they are prohibited from calling you if you register your number with the Do-Not-Call list .  Companies that are found to be in violation of the TCPA must pay you compensation.