The Etiquette of “Please Go Away”
We recently (a year ago) bought a house in the ‘burbs, and have discovered how freaking relentless door-to-door salespeople can be, especially in the spring and summer. It’s truly obnoxious. We’ve got 2 big, loud, excitable dogs who lose their freaking minds every time someone knocks on the door, and it’s really frustrating to have to haul them by the collar (while they’re wildly trashing and barking their heads off in protest) to the laundry room so that I can open the door and tell the roof salesman “no, thank you, our roof is only 4 years old and no, I don’t want a quote to replace it.” Same goes for windows, religions, vacuums, security systems, cable/internet packages, weird coupon books, cookies, etc. And I don’t even like the cookies, I’ve never bought a box in my life! Our house is a small one-story with HUUUUUGE living room windows, which are great for natural light but not so great for pretending you aren’t home when someone can see basically the entire house through the window if I’ve got the blinds open.
Is it horribly tacky to put up a No Solicitation sign by our front door?
I found some super cute ones on Etsy that aren’t super aggressive, they’re nicely worded, along the “Friends and family welcome anytime, but absolutely no soliciting” lines, but I can’t bring myself to click “checkout” until I’m positive that it’s not super tacky to put one up. I don’t want to seem like a crotchety old recluse (I’m 25 for craps sake, and super social! I promise!), but no matter what they’re selling, I’m not buying.
Get Off My Porch, Please
Hello! And welcome to my tacky home:
And I don’t feel even a tiny bit badly about it.
Between the religious proselytizers, the political causes, and aggressive salespeople (and my dog’s hysterical reaction to them), I would never get any work done without this. In the Olden Days, at our former place, I had something similar to ensure my babies and toddlers could successfully nap in peace. And today, no matter HOW MANY TIMES I stress to my older children to not open the stupid door every time to stupid doorbell rings, they still excitedly run to it and peek out the side windows, essentially blowing my “pretend not to be home/ignore it until they leave” plan.
I would never, ever judge anyone for putting up a No Soliciting sign, because the annoyance and inconvenience is REAL. This is my home (and not to mention my office/workplace as well!), and I do not want to be sold to here, be it religion, politics, causes/fundraisers, or all the various home improvement services, which GUYS. That’s why Angie’s List and NextDoor were invented. You are not just going to luckily happen to catch me on the very day I’ve decided to replace my roof and hand over the job to the first person who shows up at my door. I’ll get my Girl Scout cookies from people I know or from the troop outside the grocery store, and I support my friends’ kids’ school fundraisers after they post it on Facebook. Meanwhile, I fast-forward commercials and toss every advertising flyer in the recycling bin without a second look — this little sign is just another why to make our home as ad- and sales-pitch free of a zone as possible.
Will some people just ignore it? Of course. But in my experience, just this tiny, to-the-point notice that I dashed off on my own computer and printer (after the 17th person asked if we planned to replace our perfectly-fine windows) is remarkably effective. When we first moved in, the number of random people showing up at our door was MADDENING. Now, we regularly see Mormon missionaries and Jehovah’s Witnesses making the rounds in our neighborhood and they always respectfully and politely skip our house. We got exactly one visit during the election primary season (thanks, Bernie Bros) and overall the number of salespeople or other solicitations has drastically plummeted.
I saw the signs you’re looking at — ones that go into great detail about What You Mean By No Soliciting or couch it with a bunch of distinctions — but ultimately decided to just go the super basic route. The friends we invited over for dinner know they aren’t soliciting. Kids still ring our doorbell asking if anyone wants to play basketball or ride bikes. Our neighbors still stop by to drop off Christmas cookies or to let us know we left a car door open/lights on/our trash can has blown five doors up the street. Don’t overthink it. Protect your sanity and put up a sign.
Photo source: Depositphotos/photographee.eu
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