In 2014, I had three small children. The youngest was an infant. As you probably know, young children sleep a lot.
Now imagine that your baby is ready to nap. You put the kid down to sleep, then carefully tip-toe out of the room and shut the door. At that moment, the doorbell rings. The dog starts barking. The baby starts crying. The doorbell rings again.
Flustered, you go open the door. At the door is a balding man with a goatee holding a clipboard. You don’t know him. As the baby wails, the dog barks, and you frown, the man goes through his sales pitch, “Hi, I am with Pest Control Company X, and we are doing work in your neighborhood…”
After turning away your unwanted visitor, you now have one angry and tired baby to deal with.
The Best Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Guests at Your Doorstep
After variations of the scenario I described above happened countless times, I came up with the solution.
I got an index card and wrote on it:
PLEASE DO NOT KNOCK OR RING DOORBELL
The phone number I provided was to a Google Voice number that redirected to my cell phone. I taped the card up right next to the doorbell.
The results of my note were spectacularly effective. I’d guess that 95% of unwanted guests were turned away at the doorstep without me ever knowing they were there. The remaining 5% were either illiterate unfocused people, extraordinarily aggressive salespeople, or legitimate visitors.
Most people see the sign and don’t even bother calling the number. Deliveries are simply left at my doorstep without a sound. I intentionally left the note on the card vague, so only people who really need to see you would attempt to call the number.
If salespeople are hassling you at your door, give this a try. My kids no longer take daily naps, but I still keep the sign up on my door. I think I’ll keep doing this even after the kids are out of the house. It’s way more effective than a “no solicitors” sign.