DEAR ABBY: I feel confident that I speak for many. This is an open letter to all charities to which I contribute - or used to contribute: I stretch a very limited budget to include causes I sincerely want to help, so please, stop sending me labels with my name and address printed on them. I already have enough labels to last the rest of my life if I live to be 150.

Do not send me pens, pencils, key rings, decals, and Christmas and all-occasion cards that include Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, congratulations on graduation, sorry about the death of your canary, etc. (I think you get the idea.)Also, after you've received my contribution, please don't follow it up a month later asking me if I can spare $10 or $20 more. (If I could, I would have sent it in the first place.)

Would that I could tell the federal government that it is not going to get another penny from me until it demonstrates that it can spend it sensibly, but I can - and DO - tell you.

You may sign my name if you wish, but in this case, my name is . . . LEGION

DEAR LEGION: You took the words right out of my typewriter! I couldn't have said it better.

DEAR ABBY: I related to the letter about the husband who was a pack rat because I'm one, too. After years of bachelorhood, I married a woman who'd throw out the newspaper while I was still reading it.

In the fourth year of our marriage I was sent overseas, leaving my wife pregnant. When I completed that tour, I was reassigned to the Pentagon, and my wife had the thankless task of selling our home and packing and moving us to the Washington, D.C., area. She handled all of this like a real pro.

A year later we were entertaining guests, and I told the story of our move, bragging about how well my wife had handled everything alone. She casually remarked, "Yes, and it gave me the opportunity to throw out all the junk Bill had been carrying around all these years." I was shocked to hear her say this, as she'd never mentioned it before, so I asked, "And just what did you throw out?" She calmly replied, "What are you missing?" Try as I did, I couldn't identify a single item I missed. Then she said, "You tell me what you're missing, and I'll tell you whether or not I threw it out."

Everyone (including me) had a good laugh at my expense, but it certainly proved her point.

So, all you pack rats, clean out your closets and drawers, put the junk in boxes, then take the whole lot to one of those storage lockers. After paying the storage bill for several years, you will be amazed at how much you can live without.

I am a retired colonel (USAF), but sign me . . . BEEN THERE AND LEARNED

DEAR BEEN THERE: As incredible as it may seem, public auctions are held to sell furniture, clothing, furs and valuable jewelry that were in storage for many years and never claimed. The owners either couldn't pay the storage bill, or they died having forgotten that their property had been stored.

1991 Universal Press Syndicate