Deborah Ross: Helpful tips if you want to avoid spring-cleaning the house

If you ask me: This special issue comes with a cover-mount of 16 dead batteries to keep in a drawer for the next 23 years
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, this month's issue of Not-OK! Magazine – my publication for women who would be into self-improvement, if only they could self-improve enough to give it a go – focuses on spring cleaning, as well as housekeeping generally, and is an absolute must-buy for anyone who has thought to themselves: as a woman's work is never done, why even get started? And: nature abhors a vacuum, which has to be sensible, as so do I.

This special issue, which comes with a cover-mount of 16 dead batteries to keep in a drawer for the next 23 years, as well as six urgent letters you'll never get round to posting, contains the following features: How To Ignore A Dustball The Size of Your Head (It's Easy When You Know How!) and Odd Socks: The Fight Back Begins (Let's Just Bin Them!) and Clutter: Why It Will Always Work its Way Back By Morning, So What's The Point? ("None," said our panel, unanimously, "a total waste of time.")

We will also be offering our usual moving, real-life exclusives, including one woman's brave but losing battle against limescale – "The kettle, the dishwasher, the taps, the pipes... it's probably growing between my toes as I speak" – and, from another, a first-person account of defrosting the freezer with dynamite. "Alas, it took the house with it," she says, "but at least I can now cross that job off my list, and can sleep at night again."

Naturally, you will also find several of our cut-out-and-probably-lose "How To" guides, designed to talk you through the most common household problems, like how to call a tradesperson who won't turn up, or how to kill all your houseplants, or how to defrost a chicken in the bath, or how to call a second tradesperson who also won't turn up and could be the same as the first (how would you ever know?) and how to think you've beaten limescale, only for it to return. "I can see now," says one woman, "that I was only ever in remission. I'm back on the Viakal again, but hold out very little hope."

So, do purchase this month's edition which, aside from anything else, is excellent value and also comes with a free guide to not sorting books by taking them all down, getting lost in a few long-forgotten titles – Old Yeller, Forever Amber – and then putting them all back exactly as they were. This may not count for much in most circles but here, at Not OK!, there is little we admire more.

(Subscribe to Not OK! this month and you could win a free, unidentified something-or-other that you'd best not throw away, because you might need it one day, to do something-or-other with, whatever it is).