A day of house work. Pictured: sponges, a washcloth and purple flowers

Today’s agenda is house beautification

Normally, these confessions just flow from me. I don’t have to think about what I’m going to say; it just comes out in a messy tumble of thoughts, but today, for the first time, I’m struggling a little.

A quiet shame

I’m trying to write about the housework that I have to do today, of which there is much, but I’m tripping up over wording and how much is too much to say. The truth is, I have a lot of shame about the state of our home.

Usually, that’s a private shame, hidden away from our loved ones because we don’t get many visitors. Since we moved from Dublin to Wicklow, typically, we’re the ones making the trek because then we get to see both of our families in one day. But tomorrow, our best friends are coming over for a Hallowe’en game of D&D.

We’ve lived here for nine months now and the house is still only semi-functional. There are a lot of reasons for that. For a long time, we were living in complete chaos because we were in the process of having the house rewired, which meant that floors were being torn up and holes were being drilled into walls. Since we’ve been calling this place home, we’ve been sleeping on our foldout couch and eating off our laps because our kitchen table is piled high with unpacked boxes. We still don’t have a wardrobe and, at six months in our new home, our shower was still unusable.


I know that we’re incredibly lucky and privileged to have a house, especially during the Irish housing crisis that has devastated our generation and much of the country’s population. I know we’re extremely fortunate to be in this position, but I can’t pretend that it’s been easy.

With all of our savings gone into house deposits, electricians, plumbing and flooring, we’re struggling to get the rest of the house to a functional state. Our belongings are still boxed up and, with no wardrobe, our clothes are overflowing our drawers and it’s impossible to keep on top of what’s clean and what’s dirty. Half our dishes are still tucked away in cobwebby bags and boxes since we moved them here from Cat’s parents’ place. Everything feels like chaos all the time.

We’ve been living like this for so long now I can’t even imagine what it must be like for outsiders looking in.

And sure, we’ve made massive progress. We now have a shower, we have upstairs flooring, the rewiring is done for the most part… we’ve even managed to paint two bedrooms and a hallway, adding our own personal touch to the place. As for the other stuff, though, bringing order to the chaos, I don’t even know where to begin.

But now we have guests coming. Tomorrow.

So I have about thirty hours to get this place presentable. Thankfully, I’m restless enough that I think I can do it. Wish me luck.

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