Here I am, house-hunting again. But this time it’s in Sydney
Economists in Australia are warning that there are parallels to be drawn between housing price rises there, and the property bubble here. But Irish people can take some cheer from the Australian property experience. For all the problems we have, our rental market is still comparatively affordable and reasonably user-friendly.
No, you can’t have the sombrero
Anybody else struck by some of the things Nigella Lawson chose to take when she moved out of the home she shared with Charles Saatchi? The pots, the blender and the paintings all make sense. There’s no accounting for sentimentality, but did she really need the oversized Mexican sombreros? The children’s toys? The single can of Cannabis energy drink?
Not that I’m one to judge. With an impending move in sight, I’ve been tackling the mammoth task of sorting out a house lived in for five years by four people. My decluttering has so far turned up such treasures as an unopened CD of music from the Vatican featuring the voice of Pope Benedict, a voucher for Brown Thomas denominated in pounds, my debs dress, and a set of Davina McCall dumb-bells I bought four years ago, promptly placed in the bottom of a wardrobe and didn’t discover again until last weekend.
There are numerous psychological studies to show the negative effects of living in a cluttered house. Clutter is closely related to procrastination, which in itself is related to perfectionism.
In other words, people like me wait to declutter until we are sure we can do it perfectly, which may be never.
In the interim, the experts suggest that you should place whatever you are not convinced about parting with into a bin.
After a week, whatever you can name from the bin gets to stay. Everything else needs to go.
What kind of charity has €1m to spare for rent?
Dublin city councillors have wisely decided not to go ahead with the ban on charity shops on Grafton Street. After all, they could hardly be regarded as lowering the tone in the same way as sex shops, fast-food outlets and amusement arcades might.
It may prove a moot point in any case. It’s hard to imagine charity shops being able to justify paying the kinds of rents demanded of tenants on Grafton Street, even if those rents have fallen by 52 per cent from their peak. The recently-
vacated HMV store, for example, went on the market at a rent of €1 million, while the amalgamated Zerep/Richard Alan store, which is being redeveloped by Nama, is expected to fetch €750,000.
You would need an awful lot of donations from decluttering householders to come up with that kind of money.