My housemate, Maxwell, is such a clean freak. I’ve never seen anyone devote quite so much time to sweeping behind the refrigerator or dusting the pipes under the bathroom sink. Not that I’m complaining – I think it’s safe to say we’d all be more than happy to have someone with those qualities in our household.

Having said that, I also think he could stand to pull back a bit. I mean, in an old house like this, there’s a certain ceiling on the level of cleanliness that can be attained. I have a feeling that Maxwell secretly yearns to live in one of these brand new, white box apartments with nary a crack in the wall or mildew-dusted skirting board to be seen.

As for me, I suppose I fancy myself something of a DIY cabinet designer, with specialisation in building shelving units from abandoned milk crates held together with cable ties. I’m not afraid of a bit of grunt work when it comes to keeping these and other surfaces clean, but the quality of the finish and harmony of design elements is not so important to me.

Perhaps, though, there’d be something to be said for an actual kitchen renovation. Melbourne based friends we have to talk. As much as I like the old crumbling townhouses on offer in your rental market, it would be nice if they could more frequently come equipped with the latest in residential kitchen technology, instead of tiny cupboards hanging off their hinges (thus necessitating milk crate cabinets)

Come to think of it, a bathroom remodel wouldn’t go astray either. We’ve got room for a bath, but that space is taken up by an extremely ugly built-in cabinet that was evidently put there by someone with a limited eye for spatial design. Yes, a luxurious bathroom finished in stone and glass is surely something I could get into.

Maxwell’s dusting obsession may be yet to rub off on me, but I suppose I’m starting to see the myriad ways in which our house could be better.