Living in Ireland: A Trip to the Hardware Store

A warning for all of you organized types – the pictures in this post may be disturbing.

Now, for the rest of you, let’s head to the hardware store!


My little village in Ireland has a small hardware store. It shares space with the post office.

I’ll let that sink in.


I can buy stamps and then walk three steps over and buy caulk for my shower.

I can’t buy the caulk gun though because they are out of those.

And have been for MONTHS.

Details, details.

As a side note, it’s not unusual for post offices to share space with other businesses in Ireland. I have a friend whose local post office is inside a sweet shop. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it depends on if you are dieting.


My hardware store guy is super nice. Sometimes when I’m paying in cash he just says, “ah, that’s close enough, love.” Who does that?

On further reflection, it is possible that watching me count euro change is just too slow and painful. In my defense, some of the coins look awfully similar.

He also never even blinks when I tell him things like “I don’t know what kind of lightbulb I need because I can’t get the lightbulb out of the socket, but I took a picture of it for you.”

That actually happened.

We have some WEIRD lightbulbs that don’t twist in. When you’re standing on tiptoes trying to figure out why the lightbulb won’t come out and you hear your kid downstairs say, “OOPS!” you know whatever caused that oops is a more important disaster than the lightbulb.

Don’t worry. I’ve got the lightbulb situation all figured out now. I’m a bright one, after all.

The hardware store in my village is pretty organized. As I look at the below picture, the “electrical” sign cracks me up though. Because this is a picture of the ENTIRE store. If you don’t see what you need, all you need to do is take one step to the left. Ah, there it is!

Now, let’s get to the disturbing part of this post. I did promise you some graphic images.

There’s a slightly larger hardware store near my children’s school which has been a more reliable source of home improvement supplies.

For instance, there’s a nice selection of varnish. I made the mistake of asking for stain once.


By a slightly larger store, I mean approximately the size of a 7-11 convenience store.

There’s no slushie machine, but there is a nice, spacious path down the aisle.


Aside from lumber and power tools, I can find pretty much any hardware item I really need here.

Assuming I can actually “find” it.

Maybe there are power tools and lumber behind some of this stuff. Or better yet, a slushie machine!


I’m fairly certain there’s a method to this hardware store’s madness.

I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

It also makes me wonder if there is such a thing as a fire marshal in Ireland.


There are some big box hardware stores in Ireland. One of them is called Woodie’s. I’ll just let that hang there…

I haven’t visited one of these larger stores – yet. It could be my new happy place though. Projects and possibilities galore!

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