I’ve Been Spending A Lot of Time Meeting Strangers on Craigslist, or Notes on Furnishing My New Apartment

About a year and a half ago, in Brooklyn, I decided it was time for me to own a couch. My apartment didn’t need a new couch, but I needed one, as a commitment to my space. I’ve never been into fashion retail therapy, but decorating therapy made sense to me. Along with the usual endorphins that come with consumption, there is also a clear result: the new couch did make my apartment feel more like a home.

When I moved to Colorado, I gave up that couch, and in Denver, I found that any home furnishing could take on that sense of stability I found in my old couch. For instance, last week, I bought my first bed. In New York, my bed was a hand-me-down, but I don’t have anyone to inherit a bed from here. So symbolic! Last week, I realized I hadn’t been in my own bed since June 25. For three months, I slept on the beds and couches of others: it was quite a summer.

I don’t just have a bed now, I also have bookshelves, end tables, lamps, and even a good set of pots and pans. Most of this stuff came from Craigslist. In fact, most of my dealings with people in Denver originated on Craigslist.

And I know Craigslist has been around since before an @aol email addresses lost its cache, but its reach still amazes me. Anything I could want is met by someone with an equal and opposite desire to sell the same thing. I suppose this is how capitalism works. I go into a store looking to buy a milk; the store is looking to sell milk. Still, there’s something different about connecting to a person online, being shown their home, and then taking part of it to furnish my own.  

Affordable Real Estate

Sometimes means people are willing to trade rent for an awkward, semi-sexual living arrangement for a month:

$5 Roomie / house share / arrangement (Denver)

Date: 2011-09-07, 8:49PM MDTReply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Seeking very special roommate situation. You – please be a liberated and open minded female (college student, struggling artist, or something like that) – we share the house, which is a very nice home in nice neighborhood, close to RTD, washer & dryer, high speed internet, fenced back yard, access to pool, parks, and a 10 minute bike ride to downtown………The catch – hit me back with a picture – to see if you’d fit the bill – and I’ll clue you in further and continue the dialogue. If curious - give this a whirl - it’s not a bad arrangement - everyone smiles at the end of the day - that’s the thought. Enjoy!