Many twenty-somethings are facing a particular COVID catch 22: with offices closed, they’re spending more time at home than ever. But also with offices closed, the concept of home is more nebulous than ever—37 percent of adults ages 18-29 say they moved during the coronavirus pandemic; New York City is seeing a record number of rental vacancies, and, with an economic recession looming, a skittish attitude toward long-term leases and mortgages prevails. So how, exactly, does one create a livable space when they aren’t sure if this is where they’ll live long-term?
Like so many, that’s the position I found myself in this summer. Re-signing a two-year lease on my New York City apartment seemed daunting, especially as my office hasn’t yet set a firm reopening date. So I found a sublet instead—perhaps it’s just a pit stop, or maybe it will turn into a permanent place. The fact of the matter is…I just don’t know.
Which put me in a tricky spot, furniture-wise. Any new space requires some additional stuff—maybe an old couch doesn’t fit, or there’s an alcove perfect for a work-from-home desk. I didn’t want to buy any investment pieces, yet, aware of the environmental impact of the fast furniture market, something cheap I might throw out three months later seemed wasteful. The solution? Renting.