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When Is IKEA Not Your Friend? When You’re Furnishing a One-month Sublet

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In hindsight, I believe the logic used to implement this idea went like this: “I am a cheapskate who wants to explore NYC, but I’m deathly scared of bedbugs. No furniture equals no hidden places that those darn cretins can hide.” This is a valid concern since bedbugs are known to ruin entire human lives.

I also believe that somewhere in the deciding process, these thoughts entered my consciousness: “I can channel my inner creativity to create my own personal zen space in which I can spend hot summer nights peacefully dreaming while I am here absorbing all that New York City has to offer…. AND I can find all the items to express my mad interior decorating skillz cheaply at IKEA.”

It doesn’t matter how easy you think it is or how cheap you believe IKEA is. It’s always going to cost you more money, time and freakin’ stress than anticipated. The effort you put in, spending a whole day schlepping out to Red Hook to buy assemble-it-yourself furniture that you can’t return unless it’s in original packaging for your empty sublet in the East Village that you’re not going to spend any time in anyway, is ultimately NOT worth it.

After attempting to sell furniture that is less than a month old and expecting maximum ROI (but getting a huge thorn up my backside instead), here’s what I learned: Unless you’re committed to an unfurnished place for at least a year, you’re better off getting a sleeping bag or a blow up mattress and camping out on the floor. Alternatively, you can get an Equinox membership for their Kiehl’s bath products and sleep on a nearby park bench or piece of pavement. They have 21 locations in Manhattan, so this should be easy to find. Anyway you do it, this wisdom still holds: You can’t get bedbugs if you don’t have a bed.

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Patricia Serrano - Destitute Diva

Patricia Serrano - Destitute Diva

Patricia Serrano is a classically-trained screenwriter with a passion
for one-of-kind life experiences and well-written paragraphs. Hailing
from Bangkok, Thailand, she was disowned by her family when she
decided to be a writer. She came to the states to pursue a career in
journalism at Emerson College, but found that writing films pissed her
parents off more. She successfully survived a two-year MFA program
for Dramatic Writing at NYU that has left her bank account at a
negative balance and gets instant gratification from writing for the


  1. NYCKid
    September 6, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Patricia, I hate to scare you, but bedbugs also burrow in the spaces between floors and walls, so if this place had bedbugs and hadn’t been properly exterminated, your buying furniture at Ikea wouldn’t have helped one bit. Also, did you have this furniture delivered via truck? If so, we have had a lot of instances of bedbugs being transported by moving trucks… Another thing. If you sat on a chair in a restaurant previously inhabited by a person who had a bedbug or two on them, and that bedbug jumped on the chair and then jumped on you…you get the idea. You wasted a lot of time and money on a nonsensical solution!

    • Patricia Serrano - Destitute Diva
      October 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

      Thanks for the advice. I learned my lesson, NYCKid. I used my sister’s boyfriend’s truck to do the hauling but still… can we ever escape those damn bedbugs?