A question from myownfire:
Do you have a freecycle network in your area? I get--and give away--a lot of stuff in my area this way. It's serendipitous, it gets stuff out of the house and to the person who needs it, and it creates community. You can also post for things you want. The perfect desk may be sitting in someone's garage gathering dust.
I’ve checked the freecycle.org website but there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of activity in New York City. There aren’t a lot of garages here for stuff to gather dust in. Most people put stuff they don’t want on the curb and you take it if it looks good to you. That said, I’m holding off on the desk for now while we get the kids’ room sorted out. Maybe I’ll happen upon a great desk while I’m out and about.