Songbird Stories


Songbird Story Profile: The Landscape Architects, Kirsten & Jurgen

Jan 05, 2022

Kirsten and Jurgen's story involves both international emigration and local migration. Their moves first took them from Europe to North America, then from the East Coast to the Midwest. Their most recent moves were local. Very local, in fact: one move was a block away; and their move this fall was just a hop, skip and a jump across town. The Songbird Team and I were thrilled to help this sweet couple with their recent downsize to Kendal--now Otterbein at Granville. Jurgen and Kirsten graciously allowed us to share more about their story as well as a peek inside their cozy new home.   

So where did this...

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7 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Downsizing

Jan 03, 2022

Mistake #1: Underestimating how much stuff you have. 

After years—or even decades—of living in the same home, it is easy to accumulate lots of, ahem, "stuff." All that stuff we buy can quickly fill closets, garages, attics and storage units.  

We all love all our stuff...until it comes time to move or downsize.  

I always insist on looking at all the nooks and crannies of a house prior to working with a client on a downsize. I'm not trying to be nosey. It is simply because chances are, you don’t realize how much stuff is tucked away in the back of the closet or a corner of the...

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The Downsizing Double Win

Nov 01, 2021

Downsizing can feel a bit daunting at first, but the process of decluttering and letting go of clothing and household furnishings that you don’t use or no longer need can also be extremely rewarding.  

After helping hundreds of older adults downsize into senior living communities and smaller homes, we know how difficult it can be to part with some possessions. But we’ve learned letting go of those extra end tables and dishes is much easier if you know they will go to someone who will appreciate them or support a cause you care about.   

When sorting which items to keep and which to downsize, we...

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Relocating a Very Special Nest

Oct 27, 2021
The Songbird team recently helped a super sweet couple downsize into an apartment at Middleton. Among the special items that we lovingly packed to move to their new home were several beautiful bird nests.
One was under a glass cloche. Another was still tenuously attached to the dried beanstalks that were intricately woven into the nest.
And the last nest had a note tucked in the bottom yellowed with age that read: “When your day is touched by nature, it’s also touched by wonder. Your connection to nature makes you bigger and smaller all at once.”
Reading this message in the nest made me pause and smile.
Finding a nest is considered good luck. Nests represent life, love, family, commitment, and...
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Songbird Story Profile: Champions for Children's Services, Sue & Chris

Oct 05, 2021

One of the very best parts of working with our senior downsizing clients is getting to know them on a personal level and learning more about their families, world travels, incredible career accomplishments and other rich life experiences. In this new series of posts, we are privileged to share some of these fascinating stories. We’ll not only learn a little bit about their lives, we’ll also discuss the highs and lows of their downsizing experience.  

To kick it off, I’d love to introduce you to Sue and Chris.   

Sue and Chris first met as students at Denison University and Chris is one...

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Moving On: Turning a Home Back Into a House

Sep 22, 2021
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Songbird Transitions
Moving On: Turning a Home Back Into a House

It’s no secret that everyone decorates and lives a little differently than their neighbors or friendsEveryone has their own distinct style and decorative taste, as well as, their own personal ideas of what looks “nice.”  

Growing up, my parents had loads of eclectic art and unique ceiling lines which I grew to love. Today, I tend to decorate with a lot of family photos. Meanwhile, my two young boys like to "decorate" the house with lego-creations and science experiments.

I learn a lot about our clients from the selected furniture and decor in their favorite spaces. The variety of styles is as unique as each personality. While some seniors surround...

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Advice from an Inner Voice

Feb 15, 2021

We recently had a client in her mid-eighties experience a rapid health decline. She had to move to an assisted living community and sell her condo immediately. While we packed her boxes during her move, she said “I see you packing my belongings and I think to myself, I’ve lived a good life.” Following the move, she called to inform me that she had additional health issues and only a few months left to live. She justified her decision to no longer seek treatment with this logic: “When I can’t do my three absolute favorite things anymore, I think I need to be thankful for the life I lived and accept this path, instead of prolonging my life without my passions.” With no family and only a handful of caring...

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Making Space: Meaningful Donations

Jan 14, 2021

It’s no secret that we’re a small downsizing business. We are committed to our work because of how important we think it is, rather than how much money it makes us. But, what I never realized is that the donations and connections we’ve made to give back to people who really need it has given us more than we ever could’ve imagined in return, in the shape of gratitude.  

One of the things I knew I wanted to do as soon as we started assisting clients in clearing out their estates was to give as many items as possible a second life: meaning, only trash things when absolutely necessary....

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Selective Sentimental Value

Nov 18, 2020

One of the things we consistently run into with our downsizing clients is appropriately managing the concept of “sentimental value.” I do fully understand that it’s challenging to let go of anything strongly associated with our loved ones and memories. However, for some families, this “catch phrase” becomes a “catch all” mindset that causes people to hold on to everything that’s been stored in the basement or attic for decades. Let’s take a moment and revisit the true definition of the term, and then try to understand the power of an alternative concept that I coined: “SELECTIVE sentimental value.” 

Sentimental value” is defined as “the value of...

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Downsizing Shoes is Good for the Sole

Nov 11, 2020

Are you short on closet space because you're storing a large collection of shoes that you've just never found a way (or time) to downsize?

In this short video, we walk through the process we used to help our client identify the wearables and pass on the rest. Watch to discover the easy (and super quick) steps you can take to reduce your own pile of shoes!

If you found these tips helpful, we've got lots more on the way! This video is actually a clip from our upcoming 3-part video series on downsizing closets, basements, and additional storage spaces. If you need to declutter these spaces in your home, or are helping a loved one with a downsizing transition, then this series will be a great way to get...

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