"No Ruffled Feathers:" Kathie's Songbird Story

Songbird Transitions recently worked with Kathie and David to downsize and move from a 2,300- square foot, 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath home in Upper Arlington to a 2-bedroom, 2-bath 1,200-square foot ranch home at Otterbein Granville. 

In addition to helping Kathie & David sort the many pieces of art, books and collectibles they had accumulated over the 46 years they lived in the same residence, we helped Kathie contemplate the logistics of re-homing plants from her certified wildlife habitat yard to the garden beds outside her new home. 

Kathie & Dave outside their previous home (above) and their new downsized home (below). 

Inside the cozy, comfortable main floor layout of Kathie and Dave's new home is a master suite, office, living room and bright 3-season sunroom/den that perfectly reflects the personality of this active, nature-loving couple and their previous home. The foundation beds framing the house have been filled with flowers from their previous garden along with many new perennials, shrubs and herb additions. The Songbird team had so much fun helping to get them settled into their new home and life in Granville. 

Kathie offered to share her candid reflections of the downsizing process in the following first-person essay: 


Illogical! Downsizing and moving IS FUN!

Guest post by Kathie H. 

That’s NOT what we thought when we made the decision to radically change our lifestyle and location.

We had lived in our four-bedroom house across from a city park and an elementary school for 46 years.  We had a basement and closets filled with memorabilia and a garden planted with treasured perennials.  We loved our neighbors and the proximity of shopping, entertainment and medical help. A move was going to be traumatic, we thought.

Once we got into the rhythm of letting go of “stuff” we found it liberating.  Like a hiker on the Appalachian Trail, we began to feel the light pack allowed us to move with speed and flexibility, able to overcome obstacles and enjoy the company of others we met along the way.  And like surfers, we were riding the wave of so much goodness and generosity holding us up as we boldly hung on to our changing horizon.

During our “Try it stay” at Otterbein in March we stayed in a guest apartment, beautifully decorated in a way that spoke comfort and “home.” (decorated by Songbird)  A flyer on the table invited us to make use of Songbird Transitions for our moving needs.  It seemed too good to be true.  Like a fully stocked cafeteria, every possible offering was on the menu.  Help with packing, with sorting, with donating, with selling valuables, with mailing and shipping items going to family or friends in the “Great Downsizing Giveaway.”  Then there was the house prep for showing and selling, the follow-up packing and sorting.  LOTS of stick-on notes kept things moving in an orderly manner.  Kind and careful workers felt like family as they padded and packaged every item like a treasure.  Too good to be true?  We found we were surrounded by goodness and encouragement at every turn.

The week of the move there was careful planning and a logical sequence of what left first with an eye to keeping our day-to-day life calm and convenient.  Every item taken from one home arrived in our new house to be unpacked and placed where its access would be much the same.  Clothes from the closet in one house were hung in the same order in the new one.  The same for other items that we use daily. Such an easy transition.

Over four days big and small trucks and vans were able to carry it all, from the grandfather clock, the musical instruments, the garden tools and benches, and even the plants.  Each day had its rhythm. Morning packing trucks, afternoon arrivals and unpacking while we were present to the miracle of this physical and emotional transition.  Not simply “movers”, the Songbird flock helped each day feel almost effortless as they included us in deciding the placement of each “twig for our new nest.”  Teamwork!  Even to the hanging of pictures on the walls!  An artist’s eye is a bonus brought to the process by this special company of caring helpers.

Most important was the emotional support and encouragement we received throughout the process.  At every point when we seemed worried or concerned about how this was going to work, Sam was able to reassure us that we could relax and trust the process.  Her sage advice and wise presence let us know early on that we had not just hired a “moving company”, we had tapped into a moving ministry whose gifts are priceless.

Kathie & Dave outside their previous home (left) and their new downsized home (right).

While our start date at Otterbein was to be July 1, Sam wisely advised we arrive sooner and, in fact, the first full day in our new location was my birthday, June 30, and significant in that it had been exactly ONE year from the day I suggested the time was right to think about a move.  It can be done!  It can be fun!  It can be so smooth that not a feather will be ruffled!  And we were settled in in time for me to be a substitute organist at a local church on July 3, and our warm introduction to the new community was the camaraderie surrounding the July 4th celebration.  Perfect timing!

I LOVE nests.  Here is a photo made in a nest at a museum in Pacific Grove, California. 

Songbird Transitions specializes in helping older adults downsize and move into senior living communities and smaller homes. Our goal is to make the transition into your new space as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you are in Central Ohio, contact us for a free consultation

If you live elsewhere in the country, consider Downsizing Done Right, our comprehensive toolkit that includes step-by-step downsizing videos, a resource book plus a Q&A session with Songbird.

For personalized downsizing consulting and coaching services, please book a Songbird Support session.

Read more Songbird Stories and downsizing resources from Songbird Transitions


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