Downsizing: Finding Happy Homes

Cliff and I are still downsizing as we move into our new home. A burst pipe in the fire sprinkler system set us back this winter. The pipe was incorrectly insulated by the builder. It sounded like Niagara Falls when I walked in on that freezing January day to discover that one wing of our house was already flooded.

The repairs, done begrudgingly by the builder, have taken forever, but we were fortunate as it could have been so much worse. Lucky I came into the house when I did.

In the meantime, we’ve continued to empty the old house (and we’re now living in the new one for the most part). My downsizing mission has been to put almost nothing in the landfill, and I’ve had great success. A second mission was to be creative in giving away my goods, so that they found the best possible home.

Our love seat became an important part of the set of Orange Community Player’s production of California Suite. Not only did I have a blast playing Mattie the Maid in the show, but I loved seeing how well my love seat worked on the set.

My church, Hillsborough Presbyterian, supports refugee families. My friend Alice delivered our guest room bedding to two little girls in one of the families.

Alice reported that the girls were delighted. Here’s Zakara on her  newly made up bed. (For those of you who remember the old Eddie Bauer home stores, that’s where this set came from.)

Their mom, Sekeena, is a seamstress. I sent dust ruffles to her too, hoping she can  use the eyelet in some of her projects.

I commissioned Sekeena to make potholders from extra fabric I bought years ago to match our living room couches. The couches aren’t coming to the new house, so the potholders make great souvenirs. I’ve got a stack of ten or so. Should last a while!

We bought this school desk when we were first married and living in Pittsburgh. I love it but have no place for it in the new house. One day it popped into my mind that a children’s museum might like a school desk. A few weeks later, our desk was on its way to the  Children’s Museum of Alamance County. We look forward to visiting it there.

And I sent these framed quilt pieces to  Ali Givens, who does fabric art. Hopefully she can use the smaller roses in a project.

After the flooded wing of the house is painted next week, we plan to move over another load of furniture. Then I’ll find a home for those couches, among other projects.

Soon comes the biggest downsizing project of all: Getting our 180-year-old house on the market.

Anyone want a house in historic HIllsborough? We’ll fix the shutter before you move in…



16 thoughts on “Downsizing: Finding Happy Homes”

  1. I am an artist who makes sculptures out of recycled materials – and Barbara and Cliff gave me his old electrical supplies to use in creating my art – and Cliff’s dad’s old bowling ball which I display on the front porch of my studio. It’s such a nice idea when downsizing to find good homes for things you are getting rid of! Thanks, Barbara!


  2. Beth is grateful for your Godey Lady prints, paper ephemera, and other goodies you donated for her antique booth. Your generosity was a win-win. Thanks again!


  3. Your old house is lovely and was obviously a much loved home! I wish I had had more time when I was clearing out my parents’ home. I admire how you have found new owners and homes for so many items!


  4. This must be painful, Barbara. Leaving a home you had loved, with its many artifacts, objects, and both of which have profound memories. Especially, when you are beset with some unhappy problems with moving in to the new house. On a completely different note, I am so happy that you have enjoyed acting in theater productions, as you have! Best to you and Cliff – Phyllis -P.S. Oh, and I love your personal artwork!


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