These days we hear advice everywhere about how to stretch our dollars and make the most of what we have. For our business, we made one of the hardest choices: relocating into a new, but much smaller space that better serves our needs. We’ve advised people every day for years to take only what you’re sure you’ll use, and begin early to donate or recycle the rest. Despite having moved many times before, we found ourselves in the same dilemma as our customers, and taking things we didn’t really need into our new, smaller space.

Among the biggest challenges of downsizing, or “right-sizing,” is assessing your true needs for space and locking down your options: how much space do you truly need for the activities in your life that mean the most to you? We knew that more than 90% of our sales came from items we designed, so that made our decisions easier, but our old space was two-and-a-half times larger, so every single piece has to pull its weight now.

Because we knew from talking with our customers and studying sales data what to take with us, we began thinning our inventory severely for months before knowing where we’d move. That helped greatly in the weeks before moving, because we knew what to discount. Many folks, however, ship large items great distances, only to dispose of them in haste: doubly wasteful. Sure, we took more than we knew we could fit in the new store, but we moved only two miles and are still near our favorite Maine charities, which mitigated waste.

Moving is often disruptive and difficult, but not because of heavy lifting. That’s by far the easiest part, one you could let others do. Updating contact information is tedious, but no challenge compared to planning for how to live in a new space, properly budgeting for known and hidden moving expenses, and by far the most subjective work, once you’ve moved: making the new space work for you.

Our business move, in contrast to retirees moving into a new home, also meant critical sales and back office activities would share cramped quarters, and so we studied how we do all our most important tasks to make sure we could manage well, if not better, in less space. We spent a bit more on customizing the new space to ensure menial daily chores would be easier, so we can spend more time doing what matters most to us: listening to our customers and developing our own products to meet the strongest demands.

One last bit of advice from your local contrarian: never try to move in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, or during other important national holidays: help is scarce, Mother Nature could punish you, and your holidays may get lost in the shuffle. That said, plan your move well, create reserves for unexpected expenses, and have reliable helpers, and you’re well on your way!

For more information, contact Ross Endicott at the new Endicott Home Furnishings at 429 U.S. Route 1, and online at

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