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This might sound strange, but one of my fave things about fall are candles. Yes, wax pillars with a cord in the middle get my heart thumping as the leafs change outside. Forget scarves, sweaters, and boots, people (I can, because I’m in LA)! It’s all about candles. They add ambiance to your space both through light and smell (and my faves: the one’s that crackle like a fireplace, also adding acoustic noise to the room).

While I’ve definitely got a candle crush, as an organizer, they’re one of my worst nightmares. Why? Because no one ever seems to get rid of them! You receive them as gifts, light them once or twice, or even better, leave them on the top of a stack of books to accumulate dust, and never use the damn thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about accent pieces, but if your wax accent pieces are collecting more dust than hours of usage, it may be time to change your dusting habits, or candle using habits.

Here are some common candle-related scenarios I face with friends, family, and clients:

“I don’t want to light the candlestick because it’s going to ruin the beautiful candlestick holder.” I’ve got mind-blowing news: it’s actually pretty easy to get rid of that melted wax. How? Boil some water on the stove, pour it into a heat-safe mixing bowl, place your “destroyed” candlestick holder into the hot water and watch the wax liquify and rise to the top of the bowl. Word to the wise: avoid clogging your pipes with wax by letting the wax cool and solidify at the top of the bowl before pouring out the water.

“I’ll reuse these half-burnt birthday candles!” Will you? Seriously, will you? I’m all for re-gifting, but re-gifting birthday candles? Don’t you want to celebrate the people you love in your life with a fresh 10 cent stick of wax rather than a stubby one?

“I bought those pillar candles for my holiday party three years ago; they cost a fortune!” Yes, and…? Candles can be expensive. Before investing in those large expensive pillar candles for holidays and parties, make sure you really love them, and will want to use them for years to come. If not, why spend your precious real estate on housing never-used dust-collectors of wax?

“It was a gift, but I don’t like the smell.” This is a great reason to donate it! While candles seem like an easy thing to gift others, I avoid this gifting staple. People have such strong reactions to scent, I don’t want to leave them with something that irritates their nose, same with perfume. Let’s just all stay away from the smelly gift stuff, okay?

As the saying goes, use ’em or lose ’em. Now go light some wicks!

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