So this post was inspired by a post on Instagram from a fellow BBW enthusiast Jennifer aka @theshow78. In her post she bemoaned the fact that her current candle collection was growing a little out of control and she found herself running out of storage space. She asked for tips from fellow enthusiasts on how to maintain said collection and stop it from getting too crazy.
BBW candles are very addicting! I think there is something in the wax that triggers something in our brains and makes us a get just a little cuckoo. Before you know it, what started as an occasional purchase here and there and burning candles with reckless abandon quickly becomes a full on hoarding addiction with your collection rivaling candles sold in the store.
I myself started years ago with maybe less than ten candles; I burned candles with reckless abandon without a single thought of whether a scent would return or if something was a repackaged. Now I'm obsessed and I rant and rave about candles on a blog and had to recently get a new storage unit to contain my collection which is now perilously close to 100.
It can become simply too much!
As I mentioned on @theshow78's post, I had rules for myself to keep my collection, spending habits and obsession/addiction under control. You may or may not find them useful...
Rule 1: Buy only during a sale
You would think that it's a given but you'd be shocked how many Desperate Daisies and Don't have a Clue Sues are out there buying candles at full price! Bodycare, soaps, pocketbacs, scentportables and maybe wf bulbs are ok (though even then you should always use a coupon) but a candle..that's a no no! Buying candles during a sale gives you a timeline to buy them and keeps you out of the store and off of the website otherwise. Also (most) candles sales allow you to get more bang for your buck. And always have coupons handy; I try to only buy online if I have free shipping coupon or a 3/40% off coupon and I always bring 10off30 coupons when I go to the store.
Rule 2: Set a budget limit of how much you should spend
The most I'm willing to spend is $40...though for the most part, I usually spend somewhere between $20-$30. With a set limit, I know exactly what I want to buy and how many of what I want to buy. The only time I spend more than $40 is during SAS/Black Friday/$8.50 day or if someone graciously gives me a gift card. Granted in hindsight it does sound like I'm being a little cheap, but buying a certain amount of stuff under a budget keeps me from just aimlessly buying things I don't need.
Rule 3: Know just how many candles you want to stock up on
I know folks who get 10+ of one particular candles.... all T all shade, that's a bit much! Even if that's the only candle you plan on getting for a really long time, it is a little excessive. Big ups to you for having the money and storage space to do that (though sometimes I wonder if they actually do have the money or space)..but most of us just aren't able. Just speaking for myself, the most I usually get of a candle I deem stockup-able is 5; either all at once or gradually. I can enjoy these every once in awhile and in the meantime I burn other ones less stockup-able.
Rule 4: Have a physical list of candles that you want to buy
It's happened to all of us, especially when a new collection of scents comes out. We go to BBW or especially WB and we go into what I call "candle madness"; you lose all sense of time and space and rationality, you got overwhelmed from all the candle options and you start reaching stuff and filling up your shopping bag. You leave the store still on a candle high. You come home with your senses restored and you start resniffing your bought candles...then buyer's remorse sets in and you have a "why the f*** did I buy this" moment.
Don't go into the store blindly or with a list based on memory! Watch or read reviews of new scents and write a physical list of the scents you're intrigued with and had straight to those. And if you're in the store simply to restock, again have a list of the candles you want to haul. That keeps you from just buying stuff willy-nilly and also keeps buyer's remorse at bay.
Rule 5: Decide what is the cutoff of how many candles you can store properly. If you're over the cutoff, don't buy anymore until you are under the cutoff point again
I know sooooo many people in the candleverse who have so many candles that they've run out of space and have been reduced to storing candles in various parts of their domicile. Allow me to break it down - if you can't store all of your candles in one place, you have too many! If they are in one space and they are filled to overflowing, you have too many!
I bought a storage bin back when my collection was pretty small and manageable but over time I had so many that I had candles on top of candles in the bins and it couldn't take all of the weight and I still had candles leftover that I placed in cardboard boxes..RACHETASTIC! Candles just don't deserve that! My bf, who was probably very sick and tired of seeing my ghettorific candle storage, got me an upscale, sturdy and reasonably priced unit from IKEA.
Anyhoo the point is, I know my limit. And I've said this time and time again, my cutoff is 100; anything more than that is too much for me. Even 100 is a little cuckoo but let's be honest I'm never gonna go back the old days of having 20 or less candles but I know not to add more if my collection already feels overwhelming.
Set a limit as to how many candles you should have in your possession; if you are over the limit, do not buy any more! Start burning some or giving some away or do a trade. Once you're back under the cutoff point, then you can buy more.
Rule 6: Only buy candles that you enjoy
With the advent of social media, the candleverse has grown exponentially with everyone showing off what candles, test or otherwise, they recently bought. It's very easy to trip into the pitfall of buying a certain candle because sooooo many other people are going apeshit for it. Buying a candle because everyone else has it in their possession sounds like something straight out of junior high but believe it or not there are grown adults well over 30 that this is happening to.
This is also an issue that reviewers often face. Some of us have a tendency of buying candle for the sole reason of reviewing and not because we really wanted and are enjoying it. After their review is up and people have already watched and/or read it, they feel stuck with it in a bad way. Personally I have never done that, it's just not practical; real talk I just don't have the financial means to buy all these various candles from various collections for in depth reviews (and that is why I do my in store WALK N SNIFF reviews). And even if I did, I can think of so many other things I could buy instead of candles I don't like and know I won't burn.
Real talk...life is too short to spend your hard earned money on ish that you don't enjoy. Buy the candles YOU want and eff what anybody has to say about it. Don't buy candles to keep up with the virtual Joneses! And if it's a candle that everybody and their grandma is losing their shit over and you don't like it...DON'T BUY IT! It's ok not like a scent that everyone else likes. The candles in your collection should ALL be scents that you enjoy!
Rule 7: Don't fall into the hype of having a certain amount of candles in your collection in order to be a true candle lover
We all know of candle collectors/enthusiasts/connoisseurs in the candleverse with well over 100 candles and these individuals are almost borderline worshiped as candle gods on social media. Thus newer people to BBW feel the need to almost compete with these individuals and multiply their own candle numbers for the sole reason of being considered cool.
There's nothing wrong with collecting candles..as long as it's a maintainable hobby..emphasis on the word HOBBY!
We all jokingly refer to ourselves as "candle addicts" but there are some of us who are addicts in the real sense of the word - buying candles ad nauseam and posting them on social media for fellow candle lovers to ohhh and ahhh over... a double whammy of addiction and narcissism. And then what happens to said candles...returned to store...sold on Evilbay..or worse, forgotten about and are collecting dust.
Don't feel the need to impress and be one of the cool kids! Buy candles to enjoy them not to resell them or forget about them! And again, there is nothing wrong with collecting and having a MAINTAINABLE amount of candles...as long as you are buying them for YOUR own satisfaction and pleasure!
Rule 8: Candles are for burning...so burn them
As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems with having a whole bunch of candles is sometimes you get neglectful and you forget about some of them...a cardinal sin! If you're like me, you keep an updated list of all the candles you currently own...but how many of us are quite that anal?!
There are special candle connoisseurs like myself who like to find rare and obscure candles as collector's items, particularly from the Slatkin era..and don't burn them. That's fine if you have a small handful but it becomes a matter of practicality or lack thereof to have a crapload of candles that you don't intend to burn.
Here's the thing... over time the frangrance oils in candles evaporate as does anything containing moisture. Granted, keeping lids on them and keeping them contained and covered slows the process but the process still continues nonetheless. As the oils evaporate, your candles are just getting weaker and weaker to the point of being nonexistent. Sure it's gonna take a long time for that happen and I can't give you an estimate... but it's still gonna be that much lighter since the day you bought it or it arrived via UPS.
Speaking solely for myself, I currently have 10 candles of the rare and hard to find Slatkin era variety or test scents that have never been seen again...but that's it. Every other candle I have will at some point be burned from top to bottom. And those of you on IG know that I have a monthly rotation of a group of candles that I plan to burn; I know what I'm gonna burn and I know I what I intend been after. And it keeps my collection from getting crazy.
If you have a couple of scents that are irreplaceable, you can't find them in stores and are only available on Evilbay, by all means keep them for sniffing purposes only. Anything else, burn them! If you have scents you don't like and they're just sitting there...exchange them if you can or give them as a gift or persuade someone to do an exchange with you or force yourself to burn them completely; with the rate candles burn now, you can finish a 3wick in 2 days. But it is absolutely criminal to have a candle just sitting around unburned because of your indifference or dislike or forgetfulness. Every candle (that's not rare) you don't burn is simply taking up the space for more candles to truly enjoy. And every candle just sitting around, whether you like them or not, is getting weaker and weaker and that is just a total waste. Love your candles...BURN YOUR CANDLES!!!!