The Best of the Bad Ideas

The Best of the Bad Ideas at

When I decluttered/created-space-in that cabinet in my kitchen recently, I found that candle.

So cute, right? Actually, if I said words like “presh” I would totally call that presh. (Presh is short for precious. I think.)

I have a soft spot for Christmas decor, for gingerbread houses and for candles that smell like food. And that candle smells like sugar cookies, which are pretty much the best of Christmas AND food.

I was surprised to find a Christmas item in that cabinet since I would never have looked there for anything Christmas-ey. So obviously, it didn’t pass the first decluttering question test for staying in that spot.

But the problem is, I do look for Christmas stuff in the attic. The attic is the perfect, most logical spot for Christmas stuff.

As long as the stuff doesn’t include candles.

Because I live in Texas.

Texas attics and Christmas candles (or any candles of any sort) don’t mix. I know because I’ve tried. I have several lovely-smelling waxy boxes which once held candles that magically disappeared between Christmases.

And I wish I had a pre-blog picture of a certain anthropomorphic Christmas tree candle whose smiling face was hilariously disfigured when we pulled him out one year.

I tried and tried to think of where to put this candle. (Ignoring both the first and second decluttering questions, obviously.) And finally I came up with a place.

Hidden Cabinet at

It’s hard to get to, so “perfect” for off-season items. In fact, as I climbed upon a stool, I wondered what in the world I had stored in there already.


Hidden behind a thick layer of dust . . .

Just past the (amazingly) thick layer of dust . . . was that pumpkin cookie jar I’d wondered about for the past few autumns.


But even with proof that this was probably a bad idea, I stuck the presh little candle in the cabinet and shut the door.

It’ll be such a nice surprise if we ever move.



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  1. 1

    Funny. I do things like this too. I think, “I will remember I put this here because it’s logical.” Then when I go to find it later I can’t think, for the life of me, where I put it… Obviously the logical place isn’t always logical later on.

  2. 2

    I totally feel you! And I hate to be *that* person lol. But you totally need to check out scentsy! They have such amazing food smells, and super cute warmers that are not cluttery at all. They are gorgeous! And I won’t even start about the dangers of open flame candles and cheap knock off brands of warmers/wax. My website is or you can message me at [email protected] if you want to know more. I swear this isn’t spam lol. I love you and your blog and read every post! You have helped me accept myself so much and not keep trying to fit into this plan or that plan and to do what works for me. Thanks so much for being so awesome! !

  3. 3
    Luisa in Dallas says:

    I am also in Texas and have the same problem with not being able to store seasonal candles in our garage with the Christmas stuff. I sort of solved the problem by putting a location reminder note on an index card (“Small candles are stored in gift drawer!”) and dropping the note into my box of living room Christmas decorations. So far this system is working for me.

    • 4
      Nikki Badzik says:

      I do something like this, but my note goes on my calendar in my phone, so I don’t have to keep track. We always decorate the a weekend after thanksgiving, so my note goes on that weekend with a reminder a week before. It’s been SO helpful.

  4. 5

    I solved this problem for myself. Might work for you too.

    I figure out about when I would usually look for something like a Christmas candle, or a pumpkin cookie jar. Not where. When.

    Then I put the items somewhere that looks like a good place for them and write where on the date I came up with on my calendar or even write a list and staple it to my calendar if I’m putting things away for next year.

    Then when I get my new calendar, I transfer those notes to the new calendar when I transfer things like birthdays.

    I do this on my wall calendar. I suppose you could write it in a planner too, but after a month, I never remember to check my planner.

    • 6

      I use Google calendar and set it to email me annual reminders of things like this. Just put something like “Xmas decoration in upper cabinet” annually on Dec 1 and set reminder to email!

    • 13
      Rosemary says:

      I do the same sort of thing. After finding advent calendars two years in a row around the 10th of Dec, I wrote a reminder on the 31st of Nov on the next years calendar to remind me where I’d put it. Worked like a charm.

  5. 14

    I have the exacct opposite problem. I have a nativity scene snow globe thing that I want to store in the attic, but I’m afraid of it freezing and breaking up there [it’s glass], as I live in the cold North. It’s been hanging around my bathroom waiting the end of cold season…until I can safely put it up and know it won’t get ruined. Yeah…my system isn’t working too well as a snow globe nativity isn’t really great as bathroom decor.

  6. 15

    So I had our new-as-of-Christmas-a-year-ago Nativity scene up after I got it for Christmas and left it up for hmmmm…. several months WAY past the June I’m sure. I don’t think that thinking about the birth of Jesus is just a Christmas time thing so I wasn’t uncomfortable to have it up and all and it was so beautiful. Well I decided to “put it away”. That was a bad idea because as last Christmas was getting closer and closer I searched and searched for it! I couldn’t find it! I did find my clarinet which had been lost for 4 1/2 years! But that’s another story. I still don’t have any idea where my beautiful Nativity scene is at! I looked in the logical places and the illogical places. I hope you remember those cute decorations come this fall/winter. As for me I’m still searching for my Nativity.

    • 16

      I have done this year after year with my youngest child’s Christmas stocking. His first Christmas, I didn’t have his name on it yet, so I left it out of the decorations box to work on it. By the time I got it finished, I didn’t want to dig out everything to find the stocking box, so I put it somewhere “safe.” He’s almost 6 and hasn’t had a stocking with his name on it yet, because every year I wouldn’t be able to find it, then around March or April I’d come across it and put it somewhere else “safe” (but not where it was supposed to be). This year, my other son found it (about two weeks ago, actually) stuffed down in a bucket of junk on the bottom shelf of my baker’s rack. (Really??) I IMMEDIATELY dug out the stocking box and shoved that thing down in there!! The poor kid will FINALLY have a stocking with his name on it for his eighth Christmas. 😀

  7. 17

    Last September my parents celebrated there silver wedding anniversery, I made them a huge red velvet cake and planned on putting the little silver vase on the top that they’d had on there wedding cake and then I’d had on mine (nearly 13 years ago) I searched high and low for the vase and had to give up… I found it today… Sat on a little shelf on the mirror above the fireplace in the dining room… Ah well…

  8. 18

    Grab a little post it note and write on the calendar at the beginning of September that the cookie jar is up in that cabinet. Do the same for the candle for December. 🙂

  9. 19

    I swear we are twins. I “found” my 4th of July candle set/uncle Sam at Christmas in a cabinet that we store soda in. I forgot all about it. I have also found candles in my buffet in the dining room. I am getting better. By the way, I will always love you for giving the best tip for keeping my kitchen clean….running my dishwasher every night. Working on de-cluttering and getting better day by day. Thanks for getting slobs everywhere hope!

  10. 20

    Sounds like you have found a new storage place for all your candles. Now you have a place to store and a place to look for candles.

  11. 21
    Kelekona says:

    I found my xmas stuff sometime in January, in the attic. Not that I had been looking to decorate this xmas, just trying to compress.

    My future strategy is to have areas that are dedicated to “that stupid stuff we only pull out once per year.”

    But candles belong in the candle drawer. Well, my mom had a candle drawer but I got out of the habit.

  12. 22

    I have extra candles stored in the kitchen cabinet above the oven/microwave. LOL! That’s the I don’t have any other place to store it cabinet. One day I’ll tackle it and make it neat.

  13. 23

    This is probably too much work, but stick a note in your Christmas decorations (in the attic) to check that very spot for candles.

  14. 24
    Daniel F. Carey says:

    Put stuff in numbered boxes. Get a steno pad. Number the pages. Write on the page what is in each box. Kind like a card catalog for stuff.

  15. 25

    There was a community tragedy here recently. I grabbed up some old candle holders and brought them to the house and used little tea lights in them as a little memorial. It really made me cry and then I was able to feel better. still have a long way to go letting go of too much stuff not being used. If things are hanging around forgotten for years, what is the point of having them. Baby steps.

  16. 26

    how about taking a sticky note and write what it in that cabinet and putting it on the fridge.

  17. 27

    I was just clicking through links and in your post from 1/24/2010 you can actually see this candle holder in one of the photos of the decluttered cabinet. How funny!

  18. 28
    Courtney M says:

    So…put a note in the Attic Christmas boxes that says “Christmas candles are stored in____”. Or mark your calendar in Dec with a Candles in ______
    Might help you remember (-:

  19. 29
    Jewlz280 says:

    I can’t do the store the candles with whatever holiday/important day thing. I have one dedicated space for ALL candles. Which sounds like it would be awful, but it isn’t. I can always see when birthday candles, tea candles, or specialty candles are low or completely gone. I know exactly how many holders I have. It’s been the only thing to work for me! Although in truth, I don’t use many candles or items with smell as they drive my allergies NUTS.

  20. 30

    Cal me crazy, but why are you storing a candle? Burn it & enjoy it and buy a new one next Christmas!

  21. 31

    i don’t have an attic. so my christmas stuff is in the basement. even in good ol’ Pennsylvania, we wouldn’t be able to put candles in our attic. but i also don’t have christmas candles. or really much of any candles. except those emergency non-scensted, long-burning candles for when your power goes out. which we bought after the *last* time the power went out. of course it hasn’t gone out since then. (two years now.) but *those* are with the lightbulbs, flashlights, and batteries. anyway, i was saying?… oh yea. basement? could you move your christmas stuff to the basement? or is that a non-option?

    • 32

      No basements in Texas! (At least not in the part where we live!) I’ve always wished for a basement.

      • 33

        wha???? no basement? you just blew my mind! i mean, not every house around here has basements, but i’d definitely much rather have a basement than an attic. a proper basement can be combo storage/rec room/ home office, and laundry room! every basement i’ve ever had was at least two of those. now we did have a really large/ nice attic in the house i grew up in, but it wasn’t insulated or heated and cooled, so it still had the typical attic problems.

        • 34

          I have such great memories of playing in the basement when I visited family in Kansas, and always desperately wished we had one. I think it’s something about the way the ground is here that makes them not possible.

  22. 35

    I live in North Carolina, in a double-wide mobile home that has neither an attic nor a basement! I build a whole other building, 16 x 20 feet, for “storage”. Mostly it’s yard stuff like the lawnmower and power tools, but one year I decided it would be “the place” to store my Christmas decorations. When my daughter and I opened them the following fall, they were completely, totally, disgustingly infested with … cockroaches. We opened a box and they came swarming out like the scarab beetles in the Mummy movies. We set fire to the boxes right there in the yard. I just thank God we opened the boxes in the yard, because we were looking for the outside decorations at the time. If I’d opened it in my house, I’d have had to move. Now I have new Christmas decorations which are stored in the guest room closet.

  23. 36

    So Dana, two years have gone by since you posted this. Is the candle and pumpkin still in that cupboard? Have you used them? Just curious!

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