Cleansing and consecration are both necessary when working with tools and ritual objects. Cleansing is done first. Cleansing means you purify the item from previous energies that it may have picked up before coming into your care. This can most easily be done with burning sage and wafting the sage smoke over the item completely.
Consecration is where you put a solid, singular intent into the item usually with the dedication to a specific energy or even a form of deity. For ritual objects, this is what links that object to the purpose it will fill and hold. If you are cleansing and consecrating an athame, for example, you would consecrate the athame for the purpose of holding and directing energy. Consecration isn’t necessarily difficult or tedious, but it is necessary because it forms a strong link or connection to the item that gives it a singular purpose. Once something is consecrated – it is used solely for that consecrated purpose and nothing else. It is what helps it to hold and store that particular energy.
The same should be done for the altar area that you establish.
As for candles, smaller is better if you have to let them burn out completely for the purpose of your working. Chime candles burn for one to two hours and are effective for spells that need to span 3, 7, or even 9 days in length. You can mark the candles for these increments and burn them a bit each night or let it burn out completely. With good quality chime candles there is no extra wax spillage – the entire candle melts away.
Also, you shouldn’t reuse spell candles unless you have solidified a certain purpose into the candle. For example, if you have a larger pillar candle that you use for meditation, you may reuse that as needed because you aren’t putting another purpose onto that particular candle. But you wouldn’t use that candle for something like prosperity. In other words, don’t charge a candle for healing, burn it halfway, and then reuse that same candle for a different purpose. Better to use whatever is unspent in a charm bag or ritually dispose of the remainder and start your next working with a new candle.
A personal grimoire can be consecrated by writing a book blessing into it on the first page – this would include a wish for protection of the contents, a pledge that you will be honest and true to the things you put into it, and a statement that you wish for the book to safely contain the workings you put into it. Sign it with your name (magical or mundane, your choice, whichever you identify most strongly with)
The altar could be consecrated by lighting a particular candle and stating what you intend to use the altar for. Is this to be a shrine of reverence for deity? A place more for working magic and ritual? An area for inner working and meditation? All of those things? Consecration is the outward focusing of an inward intent. The words can be whatever you choose and they’ll be fine as long as your focus is there for that purpose.
Likewise, use your own words to consecrate your individual tools and ritual items – and write down those words in your grimoire.