In Plain Sight

Sunday afternoon, as I was cleaning up the house for our church’s home group, I saw this:

In Plain Sight at

Not the stuff in the top half. That’s still invisible. I’m talking about the ice chest.

It had been there since I came back from the lake over two weeks ago. Oops. I wasn’t sure how I had missed it, but I had. Even though we hosted our home group here the Sunday before.

Anyway, I looked inside and found exactly what I was hoping not to find:

Photo - Beyond Icky Forgotten Ice Chest at

My first thought? I don’t have time to deal with this. Just like I obviously didn’t have time to deal with whatever had spilled inside when I emptied it. My automatic plan was to move the ice chest to the garage and deal with it later.

The magical time called later.

Except that the Magical Later only lives in my imagination. Reality Later isn’t so fun. Reality Later happens when I am rushing out the door to a baseball game, arms loaded with ice packs and water bottles and picnic foods, thinking I’ll dump it all in the ice chest without ever needing to stop moving.

And then I open the ice chest to find that. That . . . plus two more months of mold growth.

Head explosions might just happen.

So I chose to avoid that moment and I took the entire six minutes necessary to make it look like this:

Cleaned out Ice Chest at ASlobComesClean

Cleaning wipes didn’t cut it, but a little squirt of dish soap and a good rag did the trick.

Yay for my future sanity.

In-Plain-Sight title -at-ASlobComesClean.com_

--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    I listened to your latest podcast last night about decluttering living areas … great stuff! I just wanted to mention that you sounded like you were recording in a tunnel … or on speakerphone …? lots of echo. Just wanted you to know and I didn’t know where else to put my comment. Thanks so much for doing those podcasts, I look forward to listening to them every weekend…gets me motivated to clean!

  2. 2

    The Magical later lives in my imagination also. And I have a huge invisible pile in my bedroom. And while out of the site of guest, I see it multiple times a day and keep telling myself I’ll get to it later….yeah right!

    Thank you for you blog, e-books and podcast. It has been very helpful and inspirational to me. I find myself laughing out loud as I listen to you because it sound just like me.

  3. 3

    I LOVED this post. I do not understand how I MISS these invisible piles in my home either. I really do not want too, but then I am frustrated when it has not been dealt with and it takes longer to accomplish things. I am on year #2 trying to declutter my home. We have made great progress, but still have a ways to go. It is hard work changing our brains on how we buy stuff. NO MORE CLEARANCE RACK BUYS UNLESS THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR IT IN THIS HOME! I was notorious for buying clearance clothes, but NO MORE unless I LOVE IT!
    I love your blog! I have not have time to read as much as I would like lately, but I love your honesty! You are an encouragement to me! THANKS!

  4. 4

    Yes, I live in magical later all too often. Then when real later comes, not so fun for sure! Thanks for sharing, because now I know I’m not the only one who had “invisible zones” πŸ™‚

  5. 5

    Thanks for the reminder that a little time spent (it’s always less time than what we think it will take) helps us keep our sanity!

  6. 6

    I was honestly looking at your photo of the kitchen wondering what was wrong? if you had not placed arrows I would still be looking at it wondering.
    You are just my kinda normal πŸ™‚

  7. 7
    Joan Bandyf says:

    I realized some of the things I dread most take less then five minutes. Really? I let the dread and “need to” and “to do” lists take up too much space for tasks that take less than ten minutes. JUST DO THEM! I say! OUT, winter hibernating bear! IN, spring clean! LOL

  8. 8

    Once you have things under control, you might get fifteen minutes either in the morning or evening (I forget when your bracing time is) to deal with those little things that fastidious people would not leave undone.

    Have a fancy phone? You could probably set up a hot-button for your “next 12 hours later” tasks.

  9. 9

    Invisible piles…yeah….hahahahahahahahaha!!! I’m only notorious for those.

  10. 10

    Magical Later is my constant companion. I just never knew her name.

  11. 11

    I think I must have a “Magical Later” measure of time slot.
    I also have a point of “Head Explosion” …
    Funny, I never thought they were connected.

    I see the correlation now.

  12. 12

    It’s called Clutter Blindness. Unfortunately, my insurance carrier won’t pay for the treatments. A housekeeper.

  13. 13

    Good for you for resisting the urge to take the easy way out. I have to admit though, I think I would’ve asked the hubby to clean that out. LOL

  14. 14

    For me, LATER never seems to come. Better to take care of it now. Great job!

  15. 15

    I perpetually live in Magical Later. Then, instead of little messes to clean, I have an over-whelming disaster that just makes me want to run away & hide!

    My new system has now begun to consist of focusing on one room at a time. I have 3 boxes in my laundry room, labeled TRASH, KEEP, DONATE. Every time I walk in or through the room, I move something to a box. It’s about half organized! As each box fills, it gets IMMEDIATELY emptied or put into the van for Goodwill delivery.

    I’m not even choosing a next room until that one is DONE! Keeping the goal short term.

  16. 16
    Rebecca Schrimsher says:

    I so know about this magical time called “LATER”. Just as one of many examples: this past Oct. I looked up and still had the command hooks for our stockings hung in the living room from the Christmas before. Also there was a sled sitting next to my fireplace that I had decided to leave out for the winter and put it up “later” – 15 months later it is still sitting there. So I am going to take it out to the garage right now when I get done writing. (We have had several Sunday School activities here in those 15 months and I never even saw it till this Christmas). Oh Well Just when I think I am getting better. I guess God must know I would get prideful if I ever got this down pat with no mistakes. Thanks for sharing. (I have done this too with my cooler as well)

  17. 17

    Kudos to you for getting it done right away πŸ™‚ I’ve had the same issue, too :/ and had to learn the hard way that prevention of future chaos and planning in real time what needs to get done before an activity really are beneficial to the day of πŸ™‚

  18. 18

    If we bring a cooler in the kitchen, it gets noticed and dealt with because there is no place to put it that it is not in the way. If I ask the kids to unload the extra pop/water into the GARAGE fridge, however, it is entirely possible that the lid will be closed (with the extra ice still in it) and it will become a mold incubator for the next several months. My solution? (My kids are teenagers)

    I ask the kids to dump the ice into a specific flower bed, then store that particular cooler (lid open) in the boat in the garage. That way, if I walk into the garage in February and HAPPEN to notice a random cooler on the floor, and know that we haven’t been to the lake since August or September, that it is probably not in my best interest to open said cooler. I automatically put “take care of cooler” on the kids’ chore list!!!

  19. 19

    If there was mould in that cooler, I’d probably have put some water and bleach in it to soak it for a bit to kill the mould. Otherwise, it seems to come back to haunt us.

  20. 20

    I’ll thank you on behalf of your future self! My future self is pretty much screwed!

  21. 21
    Holly Barlow says:

    “Future Dana” will thank you. πŸ˜‰

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