Candid Motherhood: Summer Blitz


Kids Messy RoomSummer is a time when family gets to bask in lazy moments. It’s a time for barbeques, sleepovers, Friday matinees and road trips. It’s also known for boredom crazed children, sunburns, excruciating visits from relatives and moms that are so exasperated that they can’t find their “you know what” with both hands.

In our family we have a few summer traditions.  Our kids go to a week of family camp in Texas with my parents and my husband and I get a week to ourselves. The subject of this article is another tradition that takes place during this yearly reprieve (other than jumping for joy.)

It’s called the “Blitz.” And while this may sound like a college drinking game, you would be more likely to see it on an episode of Martha Stewart. This is the day that my daughters’ bedroom finds its soul again.

Our daughters share a room.  They have since my younger daughter started sleeping in her big girl bed. We have offered to set them up in their own rooms, but they insist that they want to be together.  We are grateful for their sisterly friendship and generous spirits. But after a year of unmaintained chaos, when their stuffed animals have been allowed to breed unrestrained, when dust bunnies have taken up residence in every cranny of space, and when the bobble head kitty on their dresser nods her head like a mob boss and orders all of her mini bobble headed minions to do her bidding, order must prevail over anarchy.

Gotham needs a hero with a face, and I have that face.

After 11 hours I had removed 3 kitchen-sized garbage bags of trash, broken toys, dehydrated food, moldy sippy cups, and about 25 rocks that my daughter had drawn faces on with a Sharpie (we are looking into therapy for her,) as well as 5 bags of donations for Goodwill.

I always have mixed feelings when I work on organizing their room.  In one sense I’m very glad to be clearing the debris and making the space serene and whole again.  I love knowing how much they’ll love to come home to their clean room. But the darker feelings begin to surface as I carry all of the bags of removed clutter out to the dumpster and the donation bin.  I wonder why all of this junk is allowed to abide in my home for so long.  I wonder why there are so many things that our hands touch or our feet walk over every day that don’t make our lives better. And I wonder where all this stuff comes from.  It’s like evil elves truck it in during the night.

Even minimalist families of modest means suffer from the effects of excess.  We work to get stuff, and then we work to protect our stuff, and then when it’s outdated, unwanted or broken, we work to get rid of it.  I’m really not trying to make some self-loathing societal indictment. I’m just saying that it bothers me.

My day of “Blitz” reminds me to be grateful for all we have, which is sometimes too much.  It’s a day where I clear the slate and serve my girls by making their hell hole a haven once again.  I guess I have to choose to see the bothersome excess as a natural side effect of the blessings of liberty.

Every rose has its thorn. Mine comes in the form of tiny stiletto heels that imbed themselves in the soles of my feet.

Karis Murray is a Scottsdale, Arizona native and mother to daughters Riley, age 7 and Lydia, age 6.  She is currently the Creative Director for the Family Matters Minute Radio Show and serves as Lead Writer and Editor for the show.  She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and is a poet in her own mind!  Learn more about Karis at her blog:


  1. Yea, about twice a year mom would take a leafblower and power washer to your room. She found Jimmy Hoffa buried under a pile of clothes in the back of your closet.

  2. Yes, ah, so true. I want to teach my children the joy of having *less* (seriously, ha!), and not being consumers, and only owning buying things we LOVE, taking care of those things, living simply. Now, I guess I have to start with me first.

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