From Clutter to Clarity | Kerry Thomas | TEDxAshburn

  • Published on Apr 19, 2017
  • Clutter is not just “stuff.” Clutter can be physical, digital, mental, emotional or spiritual, and each type can be overwhelming. Learn the number one cause of clutter in any area of your life, and how to bust through for lasting results.
    Kerry Thomas attended the University of Florida where she received her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Special Education. After teaching for eight years, a career change brought her to Professional Organizing, and Conquer the Chaos, LLC was launched in 2007.

    After years of organizing "a little of everything" from closets to kitchens to offices to garages to classrooms, Kerry decided to further combine her two passions (teaching and organizing) and specialize in helping small business owners with ADD create and maintain order in the midst of their disorder.

    Kerry completed a rigorous training program, and is now a Certified Productive Environment Specialist™. This certification adds another dimension to her organizing and productivity consulting services.

    Kerry enjoys helping others find the peace of mind and increased productivity that come from and organized workspace.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 277

  • Louise Lobo
    Louise Lobo 10 days ago

    Lovely lady and great common sense.

  • @i.sindhu21
    @i.sindhu21 13 days ago


  • Marion Fiedler Music
    Marion Fiedler Music 18 days ago

    without forgiving yourself you are not free to go ahead and fulfill your dream. THANKS for sharing this! and thanks for boiling the huge problems down to the single decisions... decisions are powerful and if we make them, we rule them. if we do not, they rule us. THANKS! This is a great speech. And yes. I am happy for you that your apartment is immaculate!

  • Theodore Vegh
    Theodore Vegh 20 days ago +1

    Why don't you mention OCD people with nothing in their home, car or yard and nothing in their mind, computer or heart? -Theodore Alexander Vegh

  • Lou Rascoe Suggs
    Lou Rascoe Suggs 28 days ago

    I am all of those things...postponed decisions..

  • LetArtsLive
    LetArtsLive Month ago

    Clutter is procrastination at its finest I should know

  • Epsa Sharma
    Epsa Sharma Month ago

    Wow! Hands downs..Simple explanation for such a complex new age epidemic..Search for sanity

  • Margaret Meaker
    Margaret Meaker Month ago

    What a lovely lady..

  • dan mekeel
    dan mekeel Month ago +1

    Thank You, Good Starting point. You said Everything in a Nutshell.!

  • hot pepper
    hot pepper Month ago

    I came here to say I love your dress, is it handmade? Thanks 😊

  • Critstix Darkspear
    Critstix Darkspear 2 months ago

    Clutter - TEDx is the clutter that devalues what TED used to be.

  • remcat
    remcat 2 months ago

    I loved her talk, especially that we think more stuff means more fun. And especially that everything comes down to a postponed decision. And "give God something to bless". Great talk.

  • Yosri Osman
    Yosri Osman 2 months ago

    Very helpful.

  • Passion Creativity
    Passion Creativity 2 months ago

    Totally agree, the physical clutter destroys lifes

  • WMae L
    WMae L 2 months ago

    Best I've seen yet.

  • Muhd Khaleef Izzaldeen
    Muhd Khaleef Izzaldeen 2 months ago

    Yes it's either postponed decision or too many options wrongly taken into consideration.
    Minimizing Options and Optimizing Priorities or Decisions Can Be The Answer.

  • Clo Medrado
    Clo Medrado 2 months ago

    This is a trend and troublesome topic that many people have to face to live better and happilly

  • salido nathalie
    salido nathalie 3 months ago

    Further than that, if you've got no clutter maybe you will have an empty place in your house, your schedule, your heart for welcoming what will eventually happen or come to you. Do not fear the void.

  • Santé Barley Business Owner / Wellness Advocate

    I agree in many points for I was in there and felt it, and need to do something about it NOW!

  • ss
    ss 3 months ago +1

    I dont think more is better or happier - I never wanted all the things I have - but I cannot waste stuff - anything

  • Joan Foglio
    Joan Foglio 4 months ago

    Vz Bb/

  • Monica Karam - Life coach


  • Simone
    Simone 4 months ago

    Overhelmed? Over what? I don't understand the word she say.

  • Barry Chandler
    Barry Chandler 4 months ago +3

    Thank you 🙏🏻 I could really use your help, everything in my life is a big mess, there is clutter everywhere but no one knows it but me.

  • Samra P
    Samra P 4 months ago +1

    Please help me.

  • Sterling Solomon
    Sterling Solomon 4 months ago +4

    She definitely conveys emotion in her talk, and it reminds us of our power to change as it simultaneously allows the feeling of "sinning" and missing the mark and the guilt that can disable action.
    I actually came into the video with a bit of judgement and now I have to say this is one of the best TedX videos I've ever seen.
    I'm working on a technology interface(app ecosystem) to allow humans to reconnect to natural law and natural interaction and reset/reconnect that attention/ dopamine /hormonal circuitry that has been hijacked by commoditized social networks.
    We are cluttered with concerns, and made impotent by our borrowed fears.
    I am dedicated to deep wealth solutions, and Kerry Thomas hit on so many of my motivations in this talk. She also poignantly hit how my arrow of intention has sinned, and I'm sitting right now in Bali in a room with far too much clutter, typing on a computer with far too much clutter and appreciating how she tied it all together in this moment..

  • Cody Polar
    Cody Polar 4 months ago

    The part about cluttered iphones makes a lot of sense. When I truly listened to some of the songs I had, I discovered that I didn't like them anymore, never did, or they made me feel emotionally like I didn't want. So, I deleted over half my large song library. The criteria for keeping the ones I kept was "does it make me feel good". Now, there are a few that make me feel sad, but those are ones that are written to do that.

  • i.tsune
    i.tsune 5 months ago

    'change is the result of action and action is the result of decision' loved that

  • Barbara D'Ascenzo
    Barbara D'Ascenzo 5 months ago

    This has been helpful to me: for anything that comes in... something goes out. Throwing out raggedy clothes is a stickler for me. Getting past the wash/ wear, one more time, ritual. ( Suprise,I was raised, in near poverty.... hmmm.) Good talk.

  • Baby Baby
    Baby Baby 6 months ago +1

    So true. It inspires me to think deep about me myself

  • Beth Bartlett
    Beth Bartlett 6 months ago +1

    Environment ...
    Does it Reflect: your present *Thoughts* condition?
    (are your *Thoughts* in the: present, past, fears, hopes, desires, Future)?
    "Change your *Thoughts* - Change your Life"
    Dr Wayne Dyer
    Help your *"Thoughts* Focus" by "Changing your Environment"
    Create your "Current Environment" to reflect your Desired Life Goals -
    In doing so, you begin living your Desired Life Goals NOW -
    Learning through Feeling - in the Now - that which you are *Accustomed to being in the Future* -
    If you don't learn the feeling of "Experiencing
    the Desired" - it can/will/does - remain in the Future in Thoughts, rarely to never *Experienced in the Now*

    You're welcome. Live your Dreams - Today 🎆

  • Charles George
    Charles George 6 months ago +1

    This talk is cluttered. Although it is worth mentioning emotional, mental, and spiritual clutter, the value and importance of tackling physical clutter as an initial step toward clearing inner types of clutter. Just think of how you feel once you have cleaned one messy room. The tangibility and simplicity of a tidy room is a more effective illustration of the positive results of decluttering than to focus more upon clutter as it exists within the psyche.

  • Janie Super
    Janie Super 6 months ago +1

    she is talking too slow for my tastes and its annoying me

    • Conquer the Chaos, LLC
      Conquer the Chaos, LLC 5 months ago

      I have several feedback slips from other presentations (before and after this one) that say, "speaks too fast, please slow down" :-) so your comment made me chuckle. On a serious note though, it's not a bad idea for TEDx producers to offer a written transcript of the talks as an option.

  • Albert Barcellos
    Albert Barcellos 6 months ago

    Very sad story . I hope she is ok Good talk

    MINI MENON 6 months ago +1

    Think...cluttering required especially in the Digital pave way for more peace and read and gone through...need to be deleted.../but for closely significant ones!!

  • Eddie Fittes
    Eddie Fittes 6 months ago

    Would owning 6 acoustics and not moving forward in playing them as much as you would 1 or 2 and just playing them side by side be in this category? I just want to learn as fast as I started and keep moving forward. Everyone else says its fine and love what ive got.

  • Wasiul Farabi
    Wasiul Farabi 6 months ago

    Minimalism 🔥

  • Bonita Smith
    Bonita Smith 7 months ago

    Why does all Tedx talks sound like they coached by the same person

  • lily loves unicorns
    lily loves unicorns 7 months ago

    great video , I needed this

  • Claudia Morales
    Claudia Morales 7 months ago

    I have mental clutter and emotional clutter too. I have to learn to kick it.

  • snip tip
    snip tip 7 months ago

    I'm here listening for much more.... then bland! the video ends. smh

  • Zahra Amanah
    Zahra Amanah 8 months ago +1

    Excellent presentation, thank you Kerry

  • WhereTheLionsRoar
    WhereTheLionsRoar 8 months ago

    Love this!

  • Brenda Rain
    Brenda Rain 8 months ago

    What a beautiful talk! 🙌🏻

  • Cyndi Gallo
    Cyndi Gallo 8 months ago +1

    I know what i want in life since i was a kid, and got it, it was simple stuff, but family members always trying to get in the way. They made their life kaotic, pursuing their dream, but they are not happy, so they want to make me unhappy too. Im artistic, creative, resourceful, and Spiritual minded and happy. They try to bring me down, thru out my life, becuz they are not happy. And they don't get me at all. I'm ok, with the fact, that they don't get me, they are not meant to............get it..

  • Cyndi Gallo
    Cyndi Gallo 8 months ago

    My closet is organized, since i was a kid. It's the people i live with that are disorganize with their life.

    MARINA WILKINSON 8 months ago

    Excellent talk. Thank you 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  • Toughen Up, Fluffy
    Toughen Up, Fluffy 9 months ago +1

    I thought it said, "From Cutler to Cutlery," which is a better title, if you ask me, being all drunk as I am. :0)

    PROTXS EMF HEALTH 9 months ago +3

    I can tell you that these problems can be solved by seeking Christ.

  • Shuri
    Shuri 9 months ago +1

    "The key is: make a decision" type 9 sorry

  • Wisepersonsay
    Wisepersonsay 9 months ago +2

    I used to be sympathetic, emphatic, compassionate, whatever you like to call it - supposedly a human virtue. I decided some years ago to declutter this feeling and not to mix with people who expect sympathy and mercy. I'm much more refreshed now. Instead, I show these people how to fulfill their life by demonstrating it with mine. I don't talk/preach to them. I only show it.

  • Love Music
    Love Music 9 months ago +3

    Yes we fill up every aspect of our more aspect...we [over]fill our schedules. Sadly, many of us over fill our childrens' schedules as well.

  • marilyn gandhi
    marilyn gandhi 9 months ago +2

    "I can't lose weight" is a sign of Diabetes type 2 - See the Doctor and have the OGTT test :)

  • marilyn gandhi
    marilyn gandhi 9 months ago

    "I can't lose weight" is a sign of Diabetes type 2 - See the Doctor and have the OGTT test :)

  • Sherri Cimoch
    Sherri Cimoch 9 months ago

    I’m so glad you made the DECISION to make this video. It was the push I needed. You make a difference.

  • hanalei02
    hanalei02 9 months ago +2

    This is eye-opening! One of my favorite Ted Talk!

  • Wendi Watson
    Wendi Watson 10 months ago

    Wow! So relatable, you have such positive energy, and i love that shirt.

  • Jules Harger
    Jules Harger 10 months ago

    Overwhelmed..,... overwhelmed r distractions!!!!! Ahhh this is hard stufff!!!! Clutter that's another story!!! I threw away 20 color books away and 10 shirts this is CRAZY stuff! Can we say Chaos literally!!

  • Sheonagh Butcher
    Sheonagh Butcher 10 months ago +7

    My husband and I moved into our home 2.5 years ago and have not had any friends around for dinner because I cannot bring myself to unpack the remaining boxes in the formal lounge. It is stacked with boxes and furniture that we cannot use. I feel all of those things that you described at the beginning of the podcast. I am overwhelmed and have to get out of the room if I go in and try to sort it out. We are also paying for two storage units.I am getting sicker and sicker physically too. I stay at home in "lockdown" most of the day and surf for things to buy going to the PO box every week day to pickup something else. I listed all that companies that I am waiting for deliveries from. There are 12 at the moment
    Thank you so much for you talk. I needed to see and hear this. Funnily enough, yesterday, I had unfollowed quite a few streams on facebook and had decided to to actually unsubscribe to many email sales subscriptions today. It is perfect timing to fall across your podcast. I am not going out of the door without taking A BAG or two to the charity shop. My family (who have no idea how this is REALLY effecting me) will be very please but most of all I will gradually be released. I will be am avid follower until I get well. So scared to press the Comment button as I am very private person eeps!!!

    • w m
      w m 3 months ago +1

      Sheonagh, Something i have found useful is to drastically reduce tv, Netfix, RU-clip etc. Somehow they take us away from the Inside, we cant hear that kind little voice inside us that pushes us towards healthy and positive changes.
      I m also very private, i even wont use my real name online. Wishing you good luck!

    • Life tobelived
      Life tobelived 7 months ago +3

      My friend is moving out of the country to stay with her family for awhile. I helped her sort and pack a some things the other day. She and her sister posted furniture online and she was able to sell a lot of her furniture be it at low prices but they went fast. It was funny because I had all the organizational skills to help her that i never use on myself. My big problem has been severe fatigue due to medial issues. I was surprised how fast we go through almost 2 rooms. I just brought stuff over in front of her and she saved, boxed, recycled and gave away.

    • Helene Bennie
      Helene Bennie 10 months ago +4

      That's a great start. I decided at the beginning of the year that I really don't want ALL of my possessions anymore. I haven't really started to cull much but I have got rid of some stuff. Little by little and you'll get on a roll.

    • Conquer the Chaos, LLC
      Conquer the Chaos, LLC 10 months ago +3

      I am so glad you commented! This is actually the first time I've read my comments in 18 months because I felt awkward, so it's perfect timing. It sounds like you have a good plan to make small, incremental changes, and I bet those will give you momentum. Best of luck!

  • Sandeep Kumar
    Sandeep Kumar 10 months ago +2

    Wow.. amazing talk

  • Sandi Small
    Sandi Small 10 months ago +1

    Oh thank you. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one with computer clutter.

  • Mitchell Rose
    Mitchell Rose 11 months ago +2

    Procrastination is the doorway to too late!

  • Sheer
    Sheer 11 months ago +2

    I listened to every word Kerry said. Thank you. Among the clutter in you tube, this talk of Kerry was a game changer.

  • Susan Axelrod
    Susan Axelrod 11 months ago

    This is stellar, bless you and thank you. here's to your continued good health and success!

  • vanessa scott
    vanessa scott 11 months ago +2

    Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. Well said and explained. Simple enough to apply. Make the decisions and move forward.

  • mm mmm
    mm mmm 11 months ago

    I loved this. I am trying to find her online. Does she have a blog? Instagram? Twitter?

  • Pedro Alb
    Pedro Alb 11 months ago

    hi everyone ,if anyone else trying to find out organization tips for home try Stiklind Fast Declutter Fixer (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my colleague got excellent success with it.

  • Melody Dlamini
    Melody Dlamini 11 months ago


    TINA ULA 11 months ago +11


  • I am NOT a hoarder, collector or other stereotypes, You, too, can get out of the hole

    play speed 2 works well to make this go faster...Thanks, interesting video.

  • Panda Culture
    Panda Culture Year ago

    Her voice is like Brandi love

  • evans kariuki
    evans kariuki Year ago +3

    Bottom line, Decide + Act.

  • Karen Castle
    Karen Castle Year ago

    I want to thank you for your talk. I'm grateful. This may have just touched on why I always feel overwhelmed and helpless in changing it. It was starting to bring on depression. I couldn't figure out what the down feeling were. Now I do. Thank you again.

  • koit222
    koit222 Year ago

    I dont find taking big decisions reduce clutter at all. This talk feels really superficial, cause it does not explain what it states.

  • Gail Remp
    Gail Remp Year ago +11

    Excellent. I would also highly recommend Mel Robbins Ted talk on how to stop screwing yourself up. It is really really excellent. Nothing to do with clutter except how we view what holds us back. I watched it several times, and something finally clicked in my brain about what I was saying outwardly and inwardly. And I have been working very diligently for the last two or three months in the house. And it is showing. If you add all these other Ted talks with it, you can do quite well. Anybody in here that has a one-word answer, DHD. ABC D. Whatever. Is obviously a perfect person. But for the rest of us humans that aren't, it's more than a one-word answer. It is digging deep to find out what is hurting you the most, taking stock of what you can do, and being able to put 1 foot in front of the other to change it. Blessings to all of you. Have a great memorial day weekend. This makes four years since my mom died on memorial day weekend. And instead of feeling sad, I am feeling very positive now. So take care.

    • Hungry Beastling
      Hungry Beastling 3 months ago

      Gail Remp, I realize it has been close to a year since you posted this comment, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your lovely perspective as well as the helpful tips. I'm seriously off to go watch the Mel Robbins video right now! Your approach is not only motivating, but it's super refreshing! And it's obviously creating results. Please take good care and I'm sure you're continuing to flourish and just knock this one life out of the park!!! :-)

  • Bereket Melesse
    Bereket Melesse Year ago

    pray for archangel Michael for peace. spiritual warfare is real.

  • John Dyer
    John Dyer Year ago +19

    Just like an oil change, you must declutter on a regular basis. It has to be a priority. Otherwise your life will always be a mess.

  • Ray Fletcher
    Ray Fletcher Year ago

    Box it up. Bag it up. Take it the curb.

  • Vanessa DeCoursey
    Vanessa DeCoursey Year ago +1

    👏🏽🙂 Great advice!

  • Climate Chaos
    Climate Chaos Year ago +1

    Give God something to Bless

  • Dianna Sierra
    Dianna Sierra Year ago

    Are you peeking into my life?

  • Wai Kay Au
    Wai Kay Au Year ago

    My fats keep coming back

  • Mary LaFrance
    Mary LaFrance Year ago

    Great lecture Kerry. The dizzy spells may be due to an episode where your blood pressure is too low, and the need for a nap may be because you're run down (deficient in vitamin Bs) your metabolism has tanked. I have had these problems and fixed them with help from my doctor and personal trainer.

  • DANNE George
    DANNE George Year ago

    I got nothing out of this, 11+ mins!

  • Piper Mccoy
    Piper Mccoy Year ago +3

    Excellent.. You seem like such a lovely person also.

  • Liz Kelly
    Liz Kelly Year ago +1

    I loved this talk! I took away several quotes, I love the focus on decision making

  • Brooke Melko
    Brooke Melko Year ago +3

    I love what you said about Spiritual Clutter. Spot on!

  • Sams Randoms
    Sams Randoms Year ago

    very good

  • Jennifer Radomski
    Jennifer Radomski Year ago +4

    Thank you so much for this moving speech! Short, sweet and full of so many golden nuggets of truth.

  • jean schuler
    jean schuler Year ago +1

    Give god something to bless!

  • normal woman
    normal woman Year ago

    I have well over 100 coats. Shame, depressed, and overwhelmed.

    • w m
      w m 3 months ago

      I had dozens of strings of Christmas lights. We have to fall to the bottom before we can feel compassion for ourselves. When we can forgive ourselves and love ourselves then life just changes amazingly ;-)

    • Helene Bennie
      Helene Bennie 10 months ago

      Why don't you give some away? You wouldn't feel so ashamed then. You may even feel joyful to be able to give to others and share.

  • Joyce Brower
    Joyce Brower Year ago +2

    Well said! Very helpful!

  • sparkimoto
    sparkimoto Year ago +1

    Postponed decisions! Absolutely. I already know. As long as you keep up on them, there is no problem. Once you get behind, that's how it starts.

  • GetA Job
    GetA Job Year ago

    Love the necklace, love the dress, I hate that there are no pictures of your journey from clutter to clarity. Shame, is not an option, when selling an organized peaceful life. Maybe TEDx, did not allow you enough time to give your speech on RU-clip to show your pictures? Why would you be holding a clicker otherwise?

    • Conquer the Chaos, LLC
      Conquer the Chaos, LLC Year ago +4

      HI GetA Job. Since April, yours is the first comment that prompted me to reply! I have zero shame of any part of my journey. The TEDx videos and speakers I enjoy most usually do not use pictures, so I did not plan any. I have the clicker because as I was walking up on stage it was handed to me. I was nervous, and instead of the awkwardness of denying it, I took it. I was then stuck with it. I'm mainly responding because I DO like the idea of showing visual representations of different part of my journey, and I appreciate the suggestion. It is something I will incorporate where appropriate in the future.

  • ramki glitz
    ramki glitz Year ago

    Good Talk got so much insights

  • Swankster
    Swankster Year ago +42

    "The Quality of your life, is determined by the decisions you make."

  • Anita Burke
    Anita Burke Year ago

    I Got Worms. I'm starting a worm farm. Seriously. Gotta give God something to bless amen sister!

  • Nancy Solari
    Nancy Solari Year ago +1

    Thank you for giving such an informative talk, your story was truly inspiring, and I will definitely be taking your advice.

  • Nihar Savala
    Nihar Savala Year ago

    Superb learnings! One of the better Ted talks.

  • Mary Prevoteau
    Mary Prevoteau Year ago +3

    Beautiful talk, thank you!