Guilty! I'd like to say that I'm not so shallow that I haven't ever looked at someone's workspace and not instantly judged them, but I have.

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I wasn't always this way. OCD, I mean. Growing up, I felt right at home in the middle of clutter. I could have so much stuff laying on the floor of my bedroom that only a small bulldozer could clear a path through it, but I knew where every single thing was.

The older I got, the more my OCD tendencies grew. I'd find (and still do) myself getting overwhelmed and scatterbrained if things weren't put away exactly perfectly in their proper spots. I'd see s stack of papers on a desk and suddenly feel my chest tighten. I'd see a cup with pens facing every which way and my palms would sweat.

My home is clutter-free and organized but there are still signs of life in it. My desk at work is a different matter. I'm obsessed with keeping my workspace organized. My office partner, however, isn't.

I find it ironic that one of the most organized persons at my place of employment has been paired with the most disorganized. Maybe that's why we work so well together.  We've shared an office for eight years and I realize that it's time to come to terms with the fact that we have two very different views about how our workspace should look. Notice I didn't say that I have come to terms...but I'm trying.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

My place of employment understands that each of us needs the space to be ourselves because that's when we're most creative and so there's not a whole lot of pressure for our workspaces to look a certain way but the same can't be said of other employers.

In a survey by Kelton Research, over two-thirds of Americans say that the mess on their desk has a lot to do with the way they're perceived at work. Not only that but over half of the surveyed people said that they had negative thoughts about mess co-workers and assume that the person working in the midst of madness is probably lacking in skills needed to do their job. Ouch!

New year, new you, newly cleaned up workspace? If you're looking to make a package change to your life and work in the midst of chaos, you might want to clean up your space. Who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself more respected at work and given greater opportunities.

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