One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein:
"If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
That's because, compared to some of my colleagues, my work area might be considered a little cluttered and I need all the justification I can get for my slovenly nature. I'm not exactly Hoarders material, but I am one of those people who tends to forget about something that has been put away. I like to have my things out in front of me where I can find them.
One of my best friends is a guy I used to work with who is the polar opposite of me in terms of neatness. I was once sitting in his office and as we talked I absentmindedly moved his stapler. He then, just as absentmindedly, moved the stapler back to its original position, which was exactly two inches from the top-right edges of his desk. When we realized what had happened we just cracked up. Our office spaces became a great source of humor for us. He'd occasionally stick his head in my office and say he was just looking for Jimmy Hoffa. I teased him about some of his spreadsheet reports and graphs, accusing him of making up the data just so he could maintain the integrity of the graph line.
The point of all this rambling is to ask you guys to send in some photos of really cluttered work spaces. Maybe you're an anal-retentive person who sits next to someone who is practically buried in clutter. Or maybe you're a loud and proud denizen of chaos and disorder yourself and want to share a picture of your natural work habitat. Either way, we'd love to see what you've got. Send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish them on the site for all to share!
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.