This is me sadly... I have a messy desk. Maybe one of my goals for 2019 should be to clean this puppy off. Hey, a messy desk could cost you a promotion. According to job site Ladders, a messy desk can hurt your chances of gaining more pay and responsibilities at work.

Here are some of the biggest desk-cluttering offenders:

  • Dishes and food containers. Bringing your lunch to work is one thing.  But having a week's collection of used coffee mugs is rude to your coworkers and could suggest a lack of time management skills.
  • A swarm of papers or sticky notes. According to a recent survey of senior managers, having a messy or disorganized workspace was the "most distracting or annoying" thing about employee work areas.
  • Anything political.  Even if you don't openly talk politics at work, simply keeping political stuff on your desk or computer screen runs the risk of making you look inappropriate in the office.
  • Toys  It really depends on the vibe at your office, but keeping a bunch of toys on your desk can make you seem immature and less professional.
  • Out-of-season decorations. If you've still got some Christmas decorations up in your cubicle, it's time to take 'em down... Please. Otherwise you might look lazy or forgetful.