Businesswoman buried at the office

According to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences by researchers at the University of Michigan, a messy office signals the occupant is somewhat neurotic and cranky.

When shown offices with different levels of clutter, participants in the study thought that the person with the super clean office was more conscientious and caring than the one with the messiest office — who was perceived as more cranky, careless and neurotic, according to an article on the Bustle website.

Researchers suggest that these findings could have some powerful implications for potential employees — or clients.

When there are cues related to less cleanliness, order, organization, and more clutter in an owner's primary territory, perceivers ascribe lower conscientiousness to the owner, whether that owner is a worker in the real world (office), a job-seeker (apartment), a student (bedroom) or a researcher at a university (lab office), according to the researchers.

Of course, perception is not necessarily reality. But the way a business is perceived can affect relationships, or potential opportunities.

While a messy desk might indicate the presence of a motivated genius, there might be some benefits to clearing out the clutter to want to make the best impression possible.

To make a good impression on a new client or potential hire, cleaning up the workspace could help make the sale.