Help me name my wife's professional organizing business
November 18, 2014 8:11 PM   Subscribe

My wife is starting a professional organizing business and is having trouble coming up with a name for her business that a) doesn't sound generic (i.e. "Organizing Solutions"), b) would appeal equally well to businesses and homeowners and c) would avoid her services being confused with a cleaning service. I'm wondering if anyone here might be able to offer any suggestions?
posted by Proginoskes to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sort it Out
posted by myselfasme at 8:32 PM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

It might be handy (or not) to include the location in the name. Especially if it's a face to face business. Where will the business be? That might inspire some names.
posted by Youremyworld at 8:34 PM on November 18, 2014

Use her name or initials, to help create her as the brand. Then something simple like Professional Organizing. Let's say her initials are KM...

KM Professional Organizing
KM Organizing
KM Organizing Solutions
posted by bluedaisy at 8:35 PM on November 18, 2014

Best answer: No offense to myselfasme, but there are dozens of Sort It Outs out there. Make a list of 100 clich├ęs and expressions, throw them out, and then you'll be ready to start.

I'm actually Certified Professional Organizer. It's great that she's thinking about this, because there are far too many "Ducks in a Row" or "Clutter Buster" professional organizing businesses out there -- and they're usually the beginners who end up changing their company names after the first year or two. You want something that does not already exist anywhere the United States, isn't trademarked (and you have to do more than a Google search to be sure) and isn't too long to be easily shortened for Twitter or for an easily-found URL. Don't use cutesie spelling or a too-clever play on words that could be confused or misremembered.

When I started my company 13 years ago, I picked a name that played on my own last name. (It's hard to explain, but the first word and first syllable of my three-word company name sound like an echo of my own last name. When people read it, they don't always get it, but when they hear it, they grin and give a big Ahhhhh.) The business name works perfectly well on its own -- that it ties into my own last name is a bonus.

The key is to find something specific to your wife -- her initials (on preview, what bluedaisy said), actual name or nickname -- that's least likely to already exist in the wild, though using her actual name can/will present a problem a decade or more down the road when she's considering selling the company. (I know, that's the last think she's considering now.) You can always take her initials, but then use a title that shares those initials, giving you opportunities to play with the logo. If her name were Judy Owens, it could be Just Orderly. (OK, that's awful, but you see the point.)

Think beyond the words clutter, organizing, order, productivity. Avoid the words "clean" or "tidy" -- it's hard enough (as you've noted) to make it clear that professional organizers do not clean.
Before she picks a name, she needs to consider the type of professional organizing services she will offer. There are up to 40 sub-specialties in our industry, and even if she's going to start as a generalist, she should consider her possible niches. Use the "Find an Organizer" tool on the right side of the screen at and use the drop-downs to get a sense of those specialties, and cull appropriate words regarding the target audience (seniors? students? attorneys?) or service categories (time management coaching, project management, paper and digital information, yadda yadda).

Wave hi to your wife to me, and if she's going to the 2015 NAPO conference in April, MeMail me and I'll give her the low-down on what it's like. If she hasn't already attended the nearest NAPO chapter meeting, that's a great place for her to network and get some feedback on any names she's considering.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 8:47 PM on November 18, 2014 [16 favorites]

What The Wrong Kind of Cheese said, with the additional suggestion that your wife start by running her long list against available domains to create a shortlist.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:13 PM on November 18, 2014

Organize me!
posted by summerstorm at 9:52 PM on November 18, 2014

Name it like a band with her name. So if her name is Harriet Tubman, call it "Harriet Tubman and the Fresh Start." People want a fresh start.
posted by history is a weapon at 5:21 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Incorporating her name is an excellent idea.
Also; please encourage her not to use the word "solutions" in her company name. The word has been done to death and back, and means nothing.

We learned in business class it's not a good idea to use initials; e.g., L & M Tree Service; TJ Landscaping, etc. It gives potential clients a thrown-together, can't-think-of-anything-else impression. No, I don't have any cites.
posted by BostonTerrier at 6:43 AM on November 19, 2014

There are companies out there that just do naming for other businesses. Here is a free guide to download from one.
posted by Leontine at 9:02 AM on November 19, 2014

Matryoshka Methodology
posted by Sophont at 12:03 PM on November 19, 2014

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