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Case Study 11- Is traffic flow very important?? Let’s hear about it from two legendary organizing

There are two <Kondo> in Japan who are both renowned in house organizing industry.

The first one is Marie Kondo. She’s the author of <The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing>.

Basically, she proposes a way of decluttering by : tidy by categories, keep only those things that spark joy, choose a place for them from then on..

The second Kondo is Noriko Kondo. With years of moving service experience, she promotes the necessity and importance of the space planning for storage and organizing. Meanwhile she’s the advocate of double entries and loop flow.

Though their surnames are both Konda, they are not related.


They are both the leading characters in organizing world, but the ideas somehow are opposite.

For example, about where to store, Noriko Kondo proposed the first priority is the traffic flow, hence the storage shall be planned nearby.

However, Marie Kondo thinks a fixed spot for storage is the key.

Let me explain the two methods in details.

For example, you might need scissors in difference areas at your home. so you buy 3 scissors and place them in 3 areas. It’s easy to fetch it whenever you need one. This is <nearby storage.>

If you leave the only one scissor at a spacial place, you put it back after use each time. This is <fixed storage>.

So which one is the better solution??


We use to argue about it: who should apologize first in the argument between the couple? The male or the female?

One Chinese economist Xue Zhaofeng believes <the law of the irrelevance of the laws>, it’s not important who’s right or who’s wrong in the argument. As long as there’s a rule between the two. For example, the couple has made the rule that once the male says sorry first, it’s the sign of the end of the battle. This can greatly reduce the argument and solidify the relationship.

Marie Kondo's organizing theory is very much like the theory above. Fix a rule (place), no matter whose fault it is (forget about how far you need to walk to fetch the item), put it back after use every time (the male apologizes first).

‘if you don’t feel like the object, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. Say thank you and bye bye.’

The key theory of Marie Kondo is to freshen up the relationship between the person and his objects. She emphasizes the sparkle job because she believes, only the object that sparks your joy would be taken good care of by you with efforts.

Interestingly, people who has followed this method often find a brand new perspective towards their work, family and even life.

In conclusion, Marie Kondo would like to implant her software system in people’s behavior and brain, try not to change anything else from the outside so to minimalize the impact of your surroundings. So you can face all different circumstances of life and stay passionate.


Compared to the software system by Marie Kondo, Noriko Kondo has creates her hardware system for everyone.

When we were still learning how to master the keyboard in Nokia phone, Apple sells iPhone that is easy for even elderly and kids to use. It’s a revolutionary concept to mobile phone.

Noriko Kondo is a creative artist who thinks of crazy ideas to help you reduce your workload by creating convenient traffic patterns at home.

Why not open a hole at the floor slab in 2/f, you can toss the clothes through the hole after shower into the washing machine at 1/f. Enjoy your life!

Of course, these ideas aren’t solely created by Noriko, but more learned from everybody’s daily experience.

Most of the houses/ apartments /condos in this world are just not good enough. The main reason lays on the fundamental problems of bad traffic patterns and lack of storage space.

I’ve heard similar complaints from organizing consultants. The more they work on organizing, the more they find that once there’s a major error in the space design, you won’t be able to reach a satisfying result in the organizing end.

Hence people start searching for answers at upstream, hoping to create a best solution by modifying the layout of space. Noriko Kondo is the pioneer among this group of people.

Differently from Marie Kondo, it’s the relationship between the person and space that is studied by Noriko. Through the good design of the space and flow, reduce the difficulties of organizing and life thus improve everyone’s life quality and enjoyment.

After all, not every body is able to spend time and be able to apply sparkle job tidying up method in his life.


There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes. Sometimes, we need to hear opinions from different sides to learn the one that suits best for ourselves.

Hope this article can spark your joy on finding the best organizing method for you.


草三冉 Cao San Ran

is an interior designer and writer, based in Canton area, China. He has been working in design industry for over a decade both in Japan and China. His works are always well-thought-out in layouts and details to ensure the unique and best hierarchy solutions for each client. His great writings also put an in-depth theory into an accurate but simple explanation that made me a big fan of his.

If you read Chinese, scan above QR code to read more articles in Chinese from 草三冉.

I will be happy to translate more of his works to share with English readers.

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