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“The little things.” Most of the time this phrase is used to describe why a relationship works or not. Like a conversation between two friends:

Friend: What makes him the best boyfriend in the world?

Girlfriend: It’s the “little things.”

But these “little things” aren’t just exclusive to relationships. More often than not, we neglect important “little things” because they’re so well-designed, we feel that they’ll always be there. These things are common artifacts we use daily. We often take them for granted, not realizing that without them it’ll be difficult to achieve our everyday needs and tasks.

Here are 20 “little things” that are often left unnoticed but will make our lives a living hell if they no longer exist.

Everyday Things

The Roads

Without them, everyone will have no sense of direction. Ever tried to picture a city without streets, intersecting infrastructures and highways? There will be no traffic because it’ll be just one big pile of car wreck! Besides, if there are no roads, Google Maps won’t exist.


The engineering of cameras – from the oldest to the most high-tech – is purely genius. You basically point the camera at any subject, click a small button, and voila, you have a small, digital replica of the subject. Thanks to cameras, “selfie” was invented and titled Oxford’s 2013 Word of the Year.

Plastic Bag

Sure, most plastic bags are the bane of every environmentalist’s existence. But if you really think about it, a medium-sized, virtually weightless, plastic bag can carry several canned goods and boxed items without splitting. That’s practically 100% heavier than the bag’s actual weight.

Porcelain Toilet

This bath fixture should never be taken for granted because up until now a lot of countries don’t have access to toilets. We forget that toilets not just essentially clean after us, they also prevent the spread of airborne diseases from human wastes.


Zippers are everywhere – from garments to little utility bags. They’re convenient and impeccable. They’re well-designed that the brand name “zipper” lost its trademark because people kept associating zipping fasteners to the word. Without zippers, numerous industries will have a hard time manufacturing their products.


You know that people often neglect this artifact because “I can’t find my keys!” is probably one of the most uttered sentences of all time. Keys are small and portable, but their importance and function are magnanimous. They safely lock you in and cleverly lock intruders out.


The go-to beauty product of practically every woman in the world. When a woman doesn’t want her face made-up but still want to look presentable, the solution is lipstick. When a woman wants to feel instant empowerment, the fix is lipstick.


Without them, the only option to go from Ground A to Ground B is to climb, burglar-style. Stairs make the climb convenient. It’s a lot safer, too.


Like stairs, elevators make the climb a lot faster. Not all people are healthy enough to use the stairs from Floor 1 to Floor 20. Thanks to elevators, the hike is smoother and less dangerous to one’s health.


They’re used to make things work seamlessly—from battery-operated watches to big machineries. If gears are broken, the whole mechanism is broken. That’s how important gears are.


How can doors, cupboards, and laptops work without hinges? Doors will be forever shut without them. Cupboards can’t be opened or closed properly without hinges. Laptops will basically turn into humungous tablets without them.


This is the go-to bag of, well, backpackers. Backpacks are also the bag of choice of students and professionals carrying heavy loads of books and laptops. Whenever you carry something heavy, your shoulders give silent thanks to you when you use backpacks.


This piece of furniture is often unappreciated and complained about (especially if the bum area is hard). But what would you do if you don’t have chairs? Squat on the floor? Stand for hours?


They’re not just used for pinning clothes. These days, clothespins, particularly the wooden ones, are used for crafts and designs. Apart from being multipurpose, they’re cheap too.


This is one of the most basic kitchen tools. How can you chop, slice and dice if you have no knife?

Egg Carton

Since 1911, egg cartons have been preventing eggs from breaking. Without them, transporting eggs can be very challenging. Egg cartons made from paper are absolutely genius too since they’re eco-friendly.

Tissue Box

Efficient and convenient, the tissue box is a smart invention for organization and sanitation. Tissue boxes are pretty study, too.

Keyboard Arrow Keys

You see them every time you use your computer or laptop. You occasionally use them for convenience. But you’ll truly appreciate their functions when your mouse malfunctions.

IKEA’s Flat Packaging

IKEA products are already amazing – regardless if you’re adept or not in figuring out how to solve their “puzzle.” But what’s more amazing is the brand’s flat packaging system. It minimizes space, cost and weight.

Amazon Dropdown Menu

The king of all dropdown menus. This amazing feature makes Amazon shopping easier and faster. Without it, the search button will be abused and battered.

Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos for Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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