February 20


Things I Only Have One Of

By Odyssa

February 20, 2021

To desire little is to have a lot. 

Goodbye, heels! Farewell, office dresses!

Working remotely meant no longer needing a nice outfit for work and client meetings. A plain white shirt for a Zoom call meets the requirement.

It’s now too easy to gain stuff. We mindlessly get on AmazonLazada, or Shopee for Filipinos, to look at items we think we need.

Do we really need to buy a fresh pair of pants when we already have 5? We know for sure that it’s not a necessity, but we insist it is.

Whether we are trying to fill our days, the children’s closet, shoe rack, or garage, let’s keep in mind that any item that we add into our lives takes up space physically and mentally.

Doris Janzen Longare once said,

The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn’t simple.

It takes discipline and self-control to stop before clicking ‘add to cart’.

After watching this video by Acheulian Eaton, I looked around my room and started making the same list that she made. It’s a wonderful exercise to try.

 These are the things that I only have one of.

Sports shoes

Through the years of hiking, biking, climbing, and all other hobbies, I only had 1 pair of sports shoes. The first one I bought was a Nike Cortez, and after years of using it for hiking, the sole came off while I was in the mountains.


This was given to me as a birthday gift and I’ve been using it for almost 6 years!! No repairs or replacements have been done. My laptop is my life and I have to admit I am attached to it!

Mobile phone 

After using the same phone for almost 5 years (iPhone 5s is the best!!), and buying it twice because I dislike changing phones, I finally went back to Android. It made life easier. 


I’ve used the same scent since 2011 — Dream from Gap. My first trip to the US was full of fun memories and this scent goes with them.

Pair of sunglasses

I usually own one then a few years later, I either lose or break them. Glad I was given a pair by my sister-in-law last year because choosing glasses is a chore!

Insulated water bottle

This is another gift that I bring with me all the time. 

Photo by the author

A dark-colored ‘nice’ jacket

This is a must-have. It can be used for events where attendees are not too casually dressed, and it's not too formal either. It keeps me warm too! 


I’ve said goodbye to the short, shapely, colorful and patterned skirts. I discovered that I enjoy wearing dresses more. What’s left is a longer, high-waisted flowy skirt in dark blue that matches most of my shirts.

Dark Pants

This is from a local store and brandless. I’ve had it for over 4 years and used it almost every week when I was still working in an office. 


This was a gift from my father a few Christmases ago. It’s my favorite thing to wear when it gets chilly especially when I travel home to the province by bus.

Pair of prescription glasses

It’s a fairly new pair that I got this year to replace my rectangular frames. This one is clear-colored, wide, and light. 

Laptop bag

I’ve used the same backpack since 2018! This has gone on many trips with me. I’ve tortured it by stuffing it with clothes, toiletry kit, shoes, but it’s still intact. 

Waterproof bag

This keeps gadgets and food safe while on a trip and floats on water.


I tried this for the first time and thought ‘I found my color’. When you are not used to make-up like me, finding the right shade of lipstick is like finding your destiny.

Cure-all Ointment

I use Lucas Papaw for itches, insect bites, rashes, and cuts. I swear by the effectiveness of this product. Big thanks to my friend who gave this as a gift.


I requested this gift from my sister-in-law and brother when they asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I’ve had it with me for years! Brought it to work a lot when I was working in an office. 

Body Wash

I’ve been using the same brand of body wash for almost 3 years now, from Love Beauty Planet. I love that their plastic bottles are made from recycled materials and all their products are cruelty-free.


I still use a wired headset.


Given by my father. It only cost him P35 or $0.72. Perfect for DIY experiments and cooking.


This is a must-have if you live in the Philippines. Fun fact: Filipinos don’t just use umbrellas for the rain, but also for when it’s boiling outside.

Body Oil

I use Kutus Kutus 3–4x a week in the morning when the weather is cooler or before I sleep. This is from Bali.


I’ve made too many good memories using this bike and a lot more to make. Now, I use it to bike with my dog, Peanut, and doing errands. At one point, I used it to deliver food.


Some people call this year a ‘pause’ or a ‘reset’. Many of us started making lifestyle changes as this pandemic showed us how we can live on little. Some started growing their own food, making their own soaps, even creating a community garden! These are just a few good things coming out of this awful situation.

If this post encouraged you to look around your house to declutter, remember these words from tidying guru Mari Kondo:

When you come across something that's hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place. When did you get it and what meaning did it have for you then? Reassess the role it plays in your life.

That should make keeping and discarding easier.

Let me leave you with these words from Rabbi Harold Kushner:

Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.

What are the items in your home or room that you only have one of?


This article contains affiliate links and was first published here


If you liked this article, you might enjoy these too:

How I Ended Up A Part-Time Delivery Girl

9 Things I Will Keep Paying For In 2021


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

January 5, 2024

“There was nothing more I could ask for.”

October 12, 2023

Autumn is here. Another season means a change

August 25, 2023

I'm wary of attending organized events that happen