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50 Items No Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home

Those trinkets from your golden days add up—quickly.

If you're a man north of 40, you have so much to be proud of. Maybe you're a community leader. Maybe you've secured the corner office. Or maybe you've committed to the most rewarding job of all: father. But whatever you are, we can definitely tell you one thing you shouldn't be: the proud owner of any of these totally meh items.

Why? It's simple. By 40, you've earned the right to treat yourself to the finer things—and that means purging all of the things in your life that are beneath you. Why have ancient ratty bath towels when you can when you can have super-soft swathes of comfort? Why hang college-era posters on your walls when that space could just as easily play home gorgeous pieces of art?

With that in mind, we've run down the 50 things you shouldn't have your home anymore, especially if you're 40 or over. If you find that you're hoarding any of these dusty goods, toss them—immediately—and make room for the better things.

A Condiment Packet Drawer

ketchup packets against a blue background

When you're younger, and when money's a bit tighter, it's a smart idea to round up mounds of Taco Bell hot sauce and leftover ketchup packets. Once you're older than 40, though, it's time to consolidate. Anything you can take off a napkin stand at a fast food chain, you can find in a big bottle in a grocery store.

An Empty Fridge

a block of cheese in an empty refrigerator

If you're single and your fridge is home to little more than old condiments, day-old takeout, and a few beers, that's a lame move. If you have a family and the same is true, that's an even lamer move. Either way, it's high time to start stocking your fridge seriously. Here's a good life rule: No matter what your situation, you should always be able to, at the very least, whip up a three-ingredient omelet at the drop of a hat.

Square-Toe Shoes

style tips

It's the easiest fashion rule to stick to, and yet men—particularly men over 40—violate it with abandon: Don't wear square-toed shoes. Most square-toe shoes instantly make your outfit look boxy and outdated, but the worst offenders are those with so-called soft square toes. And don't just take it from us! Take it from the experts at Vogue, who described the look as "the embodiment of cluelessness and indecisiveness." Instead, pick up yourself a pair of nice, rounded Oxfords or brogues.

Frozen Dinner

frozen turkey dinner

You don't need us to tell you that overly processed food wrecks your health and wreaks havoc on your waistline. So here's a simple tip to make sure you stay away from the stuff: Don't buy any food that comes frozen in a box.

Instant Coffee

Coffee could reduce your diabetes risks

Fact: approximately 99.9999 percent of all adults live and die by coffee. Fact two: it takes just five extra minutes to grind beans and brew a fresh cup. Fact three: the aroma wafting off of recently ground coffee beans is heavenly, and the flavor notes in a fresh-brewed cup of coffee are far superior to anything that comes in a packet.

Figurines In Boxes

toys over 40 home

There's no good reason to have any toys in the house unless A) you have kids, or B) they're the ones you played with as a child. And if you have them still in the box they came in, there's an even greater reason to purge them: money. These days, on eBay, retro Star Wars action figures sell for $75. If you have a few of those laying around the house, that's some serious cash!

Soft Drinks

words that reveal age

Dump out any sodas you have lurking in your fridge. Even if they are the "zero" or diet versions of your favorite soft drinks, there's no need to keep drinking them. In fact, recent research indicates that "zero" or diet version are no better for you than the real thing.

Bar Décor

neon bar sign men over 40 home

Neon bar signs are obnoxiously bright, dangerously flimsy, and clash with every other piece of décor in a given room. In the apartment of an early 20-something, they can give off a chic, laid-back, almost ironic vibe. In a 40-year-old man's pad? Well…

Sports Trophies

sports trophies in trophy case over 40 home

No matter how well you dominated the gridiron or the debate podium, displaying such trophies front-and-center in your home can make people think you're dreaming of a long-lost era. Our advice? Put them in private office—or man-cave-type environment—where they can serve as a personal reminder of how awesome you can be.

Fake Foliage

fake indoor plant trees over 40 home

Of all of life's low-effort chores, few are lower effort than taking care of a houseplant. You water it a couple times a week and make sure it's relatively close to a window. Trust us: You can do it!

Plastic Shelves

no woman over 40 should have empty shelves in her apartment

Rickety, cracked, and stained plastic shelving units you've been carting around across multiple moves are not a good look for an adult. Trash them, and instead pick up something made from solid wood that will last years, not particle board that will start crumbling in months. (Still, IKEA is A-okay in a pinch.)

A Futon

things no woman over 40 should have in her apartment

It's the pinch hitter of furniture. Yes, it's a couch that you can technically sleep on—but you won't have the most comfortable sleep of your life, by any means. (A futon is also pretty bad at the "couch" thing, too.) Just trash the thing and get a real couch, along with a real bed (and frame).

A Robust Shot Glass Collection

novelty vacation shot glasses

When you're younger, putting together a quirky collection of shot glasses from various boozy vacations can be a fun hobby. But after 40, you've graduated to nice crystal tumblers on your bar cart.

Threadbare Sheets and Towels

no woman over 40 should have mismatched towels in her apartment

Hopefully you wash yourself regularly and getting enough sleep every night, but if you're engaging in such activities with ratty, thin, worn-to-death textiles, you're missing out on one of life's great and simple luxuries. Spend a few bucks and get some nice fluffy towels and decent, heavenly soft sheets.


being lazy can lead to cluttered work spaces

Even if you're busy with your job and life and have kids running around, a good de-cluttering and winnowing out of unnecessary junk will make your life easier and your mind clearer.

Sheets Used As Curtains


Drop a few bucks and pick up some nice curtains—or at least window shades—that are manufactured for the sole purpose of blocking light from coming through windows. Save the sheets for the mattress.

A Beer Can or Bottle Collection

liquor bottles things no man over 40 should own

Beer is great, no doubt about it. But is keeping trash around your house going to impress anyone, besides the beer geeks that cherish rare and unusual beers? Sorry, but the answer is no. Toss your bottles after drinking—and then remember the brew fondly while drinking some new unique suds with friends.

A Mattress with No Frame

a modern white bedroom with the mattress placed directly on the floor

Doing away with a bed frame and laying your mattress flat-out on the floor can give any bedroom a chic, artsy look. It can also ruin your respiratory system. See, your floor is where dust tends to gather. If your mattress is placed directly on the floor, dust will build up beneath it, and eventually "move in" and take over your mattress. Raising your bed just an inch or two off the ground will mitigate this (disgusting) problem.

Mismatched Dishes

Husband doing dishes

Back in your school and freshly post-grad days, hitting up the local thrift store for a pile of multi-colored plates and bowls was a smart move; all you needed to do was find flatware that would hold your food. After 40, though—once your parties are more "dinner" and less "kegger"—it's time to upgrade to a homogenous set of flatware. (While you're at it, pick up a nice set of silverware, too. Can't hurt!)

A Bean Bag Chair

bean bag chair over 40 home

These soft and malleable chairs are no doubt the world's most comfortable seats, and can be handy to have around, if you frequently have guests. Here's the thing, though: they're made for kids.

Sports Paraphernalia

never wear a sports jersey to work

We get it, you love your team and have been a diehard fan for years, and have followed every trade they make and every game they play. That's fine, but at least take down the memorabilia. The signed uniforms and special game day balls belong in a closet—or on eBay.

DJ Equipment

loud dj first date bar

Admit it, you probably only spun those double decks five times in college for a few frat parties and now they're just collecting dust in your "music" room. Give them to another aspiring college-age DJ and pick up one nice turntable—with studio-level sound quality—to play your LPs on.

Mom's Netflix Log-in

a man watching the best movies on netflix on his laptop

You may have heard that sharing account information for Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and, um, those other ones is illegal. Well, it's not…maybe. Truth be told, according to the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law, no one really knows where the courts stand! Far better to play it safe and spend the $11 per month than to risk having a loved one run afoul of the law.

Christmas Lights as Decoration

christmas lights string light over 40 home

Fine for dorm rooms or for draping around an actual Christmas tree, these twinkly lights don't exactly cut it as grown-up décor. Try placing a few different-sized lamps with dimmable bulbs around the room for ambience.

A Video Game Station

video games hobbies

No need to display all of the video gaming consoles you've had over the years. We get it: Video games are the best, whether they're vintage or cutting-edge or—in the case of a Nintendo 64 collection—both. Just put the old ones away and tastefully display your latest console generation within your TV cabinet.

Novelty Anything

Novelty Ties are something no man should wear to work

This goes for ties, T-shirts, wall decorations, gag giftsanything. Novelty means something new and unique that wears off in about five seconds after you bought it or displayed it.

Glassware with Logos

novelty graphic coffee mug over 40 home

"Don't talk to me until I've had my coffee." "In dog beers, I've only had one." "Time to wine down." Yes, drinking paraphernalia can be funny in a clever, if overly cute, way. But, as any guy over 40 knows, the truly worthy logo-adorned mugs, cups, and glasses have personal meaning—souvenirs from a life-changing vacation, or a gift your kid got you.

A Grilled Cheese Maker

grilled cheese maker

By 40, you should know full how to use a stove and pan and pat of butter to make melted cheese sandwiches. You don't need a dedicated piece of useless kitchen gadgetry. You're a kitchen pro by now! Donate your panini press to your local thrift store so a time- and money-pressed student can use it in his dorm room.

Blankets as Clothing

snuggie blanket on a snowman

Whatever you want to call them—Slankets, Snuggies—just…no. Buy a nice merino wool blanket to put on or near your couch; they work just as well and can actually boost your décor.

A Flimsy Knife Set

If you bought one of those kitchen knives that you saw on TV because they can cut through a can, throw them out now. They aren't worth the $10 you spent on them, they won't last, and you can't even sharpen them. Invest in some nice carbon-steel knives instead.

Textual Graphic T-Shirts

offensive t-shirts are never cool to wear at work

It's totally fine to have shirts with "witty" sayings and beer advertisements on them. That said, you might want to relegate them to yard-work duty. If you're looking to wear a t-shirt in public, stick to slim cuts in solid colors.

Huge Speakers

living room speakers over 40 home

Yeah, so you love your music. Great! Still, you can make the most of your hobby. Switch out the humongous monitors you've had in your living room for years with a small, sleek home theater setup. The speakers have sharper sound quality, take up less space, and, from a design standpoint, definitely look better.

Mounted Weaponry

weapons on wall over 40 home

Unless you're an actual samurai, you shouldn't display a katana on your wall. And even if you are a modern-day hunter, there's no need to have any type of gun mounted on the wall. They go in safes, protected from prying eyes and untrained hands.

Socks with Holes

socks with holes over 40 home

Toss any old, crusty, and hole-ridden cotton socks and spend a pretty penny on a new crop of merino-blend socks. They'll last longer and keep your feet more temperate than regular cotton ever could.

Cheap Cologne or Body Spray

cologne grooming

Bad fragrance isn't doing any favors. And please don't spray yourself with body spray. Pick up some deodorant and a mild-mannered fragrance. Then never forget the golden rule: just a spritz or two will do. Everyone in the locker room—and in your relative area—will thank you.

Ill-Fitting Clothing

man looking at clothes, shirts, still single, shopping

If there's one area a 40-year-old man should play the Goldilocks card, it's with his wardrobe. Clothing that's too baggy will make your silhouette look wider than natural (bad!). Clothing that's too tight might be a bit on the revealing side (also bad!) Clothing that's in the sweet spot, and tailored to your form, will instantly make you look taller, slimmer, and more put-together (good!). Most minor alterations—shortening sleeves, darting shirts, hemming pants—are fairly inexpensive, can likely be done at your local dry cleaner, and will take no more than a week. Hop to it! And for more sage clothing advice, learn about these 40 Common Style Tips Men Should Always Ignore.

Wire or Plastic Hangers

no woman over 40 should have wire hangers in her apartment

Wire hangers ruin clothes. Plastic hangers can cause unwanted frizz. Cedar hangers, on the other hand, will help your clothing keep its shape, and—bonus!—will help deodorize it, too.

Fluorescent Bulbs

fluorescent lights

If you were trying to do good for the environment and splurged on a bunch of coil-shaped florescent light bulbs (CFLs) a few years ago, good for you! You've probably noticed, however, that they put out a horribly harsh light. Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds: pick up some LED bulbs. According to Green America, the sustainability nonprofit, LED lights are just as environmentally friendly as CFLs. And if you pick them up in a warm light option, they look just as good as the incandescent bulbs you trashed years ago.

Bowling Shirts

Jeff Bridges in Big Lebowski wearing bowling shirt

Here's a full list of people who can get away with wearing these cheesy-to-the-max digs: The Dude.

Inspirational Wall Art

All you need is love and a cup of coffee - Quote typographical Background in realistic square black frame on the brick wall background.

No one, regardless of age or gender, should have any faux-pithy, cringe-worthy quotes or sayings up on the walls of their home. Framed, painted, or stuck-on (that's the worst offense), please don't turn your wall into an IRL Instagram post. They're not thought-provoking or inspirational. Instead, amass an interesting wall of books (that you've actually read).

Cheap Sugary Treats

stop judging women over 40

Look, everyone loves a good Entenmann's raspberry danish now and then. If you're having them on the daily, though, that's when it becomes problematic. Designate one day per month where you absolutely go to town on a whole package. The other days? Stick to healthy snacks, like carrots, apples, hummus, and whole grain crackers. Your waistline (and your heart) will thank you.

Matching Bedroom Furniture

a bedroom with matching dark wood furniture

For dudes who might be deficient in the interior design department, it's tempting to pick up a matching dark-wood bedroom set at a rock-bottom price. But a truly sophisticated look does away entirely with the cookie-cutter décor and, instead, in centered around a selection of carefully chosen pieces in complementary styles.

Mismatched Sheets

A Very Purple Bedroom Worst Paint Colors

You could invest all of the money in the world in a revamped décor; if your top sheet doesn't match your bottom sheet, it'll all be for nought. Even if your sheets are of the finest crafted Egyptian cotton, sorry, but you should toss them for some that actually match.

A Recliner with Built-In Cup Holders

two-seat burgundy recliners with cup holders

Yes, they're comfortable. Yes, they're convenient. Yes, they're kind of decorous disasters—the type of furniture that's emblematic of a function-over-form mentality. If that's your thing, by all means, keep yours around. But if you'd prefer a sharper, sleeker design scheme, invest in some quality arm chairs (sans cup holders) and a pair of minimalist side tables.

Posters without Frames

generic rock music festival poster

Posters in general, even if they're in frames, are fairly suspect—unless they're a cool vintage find (or rare and worth some serious dough). If that Jim Morrison poster has followed you around since the dorm days, it's time to either give it a proper framed treatment…or retire it once and for all.

A Door-Mounted Basketball Hoop

door mounted basketball hoop

Yes, these are tons of fun, and great for challenging a buddy to an impromptu hoops tournament. But, come on: don't leave it in your house. Take it to the office to help blow off work stress, or sequester it in the garage or a backyard shed so you can fully indulge your inner child without disturbing the tranquility of a tidy and grown-up home.

Branded Beer Glasses

heineken glass

Gathering up a bunch of pint glasses from your favorite obscure micro-breweries is a good way to accumulate some decent glassware through your 20s and 30s. Past 40? It's time to get a little more sophisticated. Pick up some genuine British pint glasses etched with the imperial crown (which are actually a pint, unlike the 12-ounce pours of most U.S. glasses).

Leather Pants

man wearing leather pants and a leather biking jacket

Unless you're Iggy Pop, there's really no good reason to have a pair of leather pants in your closet. Even if you still have the body to rock them at 40, you're not impressing anyone when wearing them out to the bar or club—you're just going to look silly. (You're also going to sweat way more than anyone would like.) Save them for Halloween.

A Couch Sourced From a Thrift Store

20 things no women over 40 should have in their apartment

Yes, a $10 faux-leather couch is a great deal. And yes, it's nice that you can barely see the stain on the arm rest…when you put a pillow in front of it. But that's the sort of thing you only want around in a starter apartment. Take it back to the thrift store—then treat yourself to an affordable yet still brand-new couch that has never had someone else sit on it.

A Mess

procrastination can lead to cluttered spaces

One recent survey revealed that, out of all the turnoffs in the world—bad sense of style, bad sense of humor, bad manners—nothing is more of a turnoff than a messy space. In fact, 82 percent (!) of female respondents listed a messy bachelor's as their top choice. Thankfully, cleaning up is easy: just steal these these 33 Ways to Declutter Your Life (and Keep It That Way!)

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