40 Items No Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home
Those trinkets from your golden days add up—quickly.
It’s natural for men to accumulate and hoard things from their glory days, or to stubbornly refuse to move themselves and the items that make up their daily life into adulthood. And sure: It’s okay to keep some mementos from your high school dominance of the gridiron, or to stow away a few cherished toys that remind you of space battles that happened a long time ago (in a galaxy far away).
But seriously, you don’t need to display cruft that only signals one thing: That you haven’t grown up. With that in mind, we’ve run down the 40 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 verboten items, toss them—immediately. And for more things to purge for good, be sure to memorize and abhor the 40 Sayings Men Over 40 Need to Stop Saying Immediately.
Figurines In Boxes
You shouldn’t have any toys in the house unless you have kids or they’re the ones you played with as a child. And if you have them still in the box they came in and up on a shelf for display, we’re guessing you live alone.
Posters without Frames
Posters in general, even in frames, are fairly suspect, unless they’re a cool vintage find or rare and worth some dough. Please take down your ratty Jim Morrison poster that’s followed you around since the dorm days and the trash that Evangelion wall scroll you got at Otakon in ’99. And for more ways to keep your living rooms modern and chic, learn How Men Over 40 Decorate Their Walls.
A Condiment Drawer
Saving up mounds of Taco Bell hot sauce and leftover ketchup packets was a great idea when you were poor and scarfing down fast food everyday, but guess what, you can get the same condiments at the grocery store in big bottles! And also, we hope you’ve stopped eating fast food.
Frozen Dinner or Snacks
You’re old enough now to know that eating processed food will wreck your health and ruin your waistline, so stop buying Hot Pockets and TV dinners. Here’s a simple tip to make sure you are eating right: Don’t buy any food that comes in a box. For more changes to make in your diet, be sure to avoid the 40 Unhealthiest Foods for People Over 40.
You’re an adult now and if you truly enjoy coffee, buy whole beans and grind them yourself. The aroma wafting off of recently ground coffee beans is heavenly and the flavor notes in that fresh cup of coffee you’re about to enjoy will pop, making each cup an experience.
You’re a big boy now—it’s time to put away kid’s food, like sugary cereal, cookies, and cakes. Sure, it’s fine to have a treat or two on special occasions, but your pantry shouldn’t be stocked with them.
Dump out any sodas you have lurking in your fridge. Even if they are the “zero” or diet versions of your favorite soft drinks from when you were young, there’s no need to keep drinking them. Consistent consumption has been shown to lead to obesity and diabetes.
Yeah, that sweet Bud Light neon sign you have hanging in your dorm room was super cool when bong smoke was blowing through it in the dark, but even if you have it tucked away in your rec room, it’s time for an upgrade to something a little classier.
Whether displaying awards you got in high school, college, or even a team trophy from winning your local softball league, just don’t. Unless your life’s work merited a Nobel Peace Prize or maybe even an Emmy or Oscar, nobody gives a hoot about your past glories on the field.
Having fake plants around your house means you’ve basically given up at adulting. If you can’t take care of a real plant and water it properly and give it the proper amount of light so it can thrive, what’s the point of living anymore?
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 immediately and pick up something made from solid wood, not particle board. (Though IKEA is OK in a pinch.)
Ah, the couch/bed convertible choice for countless college kids and guys who don’t know any better. To put it mildly, these things suck—for sitting, sleeping, having sex. Just trash it and get a real couch or a bed with a frame and pat your adult self on the back.
A Recliner with Built-In Cup Holders
No. If you have one of these, there’s a high chance that you are have a beer belly and watch over seven hours of TV a day. And we’re betting that there is probably a NordicTrack or treadmill in your basement covered in dust.
Threadbare Sheets and Towels
Hopefully you are washing yourself regularly and getting enough sleep every night, but if you’re engaging in these activities with ratty, thin, and worn-out textiles, you are missing out on a simple luxury. Spend a few bucks and get some nice fluffy towels and decent, soft sheets.
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. Pro tip: Start with most of the things on this list.
Sheets Used As Curtains
Unless you are running a drug den or an illegal gambling outfit in a strip mall warehouse, drop a few bucks and pick up some nice curtains—or at least window shades—that are actually manufactured to block light from coming through windows.
A Beer Can or Bottle Collection
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? No. Toss them after drinking and then remember the brew fondly while drinking some new unique suds with friends.
A Mattress with No Frame
The only place for a mattress without a frame is leaning up in your garage waiting to be tossed out or sitting on the curb about to be thrown in the garbage truck. Go get a real bed frame or at least pick up a metal frame and decent headboard.
When you were poor and going to school, hitting up the local thrift store for a pile of multi-colored plates and bowls was a smart move, but now hopefully you’ve got some cash and a good job, so splurge on a nice white set of dishware. And pick up some decent flatware while you’re at it.
A Bean Bag Chair
These soft and malleable chairs are undoubtedly comfortable and can be handy to have around for seating for unexpected guests, but they’re made for kids. Maybe pop in a lollipop while you are sitting in yours one last time before you throw it out?
We get it, you love your team and have been a diehard fan for years, following every trade they make and every game they play. That’s fine, but take down the memorabilia—the signed uniforms and special game day balls belong in a closet or on eBay.
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 to play your LPs on.
A Physical Smut Collection
Have you heard of the Internet? You can find whatever it is you need to get off on this special series of tubes… You’re on it right now! Dump any old pornography mags or DVD collections; nobody wants to see that.
Christmas Lights as Decoration
Fine for dorm rooms or for draping around an actual Christmas tree, these twinkly lights just scream “I’m too lazy to get real decorations.” Try placing a few different-sized lamps with dimmable bulbs around the room for ambience.
A Video Game Station
No need to display all of the video gaming consoles you’ve had over the years. We get it: Video games are great, whether vintage or cutting edge. Just put the old ones away and tastefully hide your latest console within your TV cabinet.
This goes for ties, T-shirts, wall decorations, gag gifts—anything. Novelty means something new and unique that wears off in about five seconds after you bought it or displayed it. Toss it, no one cares.
Glassware with Logos
Time to class up your cabinet and trash all of those random glasses that have beer logos or other funny sayings on them. Coffee mugs, too—unless they hold special meaning for you, like from a visit to a national park or one your kid gave to you.
A Grilled Cheese Maker
Dude, you can figure out 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. Give it to your local thrift store so a poor student can use it in his dorm room.
Blankets as Clothing
Whatever you want to call them—Slankets, Snuggies—just no, ugh. Buy a nice merino wool blanket to put on or near your couch; they work just as well and can actually add to your décor. Nobody needs to clothe themselves with a sack of fleece to be warm while laying on the couch.
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.
Textual Graphic T-Shirts
Shirts that have “witty” saying on them or are advertising your favorite beer or what have you, aren’t for serious adults. Maybe keep a few around for working in the yard or going for a job, but don’t wear them out. Buy a pack of nice solid color T-shirts that will work with any occasion.
Yeah, so you love your music. That’s cool. Switch out the humongous monitors you’ve had in your living room for years with a small and sleek home theater setup. The speakers sound better, take up less, space, and definitely look better.
Unless you’re an actual samurai, take down that cheap-ass katana you got from QVC, and even if you do hunt, there’s no need to have any type of gun mounted on the wall. They go in safes, protected from prying eyes and unwanted attention.
Socks with Holes
Sock technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 20 years, so toss your old, crusty, and hole-ridden cotton socks and splurge on any of the new merino wool blends out there. They will last longer and keep your feet warmer or cooler than cotton.
Cheap Cologne or Body Spray
Bad cologne isn’t going to get you any admiring looks, and please don’t spray yourself with body spray, even if you are a pimply teenager. It’s just gross smelling and contrary to TV commercial scenarios, body spray will not get centerfolds flocking to you.
Loose or baggy (or even too tight) clothes make an immediately poor impression, one that says “I don’t know how to dress myself cause my mommy did it for me my whole life.” Take the time to learn about fit and fashion, toss out ill-fitting duds or go to a tailor and get any current, high-quality clothes altered to fit your body.
Wire or Plastic Hangers
Though no one should be going through your closet anytime soon, ditching the cheap wire and easily breakable plastic hangers can make you feel better and more confident about your wardrobe. Sorting through close on nice wooden hangers can make getting dressed a more pleasant experience.
If you were trying to save some money on your electricity bill and splurged on a bunch of coil-shaped florescent light bulbs a few years ago, good for you. Unfortunately, the light they put out has a horrible color, so recycle them and pick up any of the new, warm light LED bulbs.
These cheesy-to-the-max shirts don’t belong on any guy, unless you are actually at a bowling alley playing in a league. Don’t wear these out in public, and unless they have your name and team name embroidered on it, throw it away, no matter how many bitching flames adorn it.
If your house is dirty and the sink is filled with dishes and there are clothes strewn throughout your room, grow up and get clean. A filthy and cluttered house will affect your mental health and well-being so take some time to tidy up every now and then. And once you’ve purged all of these items, be sure to stock your house with the 40 Items Every Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home.
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