50 Things No Woman Over 50 Should Own

At a certain point, an inventory purge is the responsible move.

50 Things No Woman Over 50 Should Own

There are innumerable small joys to look forward to when you turn 50. You no longer have to make excuses about bailing on after-hours obligations. You never get bothered about questions regarding when you’re going to “settle down.” Oh, and there’s no offense taken no offense taken when someone doesn’t ask to see your ID at a bar. However, with age comes responsibility. And as a bona fide adult, you have the responsibility to ditch some objects from your inventory.

For instance: that rude animatronic fish on the wall in your living room, the the fuzzy dice hanging from your car’s mirror, the football-themed cotton throw draped over your sofa. Yes, we’ve rounded up every item that a woman over 50 should clear out of her home, from serious fashion don’ts to grievous décor offenses. And for more ways to make your next chapter the best one yet, discover these 50 Life Changes to Make After 50.

Pillow With Cliche Sayings

Novelty pillows

By the time you’re over 50, your home should be a reflection of your good taste, not a nagging reminder that you haven’t changed anything about your home in decades. “If you are over 50 and your home’s décor still features design choices that haven’t evolved since you hit your prime sometime between the mid-‘80s and late ‘90s, you need to redecorate or rethink your life!” says interior designer Denise Gianna. That pillow that says “life’s a beach” isn’t as cute as you once thought it was, anyway. And for more things to banish from your home, learn the 30 Ways Your Home Is Hopelessly Outdated.

10 gallon hat

Cowboy hats

Unless you actually work on a farm, there’s no reason for a woman over 50 to own a cowboy hat. There are far more stylish options out there, from wide-brimmed sun hats to elegant scarves, if you really need to cover up that bedhead.

Pink glitter


A great highlighter can do wonders to brighten your complexion. A swipe of glitter, no matter if it’s on your face or body, will just make you look like you’re on your way back from a rave… 20 years ago. And when you want to seem more youthful sans glitter, check out these 50 Ways to Look Younger in Your 50s.

be smarter with money in 2018

A piggy bank

If it’s your beloved childhood piggy bank or something belonging to your children, you get a pass. However, if it’s actually where you’re storing your extra cash and coins, it’s high time to toss it. After all, that’s what actual banks are for.

neon bar sign men over 40 home

Neon signs

That hot pink sign proclaiming your living room a bar? It’s anything but adorably whimsical when you’re an adult. By the time you’re over 50, novelty signage simply shouldn’t hold the appeal it did when you were a 20-something.

leather chair

Butterfly chairs

Your home isn’t a dorm room, so it’s time you ditched the décor that says otherwise. In addition to being generally unattractive, butterfly chairs are also about the flimsiest furniture you can buy, meaning one wrong move can land you on the floor.

woman outside in fall

Skinny scarves

Skinny scarves accomplish little more than looking ridiculous. If it’s cold out, wear a scarf that covers your neck and chest. The only excuse for having a skinny scarf in your closet is if you’ve somehow transported yourself back to 2003. And to avoid further fashion faux pas, make sure to ditch these 40 Things No Woman Should Ever Wear to Work.

Kangaroo shakers mother's day

Novelty salt and pepper shakers

By 50, your kitchen should be more than just a place to store takeout menus. And if you’re a competent cook—or at least trying to become one—that means the days of novelty salt and pepper shakers should be behind you.

plush dice

Fuzzy dice

No matter what your age, fuzzy dice are never an elegant addition to your set of wheels. However, what you might not know is that, in certain states, it’s actually illegal to have them hanging from your mirror—and are those fluffy eyesores really worth a ticket?

Wine cork

Anything made of wine corks

Sure, if you like wine, you’ve probably had a few good bottles by the time you hit 50. However, the best way to commemorate them isn’t by hot-gluing them together and making trivets. And in the same vein, you should definitely ditch those empties gathering dust above your kitchen cabinets—a collection of empty wine bottles does not a Tuscan kitchen make.

ruffled skirt

Peasant skirts

It’s not that peasant skirts are too young for you when you’re over 50, per se. The issue lies in their universally unflattering fit, hippie vibe, and propensity for collecting a truly disgusting amount of street debris as you walk.

mardi gras traditions

Mardi Gras beads

So, you went to New Orleans once—how fun! However, as a full-blown adult, any reminders of a time you might have flashed someone for a plastic necklace should be immediately discarded. For things to actually remember from NOLA’s greatest charade, though, check out 15 Weirdest Mardi Gras Rituals.

jogging pants

Track pants

You don’t actually need to dress like an extra in a 1970s mobster movie to hit the gym. Track pants’ lack of aesthetic appeal combined with that insufferable swishing noise they make every time you take a step should put them at the top of your donation pile.

sea shell sand

A dish of seashells

The logic behind a bathroom dish of seashells has never made much sense: there’s water in the bathroom, so it must be some kind of indoor beach? Unless your entire design scheme is beach-themed (and to be clear, it shouldn’t be), it’s time to ditch the shells.

black light bulb

A black light

There’s only one reason a black light should ever enter your home: if you’re the subject of a documentary crime series and the police are searching for clues. Otherwise, this dated décor is always a mistake.

gladiator shoes

Gladiator sandals

They’re uncomfortable. They haven’t been in style in 10 years. They leave you with the weirdest tan lines. Why did anyone ever buy these in the first place?

plastic table cloth

A vinyl tablecloth

Vinyl tablecloths are perfectly acceptable for children’s birthday parties and picnics. However, inside your home, you should be using the real thing. While that does mean you’ll have to wash it from time to time, a bottle of stain remover is still only a few bucks—and well worth the investment.

wall hanging


Tapestries look great in two places: museums and castles. In your living room, however, they scream, “I only buy home goods at renaissance festivals.”

Alien poster on wall

Anything with an alien on it

The truth may be out there, but that doesn’t mean your own quest for extraterrestrial life deserves a spot on your wall. The same goes for clothing bearing the image of visitors who may or may not come in peace.

couple photo

Framed photos of your high school or college sweetheart

If it’s been more than 20 years since you dated someone, it’s pretty strange to keep their framed picture around in your home. The only exception to the rule: If they’ve passed away, you’ve got good reason to keep their memory alive.

long fake nails

Press-on nails

Super-long fingernails aren’t exactly a sophisticated accessory at any age, but press-ons are a particularly bad look. If you want perfect-looking nails, a set of acrylics are a better bet—and won’t come off when you’re cooking.

he's just not that into you book

He’s Just Not That Into You

If you’re over 50, you should have a decent grasp on when men are interested or not by now. If you need a book to remind you of the signs that someone doesn’t want to date you, it’s time to reassess your romantic strategy.

cd rack

A CD tower or rack

CD towers are big, they’re bulky, and all they’re doing is wasting space with a type of music that’s quickly becoming obsolete. If you simply can’t part with your CD collection, please get yourself a binder to house them in instead.

palestinian scarf

A keffiyeh

If you’re from certain parts of the Middle East, a keffiyeh might be an everyday accessory, and with good reason—it’s useful and part of your cultural heritage. If you’re not, all wearing one of these patterned scarves says is, “I haven’t updated my accessories in 15 years.”

page boy hat

A pageboy hat

If you’re not starring in a remake of Newsies, it’s time to ditch the pageboy hat. Not only will these caps effectively ruin any hair style you were going for, they also scream, “I’m desperate to look younger.”

netflix and chill shorts

Clothes with any writing on the rear

There’s no reason a self-respecting person should have a pair of pants proclaiming something about them or their assets. This is especially true for anyone over 50—you’re definitely old enough to own loungewear that don’t say anything gross.

sorority sisters

A sorority banner

Can your still look back fondly on your sorority days after 50? Of course. Does that mean that a big flag with your Greek letters on it belongs over your living room sofa? Definitely not.

old cell phone

A flip phone

It’s 2018—there’s no reason why you should have a phone that takes grainy black-and-white photos and makes you press a button multiple times to type a single letter. And considering the ever-dropping price points of both smartphones and contracts, there’s no excuse for still using that outdated piece of technology.

platform shoes

Giant platform shoes

Considering that your risk of a fracture tends to go up as you age—something that’s particularly true for post-menopausal women—super-tall platform shoes are probably not a great choice. And from an aesthetic perspective, they’re definitely a bad idea.

red solo cup Never Buy

Red plastic cups

Are you hosting a frat party at your house? If you can confidently answer “no,” then there’s no real excuse for having college accoutrements, like red plastic cups, hoarding space in your kitchen cabinets. You can get inexpensive glass cups at any home goods store, and at least they won’t make your house look like you’re about to set up a beer pong tournament.

the rules book

The Rules

It’s easier than ever to date, no matter what your age. Things that might get in your way, however, include outdated rulebooks that tell you how to behave. If you want to call a guy first, go for it—one of The Rules‘ authors seemingly followed her advice and got divorced, anyway, so maybe don’t treat books like this as law. For proof on how effortless it can be, check out the The Best Dating Apps if You’re Over 40.

floor plants office

Fake plants

You’ve kept yourself alive for more than five decades—shouldn’t you be able to afford a similar courtesy to a living plant by now? Even if you don’t want something high-maintenance, succulents are easy to take care of and can brighten up a space much more effectively than a plastic fern.

Bars of soap

A collection of hotel soaps

There are tons of ways to commemorate those amazing trips you’ve taken. However, if the only thing you’re taking away from your journey is another bar of hotel soap, you might not be totally getting the spirit of the whole travel experience. The good news? If you do find yourself with a variety of extra soaps, charities like Clean the World will take them off your hands and turn them into clean, usable soap that gets donated to communities in need.

talking fish

A talking fish

When’s the last time someone came over to your house and said, “I sure wish there was someone here to sing ‘Friends in Low Places’ and make a joke about my mama.” If your answer is “never,” it’s time to ditch the wise-cracking fish.

t-shirt with curse words

Slogan shirts

By the time you hit 50, your wardrobe should be two things: elegant and understated. Unfortunately, shirts proclaiming, “I’m with Stupid” are neither.


A sports team blanket

That Cowboys throw on your couch may keep you warm, but it’s not doing any favors for your home’s overall aesthetic. A simple blanket without a gridiron on it will make your space look much more put together in the long run.

Wicker Armchair Inside

Wicker furniture

Wicker furniture has a time and place, namely summer and outside. If you’re using wicker in place of traditional furniture, you’re not only making your house look sloppy, you’re virtually begging for anything you wear around it to get snagged.

kardashians lifestyle habits

Any book by the Kardashians

There are tons of great books full of inspiring life advice out there. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for anything allegedly penned by reality TV’s royal family.

plastic forks and knives

A collection of plastic utensils

Ask any environmentalist and they’ll tell you: single-use plastics are one of the biggest threats to the environment and continued habitability of our planet. Reusable cutlery really only takes a few seconds to clean, and better yet, it won’t melt the second you stick it into hot food.

Concert T-Shirt, wardrobe

Band memorabilia

That signed Eagles poster? The Grateful Dead blanket? That tambourine you stole from Phish? It’s well past time you got rid of them in favor of some more age-appropriate décor. If you want entertainment from your most-played musicians, just check out the 30 Terrible Original Names for Your Favorite Bands.

woman inspecting shirt, thrift store

A collection of your ex’s clothing

Yes, everything that used to belong to your ex is perfectly worn and soft and just the right oversized. However, if you’re still wearing their stuff when you’re lounging around the house, you’re dwelling in the past way more than is probably healthy.

things no man over 40 should have in his home

A futon

Good, inexpensive mattresses are easier to come by than ever these days, so why is that uncomfortable futon still sticking around? With so many cheap options out there that won’t make your home look like a dorm room, there’s no excuse to keep with that lumpy excuse for a bed.

signing autograph

Framed autographs

Framed autographs may have a place in tourist trap restaurants or at your local dry cleaner, but they’re not exactly charming accessories for adults. If you simply can’t ditch your autograph collection, at least keep them contained in an album.

woman with updo

A Bumpit

“The higher the hair, the closer to God” definitely doesn’t refer to those ridiculous ‘dos held in place by Bumpits. If you want to give your hair some volume, there are plenty of ways to do so without looking like you’re auditioning for Jersey Shore.

hilarious words

Novelty taxidermy

Those creepy dead-eyed frogs playing poker and that squirrel with a six-shooter may have seemed hilarious to you when you bought them on vacation after a few glasses of wine. However, back at home, they are nothing more than an eyesore—and a seriously creepy one, at that.

ruffled sheets

Ruffled sheets

Ruffled sheets and a princess-style bed can be adorable in a little girl’s room. In an adult woman’s room, however, they just scream, “I’m not ready to grow up” and make it seem like you’re probably hiding a collection of terrifying porcelain dolls somewhere, too. “Ruffly bedding evokes a very specific, long past time and screams ‘aged and staged,’ like bad motel decor or dinner theater set,” says Gianna.

shrug sweater

Bolero jacket

The purpose of the bolero jacket has never been completely clear. What situation might you find yourself in where your shoulders are freezing, but your arms and torso need no extra cover? If you’re still wasting hanger space on these perplexing outfit additions, it’s time to get rid of them.

lava lamp

A lava lamp

Lava lamps are essentially little more than period dressing for shows about the 1970s at this point. If you want to create an interesting focal point for a room, a great piece of art always works better.

ruined running shoes

Shoes with holes

Those sneakers you ran your first marathon in or those Chucks you were wearing the night you met your significant other may have sentimental value, but if they’re full of holes, it’s time to let them go. They’re never going to be magically wearable again, and in the meantime, they’ll only bring down your otherwise put-together wardrobe or make your closet smell like dirty socks.

skate park

A skateboard

Skateboards are a great way to get around—if you’re Bart Simpson. By the time you hit 50, it should be clear that there are more civilized ways to commute, and most of them won’t leave you with a broken ankle. And if you’re cohabiting, you may also want to check out the 40 Items No Man Over 40 Should Have in His Home.

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