You instantly know when a home belongs to a man over 40. Every room has been filled just the right furniture, just the right supplies, just the right electronics—all of which combine to ooze an elevated sense of tastefulness, responsibility, warmth, and maturity. So if you’re a man in your 40s and your domicile doesn’t have anything in this list of things every man should own after they turn the big 4-0, do yourself a favor and get that credit card smoking today. And while you’re at it, make sure you aren’t saying these 50 Things No Man Over 40 Should Ever Say.
1A Tailored Suit
One that actually fits your body. Once you’ve got a handle on that, expand your repertoire and invest in one of these 15 Killer Style Accessories You Never Knew You Needed.
2Pens That Weren’t Stolen from a Hotel
You’re old enough to have some pens on your desk that don’t say “Hampton Inn.” Develop your own signature, both literally and metaphorically, and you’ll stand out and impress your colleagues and boss. And if you’re traveling frequently for business, make sure you know the 20 Ways to Make Travel Less Stressful.
One that includes at least a hammer, a tape measure, a level, pliers, and at least two types of screwdrivers (slotted and Phillips-head). Not enough to build a boat, but enough tools to hang a picture without needing to call Dad.
No “pods” or espresso machines. We’re talking about coffee that’s black and strong and is dripped into a pot through coffee beans, as nature intended. And if you need another reason to invest in a coffeepot, read up on the 75 Amazing Benefits of Coffee.
5Books That You Weren’t Required to Read in High School or College
You should have figured this out by now, but those books don’t count. The ones that matter are the books you discovered on your own, and live on your bookshelf like trophies. And if you need help powering through a bedside stack, learn The Secrets of Speed Reading Any Book.
6A Bottle of Expensive Booze You’re Saving for a Special Occassion
Wine, champagne, whiskey, scotch—whatever your poison of choice is, you should always be ready for a spontaneous celebration.
Stop pretending that squeaky bathroom door doesn’t annoy you and fix the thing.
8A Living Plant
Not “just barely clinging to life because you haven’t watered it in weeks.” A healthy, vibrant plant that’s getting exactly as much sun as it needs. A plant is a notch below goldfish in the anybody-can-keep-this-alive sliding scale of responsibilities.
Nobody wants to see your dirty clothes in a big filthy pile on the floor, which makes a hamper one of the most important things every man should own. Invest in a receptacle that not only makes laundry easier but is also easier on the eyes. Don’t leave your laundry till the last minute, either—but if you’re having trouble kicking that habit, stock up on the best men’s underwear you can buy on Amazon.
10Real Wine Glasses
If you’re spending more than $6 on a bottle of wine, you should be drinking it out of something more sophisticated than a red plastic cup or a juice glass. Something with a stem and an inward curve at the top so you can focus on the aromas.
11Oil-Stained Work Gloves
Definitive proof that you’re not afraid of a little hard labor.
Think of it like insurance: You hope you don’t need it, but it’s there if you do. (Just don’t hide it under your mattress. That’s the “I’ll leave my keys in my shoes while I go swimming” of financial security.)
13A Vaporizer (If You’re So Inclined)
When you’re in college, it’s fine to own a 5-foot bong covered in Dead stickers that you nicknamed “The Wizard’s Staff.” But that time has passed.
Just in case the power goes out. A flashlight works too, but it’s not nearly as cool.
15A Full Shaving Kit
Disposable razors have no place in your bathroom. Get yourself a safety razor, like adult males use, and other grooming staples like shaving cream and after-shave balm—and, if you want to get fancy, a shaving brush.
16A Chef’s Knife
Add one of these to your kitchen and every other piece of cutlery you’ve ever used will suddenly seem like a butter knife.
We’re not endorsing smoking, but sometimes a fella needs to celebrate with a cigar. And when that happens, you sure as hell shouldn’t be puffing on Swisher Sweets. Get a box of Cubans while they’re still legal.
18A Stereo That Rattles the Floorboards
A Bluetooth speaker is no way to experience the music you love, especially if said music includes a bass guitar. Upgrade to a stereo system that makes you lose yourself in some glorious noise.
19A Bathrobe and Slippers
It’s the hard working man’s well deserved weekend uniform. If it worked for Tony Soprano, it can work for you.
20A Paper Journal
A blog is just a cry for attention. But a journal that you write by hand and hide in a desk drawer is something meaningful, which your grandkids will obsess over someday.
21A Cast-Iron Skillet
If there’s any recipe that can’t be made on a skillet, it ain’t worth making. And if you’re often in the kitchen, make sure you know the 17 Ways You’re Using Your Kitchen All Wrong.
22Your Favorite Chair that Nobody Else Can Touch
Archie Bunker may have been a loud-mouthed bigot, but he got at least one thing right. A man needs his own chair, and the world’s meatheads need to stay the hell away from it.
23A Pocket Knife
The rustier the better. If it looks like you’ve been using the same knife you had as a Boy Scout, you’ve got male street cred.
24Exercise Equipment that Wasn’t Bought at 3am from a TV Infomercial
Sorry for the spoiler alert, but the Abdominizer has never given anybody rock hard abs, and its continued presence in your garage is more embarrassing than boxes filled with dog-eared old issues of Playboy.
25All the Ingredients for an Old Fashioned
Here’s something an adult male should never say to a guest at his house: “Angostura bitters? Sorry, no, I don’t have that. Can’t I just throw a few ice cubes into a glass of bourbon and call it a day?” You should have in stock all the ingredients necessary for the 20 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make.
26A Place for Guests to Sleep that Isn’t a Couch
Don’t make your mom check into a hotel when she comes to visit. Set up a space for her with a little privacy, and a bed that won’t destroy her back.
27A Pair of Sneakers Close to Disintegrating
Sometimes a man has to go outside in less than ideal weather conditions. Rain, sleet, snow, whatever. You need something to strap to your feet that’s a step above an old shoebox tied around your ankles with string.
A well trained canine cohort that gets you in ways that nobody else does. And if you don’t have a furry friend yet but are teetering on the fence, you may want to learn the 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet.
29A Filthy, Fully-Slobbered Tennis Ball
Because your dog bestie deserves only the very best.
30A Matching Towel Set
You don’t have to get them monogrammed or anything. But a nice set of matching microfiber towels announces to visitors, “I don’t live in a fraternity house.”
31A Cordless Drill
If there’s drilling to be done, it shouldn’t matter if there’s an outlet nearby.
32A Smoke Alarm with Working Batteries
That’s right, you chirp machine. A 20-year-old would’ve ignored you, but this 40-something isn’t going to pretend your incessant “beeps” aren’t eating away at his soul for even one more minute.
33One Real Piece of Art
No, your Jessica Alba from Sin City movie poster doesn’t count.
A guy should be able to sleep under the stars at a moments notice, whether it’s in his own backyard or a road trip away.
35A Pair of Ripped, Mud-Covered Jeans
Not the kind you pay $425 for at Nordstrom. Jeans that you’ve personally decimated over many years.
36A Packed Overnight Bag
You should always be prepared for a spontaneous road trip, whether it’s fishing with your buddies or a “let’s just disappear for a few days” romantic adventure with your best gal. And when you’re planning your next vacation, check out these 17 Floating Hotels That Are Simply Magical.
Your phone doesn’t count. An old-school camera, the kind that neither texts nor has a wifi connection, and that requires mastering the art of patience.
38A Baseball Glove
A game of catch can happen anywhere, with little or no warning. A nephew makes an unexpected visit, and suddenly you’re in the back yard, looking for a male bonding ritual. Never be the guy who has to catch the ball bare-palmed, because you “haven’t had a glove since high school.”
39A Bathtub You Could Eat Eggs Off Of
Nobody’s saying you need to eat eggs off of a bathtub. That would be gross. We’re just talking about the general hygienic condition of your bathroom. If you’ve cleaned it to an extent where a breakfast served on the linoleum surface isn’t the most disgusting thing you can imagine, then you’re making some overall good life choices. By the way, This Is the Healthiest Way to Eat an Egg.
40A Bed with a Headboard
Or as grown-ups call it, “a bed.”