Sometimes all it takes is a little self awareness. Because, let’s face it, there’s individual preference, and then there’s those things that (even behind closed doors) are just outright offensive.

No, we’re not talking about your sexual predilections, we’re talking about the things no man should have in his home. While we’ve spoken at length about what you should have in your living room, kitchen, bathroom and even garden, as well as the rules for generally making your home look better, we’ve not yet touched on the list of items deemed unacceptable – by us, by society, by everyone.

So get rid, in this order.

A Plug-In Air Freshener

Nothing says apathetic attitude towards cleaning like a nauseating, nuclear-strength air freshener hissing at regular intervals.

These dispensers of lavender-infused hell vapour – designed with masking eau de dog, rising damp and month-old bed sheets in mind – kick out scents to rival a tacky nightclub’s toilets.

In its place, implement a rigorous but manageable cleaning regime, wash your covers and get better acquainted with stylish alternatives like diffusers or scented candles.

Bar Paraphernalia

Saw it in a bar? Good, great. Leave it there. There are far more reasons than we care to go into why alcohol-branded mirrors and neon signs belong on the walls of a beat-up boozer rather than above your bed (chiefly, you’d like to get laid at some point).

Instead, use items such as clocks and mirrors to bring together form and function while making your space look bigger.

Up-Cycled Furniture

We reached peak up-cycle in the early 2000s and are now, thankfully, living in a largely Kirsty Allsopp-free society. A knackered, old chest does rarely a handsome coffee table make and neither, for that matter, does a wooden palette on castors.

We’ve ushered in an era where post-industrial interiors reign supreme – think untreated wood, exposed filament bulbs and copper everything. Note: High street retailers supply options that are far easier to assemble, a better use of space and probably more robust than anything you can make.

Cliché Film Posters

We get it, we love Tarantino too, and Scorsese’s Goodfellas is a cult classic. But a tatty, frameless film poster does the director’s archive a disservice more than it impresses anyone once you’ve moved out of university halls.

If you (yeah, we’re talkin’ to you) want to paint your personality on lonely walls, do so in a subtle, understated way with carefully orchestrated prints, illustrations and photos.

Bathroom Empties

This applies to those of who, each time they clean the bathroom, can gather enough empty bottles of shampoo, shower gel, tubes of toothpaste and finished loo roll to fill a skip.

There’s no hack here – just a simple case of establishing a streamlined grooming regime and ensuring you’ve got fresh new products ready to go as soon as you’ve emptied and binned the last ones.

Protein Supplements

We don’t care whether you go ham on the free weights in the gym or work out at home to a Davina McCall DVD. What we will pick bones with, however, is leaving a keg of whey protein on the kitchen work surface as some sort of trophy. It’s not the symbol of modern masculinity you think it is.

Kitchens are for cooking and entertaining – not displaying vats of fart-inducing powders. Put it in the cupboard and adorn the granite with a quality knife set, blender, or, heaven forbid, a bowl of fruit instead.

A DVD, CD Or Game Collection

Hey, 2006 rang and it wants its MDF shelving unit filled with indie albums, VHS boxsets and video games back.

The fact is, you probably don’t even own functioning equipment to play this stuff on anymore, so free up valuable lounge space and surrender these technological relics to eBay.

The floor space gained from embracing a digital-only lifestyle can be used to host something that says you’re fully on board with living in the present day, like a fully stocked drinks caddy.

A Carpet Of Shoes

Footwear is fine – in fact, we’re quite into it. Trainers, slip-ons, boots, brogues and everything in between form the very foundations of our wardrobe. But shoes scattered around the house – a runner here, a loafer there – pose a tripping threat to the inebriated and a serious problem to feng shui enthusiasts.

Nothing upsets the flow of ch’i around a pad like shoes kicked off in the middle of a room after a hard day, and it looks downright untidy, too. Keep the boxes and store in the bottom of a cupboard or invest in a discrete shoe rack.

A Fish Tank

If you’re not a Bond villain or a millionaire, you’re probably going to want to skip the giant fish tank.

While it might sound glamorous and oh-so-bachelor-pad, the reality is a smelly tank of water with dead fish floating at the top because, really, who has the time for cleaning it out every week?

A Guitar

Having a guitar in your living room or bedroom, no doubt sitting on its stand and gathering dust, screams “I want to be seen as a cool musician even though I thought Pink Floyd was an STI”.

Real guitarists keep their precious instrument safely stored in a case, hidden away where no one can touch it.


If you must insist on having your own weights lying around instead of signing up to a gym, at least have the decency to stash them under your bed, for god’s sake. Nothing screams desperate as much as having weights on display. It’s on par with Tinder profiles of men lifting up their tops to reveal their greasy six-pack, and no woman wants that.

If you’re in good shape, your arms will do the talking. And if not, well, it’ll just draw attention to the fact.