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A few months ago my dad sent me large boxes of my old childhood stuff. I gleefully sorted through boxes of crusty stuffed animals, funny pictures, and childhood art. But one thing in particular stopped me in my tracks—my collection of 1990s Pokemon cards.

If you don’t know this already, I am a huge nerd. I love playing video games and I traded Pokemon cards as a kid. As it turns out, my dad held onto my Pokemon card collection for over 15 years. The cards were stored in a special plastic and were in pristine condition.

I did a happy dance when I saw my holographic Charizard glinting in the light from its plastic sheath.

But you know what?

I sold the Pokemon cards a few months later for $120.

Why would I do something like that?!

I am not my pokemon cards

I resisted tossing out the cards. They were a part of my childhood innocence. They reminded me of long summer days spent chasing my friends and ice cream dribbling over my chin. It was such a happy time.

I held on to the cards for several months because I liked the feeling I got from them—all 700 of them.

But I realized it was just stuff. I assigned sentimental value to an object that wasn’t useful. I didn’t even play the Pokemon game; I just kept the cards like a dragon hoarding gold!

Here’s why I let the cards go.

I wasn’t using them

My Pokemon cards were quite literally collecting dust on my living room shelf. They were as good as museum artifacts; they just sat on my shelf, unloved. Most days I forgot they were even there.

I realized it was time to let someone else enjoy the cards. Pokemon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016 and people were in a Pokémon frenzy. What’s more nostalgic and awesome than the original trading cards? There was a big market for the cards and I knew a little cash wouldn’t hurt, either.

I sold the cards to a fella who lived an hour away. He made a special trip just to get the cards and I loved the look of excitement on his face when he got his hands on them. It was so heartwarming to see the cards getting a second life where they were cherished.

They took up space

We still manage to clutter our home even though we regularly purge our possessions. The Pokemon cards certainly helped with the “clutter” aesthetic.

While I’m not a minimalist, I believe in keeping my home as clean and empty as possible. I like to have an open and airy home, so clutter stresses me out and send me into a cleaning frenzy. Every time I clutched onto an item, it created another piece of unnecessary clutter.

It was smart to sell the Pokemon cards because it decluttered my home and de-stressed my life.

I still have the memories

Here’s the point I want to drive home, though. While some objects are important to keep (like heirlooms), many objects just take up space. I’ll always have the memories associated with the Pokemon cards. Selling the objects doesn’t rob me of those special memories; nothing can ever take that away.

I was a little sad to see the cards go, but I realized it was time to be an adult. I still have so many memories to make. The past was great, but the future is going to be even better. And that meant it was time keep the memories and let the objects go.

The bottom line

It’s hard to know what objects to part with. I’ve definitely tossed sentimental belongings and regretted it later. Only you can determine what stuff is just stuff and what stuff is precious. But don’t let your life be ruled by stuff! Value memories and experiences over physical tokens. See what you can give away or sell to simplify your life and make a little cash in the process.

We want to know: What weird objects did you have difficulty parting with?

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