i am not my pokemon cards
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I Am More Than My Pokemon Cards

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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.

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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?

42 comments on “I Am More Than My Pokemon Cards

  1. I still have my baseball cards in the basement. They sent in a container but I just can’t part with it yet. It’s probably the hoarder in me but I love knowing they are there any time I want to see them. Which is basically never 🙂 But it’s still nice knowing they are there.

    1. That’s exactly how I felt! I just chose to get rid of them, but there is something really nostalgic about items we had when we were kids. It’s like you get to be a kid for the brief moment you remember them.

  2. It’s amazing your dad has kept the Pokemon cards in such great condition over the years. He must know you really liked them when you were little.

    I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision, but I do think you don’t need to hold on to things to keep good memories of them and your childhood. 🙂

    1. My dad is such a hoarder. 🙂 It felt good to get rid of them and have cash in hand instead. I still have plenty of horribly nostalgic crap I need to part with, but it’s a slow process.

  3. It’s really sweet your dad kept your Pokemon cards for so long!

    I kind of have that relationship with books. I love books so much, I love so many individual books so much, but they began to take over my life. When I moved to go to grad school I gave away over 400 books, and have sold/given away tons more since. At least with books it’s reassuring that I can always get them from a library if I REALLY need them. I limit my personal collection to what fits on a shelf, and regularly cull them.

    It’s hard to let “friends” go, and I certainly have a ton of stuff in my life, I just now have to apply the same thinking to that stuff as I have the books.

    1. You know, I found out he kept all of my baby teeth in a chest too! He’s a bit of a hoarder. 😉 Oh nooo! Sorry about the book collection! I used to have a lot of them as well. It’s tougher when you read to escape–it’s like you’re saying goodbye to a place you’ll never see again.

  4. I still have some comic books and baseball cards. The great thing about holding on to them this long has been the ability to share them with my kids. I did part with my Star Wars toy collection when I was in college and the was tough to see it go. It would be nice to have it today. Pokemon has had a long run. My son has some cards and plays the games.

    1. Awww man, that would have been epic to see the classic Star Wars toys! But shoulda coulda woulda, I guess.

  5. My husband sold his record collection when I moved in. But he’s still hung on to all his old University books. I don’t bug him about it because I know his degree represents a lot of hard work and was a big part of his life…but honestly he’s never going to read them again – and there are so many! I was able to get him to part with some gardening & cookbooks he had not touched in 10 years, so that was great. The cookbooks we do use we keep upstairs in the kitchen. For me, seeing shelves upon shelves of things that remain untouched for years just seems kind of useless but I understand the memories behind the things. I think keeping a couple token reminders is a nice idea.

    1. I agree! There’s so much crap in my house that there’s no sense in hoarding things. Mr. Picky Pincher purged his book collection, but he also still has plenty of text books that have sat there for years. 😉

  6. Having entered the 60’s era of my life I find myself wanting to let go of more “stuff”. I look at things that I have kept for so many years and picture my children someday saying, “Why did they keep this? Dump it!” So that helps me to let go of all the dried roses, the shoe boxes full of every card I have ever received from my husband and children. (Okay, I still can’t toss the cards!)

    But I continue to purge things and find my home to be more restful.

    1. I still keep cards, too! It’s a lot better having the hindsight and knowing that the objects themselves were never adding any benefit to your life, too.

    1. Uhm, mail me that yarn stash, girl! I’ve been wanting to make funny sweaters for Zap hahaha. Ooh, on the video games, I came up with a solution. I bought three-ring CD sleeves and keep all of my DVDs and Playstation games in the CD sleeves. The plastic cases take up tons of room on the shelf and–let’s be real–I rarely have time to play them. Might be a good way to keep his games and DVDs but minimizing their real estate lol.

      1. Yes! We found a DVD sleeve system that allows us to keep the jacket (because collectors, duh…or something I guess). They at least cleared up some space, but they were $25 for a stack of them. We only have about half our DVD collection done before we gave up. We’ll eventually buy more, but we have other priorities now. It still bugs me that there’s thousands of dollars sitting in our closet that we could use right now though, and we don’t really watch that much TV anymore…

        1. Oooh, any chance you want to give up the DVD collection for good? It does sting to have moolah in stuff you don’t use (I have closets full of crap I could probably sell).

    1. Aww, it’s tough when it’s the kids. Sometimes it’s neat to look back and see how they’ve grown over the years. But I’m sure there’s an amount that’s within reason–you don’t need 50 finger paintings from 2016 after all.

  7. My 5 year old is just getting into Pokemon and he loves it. I got him a 50 pack of old cards similar to yours for a little present for his birthday. They were only $4 for the whole thing but I can only imagine how excited he’s going to be when he opens them.

    I still have a lot of my University books, but only the geology related ones. I’ll occasionally use one of them to reference something, but in general they’re mostly unused.

    I find it hard to purge books but have slowly gotten awy from hoarding them and I only keep the ones I know I want to read again.

    1. Aww that’s so cute! I’m happy to see the spirit of Pokemon is living on. 🙂 What a crazy 20 years it’s been with that franchise. Mr. Picky Pincher also kept a lot of his college textbooks, but I don’t think he uses them like you do. 😉

  8. I have an attic full of my mom’s things, she passed 9 years ago. Every year I make myself go through and re-evaluate whats up there and what I can let go of. Its usually only a few things a year but I think this is the better approach, at least for me.

    1. Agreed. When my mom passed away it was really hard to know what to keep and what to throw away. You really can’t think straight immediately after someone passes, and I know we tossed things that I now regret. I think the slow approach is best, even though it “feels” like you’re supposed to dump everything.

  9. That was a good way to look at that — you will always have the memories, and you don’t need the cards to give you those. Good job!
    My husband has finally started letting go of things from his past, which is good because for a long time he would refuse to let go of even broken things, if they reminded him of someone. I’m trying to purge my stuff and his, as we get older and the house keeps trying to fill up (I swear it has its own mind and does this secretly while we sleep!). There is nothing like seeing all the useless, forgotten stuff crammed away in drawers, closets, under beds, and in every cabinet in the house of a person who has passed away, to make one realize that stuff in one’s own home has to go!
    I try to keep only things that really make me smile and that I will use or see often. I even went through my Christmas décor and ornaments and gave a lot of that away to whoever in the family wanted it. Next step we had to learn, which the PP family has learned already, is not to buy more to take the place of stuff that is gone!

    1. That is so awesome! Humans really don’t need a lot of stuff, but boy, do we love collecting it lol.

  10. I watched a ton of pokemon growing up! Played red and blue version on gameboy when it came out =) Never got into the cards though. There weren’t any in Hungary. Personally, I don’t think I get too attached to stuff. Maybe other than, my old t-shirts or something. My wife always wants to throw them away because they have holes in them, but they’re the most comfortable ones! I’m weird like that.

    1. Heck yeah! I still buy the games when they come out. #NoShame. Bahaha! The holey shirts are so timely because Mr. Picky Pincher is insisting on keeping his holey shirts and I’m like, “You’re not the pope. You don’t get to be holey.”

  11. Well, your Pokemon cards are in a better place now being loved. <3 When it comes to my Japanese comic books, or manga books, I am like that as well. As soon as I am done with a series, I get rid of them. I'm the type of person that only reads books once, including manga books, and I do not mind getting rid of them after I am done with them unless the series is on-going or I really like the book or series. <3

    As for the rest of my sentimental stuff, I have slowly culled it all in the past and do not have it any of it anymore but a few things. I am actually a minimalist irl, so I only have the essentials for what I need in life. 🙂 I'm quite content with my things, haha. <3

    Here are some articles that may help you clear some clutter, Mrs. Picky Picher. 🙂 They are from a minimalist blog, but just ignore the minimalist stuff in them and just follow the advice in them about decluttering. 🙂 Hope they help you clear out more of your clutter! 😀




  12. Whatcha gonna do with that $120, hmm? 😀

    I admit, I have a bunch of stuff – but I bought nearly all of it to resell for profit. Yes, my main side-hustle is buying and later selling stuff. This stuff has taken over a room, but I enjoy the hunt and the deal.

    1. Bahaha! I wish I could say I did something fun with the $120, but I just used it to get my phone repaired. I dropped it in water in December and needed some pricey replacements. But it was money I didn’t have to technically spend, so it was nice. 😉 Oooh, I love that idea of buying and selling for a side hustle! You’ve got to be good at valuing things, so that must mean you’ve got a sharp eye!

        1. Wowww! I’m so jealous! I remember seeing the news article about a piece of costume jewelry that went for several thousand dollars. I’m so clueless about that stuff that I would have been the dodo to get rid of it in the first place. D’oh!

  13. I think you would shudder in horror at my garage that can’t fit a car. Or my linen cupboard full of unwatched DVDs. I don’t bring crap into my house but I really can’t handle letting it go.

    I have old laminated Tweety posters from when I was a pre-teen. Are they ever going up in my house? Nope. Am I tossing them in the trash? Also definitely Nope.

    1. Oh man I lol’d at the Tweety posters hahaha! I grew up in a house that had the garage stacked to the ceiling with crap, so I sympathize.

  14. Glad to hear you are a fellow nerd at heart. I know I still have all of them sitting around my house somewhere. Funny, my friends and I found them a year or so back and went on a kick for a little while playing the card game when we hung out. So they actually did end up being used once again after so long. I don’t consider myself a hoarder or anything but I think that is one aspect of my childhood I will keep and maybe pass down to my kids someday. After 20 years, I don’t think Pokemon is going anywhere any time soon so that might be a fun little keepsake.

    1. Well hey there, fellow nerd! 😉 Good on ya for keeping the cards. I’m sure your future kids will absolutely adore seeing the original cards. 🙂

  15. Ah the memories… I still have 300+ Magic The Gathering cards at home that I cannot part with. Although I still use some of them in small home tournaments so that is a valid reason to keep all of them, right? 😀

    Thanks for sharing this!

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