A Guide on Cleaning Up Your Pokémon Inventory

Pokémon inventory management can be a real chore in Pokémon Go. It can take hours to run through your inventory to find the gems, assign new names, and decide what to transfer. It’s a diffcult task when you don’t have the right approach. But I believe I can offer some clarity in tackling this problem. It involves understanding your goals, asking yourself a simple, decisive question, and being motivated to want your space back.


Why Should I Clear My Inventory?

Transferring unfulfilling Pokémon lets you enjoy the game more. You are no longer trying to find uses for everything you catch and you can better appreciate the Pokémon you do keep. An extra benefit is gaining more space if you’re running low on space.


Know Your Goals

I always tried to justify keeping certain Pokémon because of the possibility they would be useful if the game’s meta shifted. I realized I was using this reason for a majority of Pokémon and was prolonging the inevitable. With this in mind, I went ahead and transfered Pokémon like Jynx, Butterfree and Arbok, not rare but still uncommon Pokémon. I did not particularly care for these Pokémon and it was doubtful they would ever be top tier. But I kept Pokémon like Kingler, Seaking, and Starmie because one of my goals is to have a water Pokémon team.

If one of your goals is to keep a living Pokedex or to min-max your team, then you should follow those goals. Knowing your goals is a reminder to have a clear reason for keeping Pokémon rather than a fear of missing out.


The Joy Method

I’ve taken this idea from Marie Kondo’s “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” and slapped on my own name. The Joy Method is a a way to quickly determine whether to transfer a Pokémon. Look at the Pokémon and answer this one simple question:

Does this Pokémon spark Joy?

Do you care enough about this Pokémon to not transfer it? If not then good bye. I’m not saying you should transfer all the unexciting Pokémon or keep every single favorite Pokémon. It’s just a refreshing perspective on your Pokémon that could prove helpful.


Hoarding Pokémon

A Party Hat Pikachu

A Party Hat Pikachu waiting to be traded.

I’ve seen many people talk about how they are preparing for when Niantic adds trading. Trainers have been keeping desirable Pokémon like regionals and Pikachu with hats with the intent to trade later. It’s fine to do this but keeping hundreds of them might not be necessary. Players can always catch their own regionals and event Pikachu could always come back. As for me, I do keep some of these exclusive Pokémon but with the intent of trading them to people who want them.


An Example

Here’s an example of the questions I ask when deciding to transfer a Pokémon. If I go down the questions and ‘no’ is the answer to the last question, I’ll transfer it.

  • Does it have sentimental value?
  • Is it a competitive Pokémon? (Gym Attacker/Defender?)
  • Does it have perfect IVs?
  • Does it have amazing IVs and it has potential? (Good move set)
  • Does it have okay IVs but I have a soft spot for it?
  • Can it be used to get evolution experience?

Now, I don’t actually ask these questions for every Pokémon but I usually can have them answer ‘yes’ to one of these questions.


How Often to Clear

The frequency at which you should free up Pokémon space matters as much as what you clear. If you do it daily after a short Pokémon session, you might mistakenly transfer something for the sake of transferring. If you wait until your inventory is full, you’ll spend a few hours checking stats and comparing. There needs to be a happy medium where you can get an idea of what catches you have to work with and save time.

Don’t get comfortable if you have a lot of free Pokémon slots. It becomes a time consuming task to clear it and you will eventually fill those slots and need more space.


I’ve outline my way of clearing my Pokémon and sometimes I don’t follow every rule. I still check IVs too often and will have to remind myself to just let it go. I worry that I’m transferring a perfect IV Pidgey and I’m missing out. However I realize a perfect, low CP Pidgey doesn’t spark joy for me and I would rather just transfer all of them in exchange for a peace of mind.

Consider these ideas and see what works for you.

Leek Duck

Leek Duck

Hey, I'm LeekDuck. I create Pokémon GO graphics and share Pokémon GO news. You can find them on my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook Page. You can also find me on YouTube but I haven't gotten around to that.