Zen And The Art Of Managing Your Pokémon Storage

As we welcome the new year I thought now was as good a time as any to take stock of where I am with respect to my Pokémon storage and what, if anything, I can do to free up space ready for 2024 and all the new challenges and events that are coming.

I have been putting off doing a proper clean up for a while and now whenever I open my Pokémon storage:

is the only way I can describe what I am faced with.

It can, at times, feel like you are the only one without a handle on your bursting-at-the-seams Pokémon storage. But thankfully you are not alone. After asking around, pretty much most of the GO Hub Staff and Writers are in the same situation to varying degrees, describing themselves thusly:

kittyPokémonsalot: Costume collector, Turtwig hoarder, compulsive saver for trades that never happen

Spindiana: Minimalist. Usually just one of each for living dex (including shinies), sometimes extra legendaries for lucky trades

JTSizzler: PvP hoarder, saving multiple IV variants for GBL, shiny living Dex grinder

phrixu: Miserably low storage capacity, but insatiable need to keep every good stat ‘mon I catch. Finding a balance hasn’t quite happened

Zer0ghan – Guilty as hell (of not tidying up when needed)

BlueNephros (Me): Hoarder extraordinaire with PvP meta irrelevant ‘mon to the extreme.

So where to begin on this quest for Pokémon Storage Zen.

First things first: Keep what you love and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Like kittyPokémonsalot would never give up her Turtwigs and that’s beautiful and should be celebrated.

But you’re not here to discuss what you already know and are already keeping. No, you are here to find out how to make the tough choices when it comes to cleaning up, de-cluttering, and applying some much needed Feng Shui to your storage ready to refill it and do the same next year (we all know that is what is going to happen don’t deny it).


What to keep and what to transfer to the Professor to live out their lives in a happier place (for realsies that’s what happens and not the grinder like some people say) can sometimes come down to the memories the Pokémon evoke.

If you are still lucky enough to have your starter Pokémon or some of your very first catches then keeping them as mementos of where it all began for you is certainly something I wished I had done, my oldest Pokémon date from 1 month after I started from August 2016 and I didn’t keep my starter, I can’t for the life of me remember what it was now which is a shame.

But whilst nostalgia is a good reason to not to transfer it can also cause clutter. Something you might want to consider with older Pokémon you have in your storage is the potential for them to be used as guaranteed lucky trades. Using this excellent article, phrixu tells you all you need to know about utilizing your older Pokémon to maybe get something more useful or more prestigious.

Again, if like Marie Kondo says “if it brings you joy, then keep it”, whether its nostalgic or not. But if you are just keeping it around because its one of the oldest in your collection but really that’s the only reason then maybe think about using it to get something more useful. I mean that 2017 low IV Weedle is just begging to be lucky traded with someone (who is happy to get a lucky Weedle) for a Mewtwo with the chance of it being a lucky hundo.


Continuing the trading theme but for those that aren’t guaranteed to be lucky trades, a good way to make use of stored Pokémon is for general trading with friends. You might have something they need and vice versa, so do you really need that 20th high(ish) IV of the same Pokémon when it, and probably the 18 other also not quite good enoughs, could be used to do enough trades that a random lucky trade could happen. 

Interesting Reasons To Keep

Over the years I have been playing the game I’ve heard and come up with many reasons for keeping Pokémon, some have stayed on, others have fallen by the wayside. 

Legacy Moves

One of the more interesting reasons to keep Pokémon would be Legacy Moves. These move sets are either no longer available or can only be obtained from Elite TMs (in some cases this is not possible). They are sought after by collectors of unique move configurations. These are in some cases very useful, in others just interesting quirks of the times when the moves were available.

Living Pokédex

Keeping 1 of each Pokémon as a living Pokédex can be a fun challenge and once complete others have then challenged themselves to get 1 of each for a shiny living Pokédex as well. When sometimes the events seem a little lackluster these personal challenges can help keep you out catching when you might otherwise stay home.

Hundos, Nundos, Level 1s and Interesting/Fun CPs

I’ve encountered a few people obsessed with Level 1 Pokémon and having a Level 1 living Pokédex, others who will only keep 100% IVs or those wanting to collect 0% IVs. 

And then there are those who like fun CP for their catches, their birth year, the number of the beast and other such CPs. 

There are for sure many other reasons to keep and collect Pokémon but these 4 seem to be the most prevalent when it comes to CPs, Levels or IVs.

Vacation Pokémon

You got some Ice Type Pokémon on your trip to somewhere snowy, or some Fire Types in a hot country, or just one of your favorites on a vacation that you really enjoyed and you’ve named it the place where you caught it. Either way vacation Pokémon are a cute reminder of happy holidays, but maybe you only need 1 or 2 of the best to keep those memories fresh.

Pokémon From Around The World

Vacation Pokémon are not the only way to obtain Pokémon from different countries. Countless of us have friends on our Friends List that are in different countries and from their gifts we get Pokémon marked with the source of the gifts location. 

I personally am trying to collect a Pokémon from every country the game can be played in, but I only ever keep the relevant and highest IV versions of these. I do however have a burgeoning screenshot gallery of them and a map marked where I have received eggs from. One way I keep from overloading my Pokémon storage.

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.

All the costumes we have now, all the variants, all the hats and scarves and glasses and the suchlike our Pokémon get to wear during special events. We love them all…. maybe a little too much. Events with costumed Pokémon, especially those that are shiny, play havoc with our storage and then they are lost to mists of time until we do a check for how many Pikachu’s we have and realize that they take a solid chunk of storage on their own. 

The Counter Argument

These are all interesting reasons to keep Pokémon. But they can be used as guides as to whether you need to keep them. If they don’t meet your criteria – whatever that may be – of interesting, unique or useful then maybe its time to send them on their way to live in that happier place I mentioned earlier ………. shush all your grinder people its not true la la la la I can’t hear you!!!

Trade older, legacy move sets or Level 1 Pokémon for either guaranteed lucky trades or to help out collectors as well as to make a friends day.

Screenshot the Pokémon from Vacations to keep with your other holiday memories or those from eggs from gifts from your Friends List to keep a scrapbook of where you have received them from. Make sure when you do that you screen shot the bottom half of the page with the location the Pokémon was caught/gifted from so as to make it even more specific.

Keep your living Pokédex to the minimum of 1 of each member of a family if you can and only keep multiples of Meta Relevant Pokémon.  

Transfer the 98 IV (or less that you are keeping around) Pokémon if you have the Hundo as well. 



With GO Hub event guides being published regularly you can keep up to date with what’s coming and what we feel are the the best bang for your buck when it comes to what to focus on in each event. Again this all comes down to personal preference but readying that Meta Relevant Pokémon to evolve during an event that you’ve had in storage for a while means that you may not need to keep any of what you catch during the event and you can do catch and release in batches.

Preparing by slimming down what you have to make the most of your storage on the day or days of the event is what this article is aiming to help with, but equally knowing what you are going to focus on so as to not catch too much of what you don’t need serves a similar purpose so read the articles, digest what’s relevant to you and only focus on that, can help reduce the clutter you have to deal with later.


Events like spotlight hours where they have double candy for transfers or evolution can be helped by tagging all the Pokémon you are going to transfer or evolve to make them easy to select or work on. 

Taking a look at our guide to tagging can give ideas on how to organize not just those you want to transfer away but also how to organize your living Pokédex to be more meaningful or helpful.

Much like the idea that if you organize your wardrobe into 2 sections: a section for all your clothes at the beginning of the year; an empty section where once worn the clothes are then hung, you will find by the end of the year that you have clothes in the original section that you’ve not worn that maybe you could get rid of, a similar system could be employed with tagging, anything that you can’t tag for a specific reason might be a candidate to be transferred to free up space.

Post Event Clean Up

Community Day – My personal method is evolve 1 shiny to each of the family and keep only the best 2 or 3 (depending on the family size). Then with the non shinies everything but potential Meta Relevant IVs and the highest IV for each member of the evolution family is transferred. Then the final run through checking the potential Meta Relevant Pokémon against my favorite rank checker to find the final list of those that I can evolve. Everything else goes on a trip to the Professor.

Other Longer Events – I tend to copy the Community Day clean up on a daily basis but hold off on the Meta Relevant transfers until I get higher ranked catches. If today I have more highly ranked Pokémon than yesterday, yesterdays get transferred, if not then yesterdays are kept.

Either for Events or Community Days a good way to sort through the catches quickly is to use the search shortcuts documented thoroughly here. I also have some text shortcuts added to my dictionary on my phone to make searching even quicker using 4 character codes for much larger search terms.

Transferring all but the prestigious to have (costumed shinies for example) and the Meta Relevant for the current season once an Event ends should free up the space you made for the event. Go through the costumed Pokémon as soon as the Event ends, keep the best, transfer the rest. You will regret it when the next Event comes along and you haven’t cleared out the hatted Pikachus from the last one and there are new ones incoming.

PvP Meta

Part of post event clean up is to sort through what has been caught and find the Meta Relevant that are worth keeping for the current season or those who have potential in the future. This is hit and miss most of the time trying to predict the future season changes to moves and who will benefit and who will lose out so you may want to just stick to what is relevant for the current season. 

Keep what it relevant, transfer what is not. This is, of course, if you are interested in Meta Relevant Pokémon. If not then these can go with the rest of the not good enough IVs and be transferred for an extended vacation with the Professor.

Canon Fodder For Gyms

One technique to make use of those Pokémon you might want to send off to their happier lives upstate on the farm – seriously people let me have my dreams – is to use them to populate gyms once you’ve battled them down. When they come back then send them on their way to the professor, they earned some coins so were useful and then they give you some candy as well. Its a win win and a way to constantly use non relevant Pokémon in a constructive way. It also pushes you to take gyms and get coins. You may reach the 50 coin limit quickly but then again you might need all of them to do their bits to reach that limit.

Me And My Shadow

Another group of Pokémon that seem to hang around when they may be better off being transferred are Shadow Pokémon. Again as with regular Pokémon look for those that have high IVs or are highly ranked and keep them. The rest purify (they will thank you for it) if you can before sending them off to live much happier lives with the Professor.


What works for you may not work for someone else, what you love about your collection makes it special and makes it worth keeping, these hints and tips are just here to maybe prompt anyone wanting to try to tidy up a bit on things they may not have thought about. I’m sure there are plenty of other tips out there a quick search gives a plethora of sites with their 10 tips for storage zen and the such like. 

I try to follow some of these myself and really should invest some time in a good tidy up, I have hundreds of locations that I need to scrap book and let go of and will get to eventually. I have loads of Shadow Pokémon that need working through, that I will get to eventually.

It’s a constant battle when there are so many events either running concurrently or with very little gap to breath so doing it as you go is always better than trying to find the time to go back and clear up later.

But if a Pokémon brings you joy and you have the space, keep it and love it for what it means to you. 

Author & tags

Not really a Zangoose but relates on a spiritual level. Night owl, lover of sci fi and an erstwhile writer. Old enough to know better. (Profile picture is - Under Village Bridge by BrainDeadMareep on DeviantArt)

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