I started this tutorial as a way to help a friend the other day. I thought others would find use in it too. Inventory management can become overwhelming if you let it. If you’ve been in SL as long or even longer than I have, it can feel like a task of mammoth proportions. If you’re like me, you’ve probably accrued a ton of crap over the years that you never used, is no longer usable, or is just plain fugly. And if you’re a blogger or you own a store, keeping your inventory somewhat organized helps you in the end to being more open to creation and finding the things that you need for your products or your posts.
I’ve had to rethink the system to fit my needs a few times. This is the reason why I am suggesting making a list and think about your inventory before you even begin organizing. The following is my way of doing things, you may figure out a system that is better and works better for you and your needs. This is how I keep my inventory organized…
- Hide System FoldersPre-PlanningHide System Folders
Hide System folders when empty (if you are using Firestorm) go to:
Preferences >>> User Interface >>> Interface Windows
Setting your your folders, they will disappear from the list. Then in the future whenever you have something that shows up in the system folders, you know you have things to file there.Pre-Planning
For me, I am a blogger, but I also do other things in SL like work for companies doing ads and working on the Relay For Life of SL team for UFS, so my main folders look like this screenshot.
This will be different for everyone. Second Life is so diverse and complex that these folders will be different for you. What we have in common is everyone will have, at the very least, an avatar, home and other folder. You may find that you need a roleplay folder for each type of roleplay group you belong to...or you may find that you just need something very simple. You may find you need something similar to what I have. Starting with a piece of paper and careful thought before you begin will help you determine the very first step in your spring cleaning... and it will cause you less stress and frustration. The goal is to declutter preparing for spring, not overwhelm yourself.
- Try not to feel overwhelmed when you first start. I know that's a huge task, but realize this isn't going to take minutes or a few hours. Depending on how much you have in your inventory, it could take months of slogging away at it... having a good system in mind and a good idea of where you'll be filing things at the start will really help you along the way.
- In the beginning, do not rezz or go through anything. The object of the declutter is to just file based on the name of the object/folder or by looking at its picture. You're not throwing away anything right now, you are just filling things away. Deleting will come later.
- Finally, write down the number of items in your inventory that you started with and put it somewhere special so you can refer back to it when you are done with spring cleaning. This way you can see what progress you made. Don't be surprised if your numbers fluctuate at times as well depending on what you unpack and what you do in SL. For me, depends on event whether my current inventory count goes up or not. When I started the SL Home & Garden this year, it went up a lot but then went back down after I sorted things. Just something to keep in mind as you go.
Take your time with each phase you face. Don’t overwhelm yourself or try to do so much in one day that you become burned out and give up. Spend 15 minutes to an hour each day sorting your items and then go do something else. If you want to do more in the day, split it up into segments of an hour at a time with several hours break in between. This breaks it up and makes it easier for you in the long run. Less stress, more fun.
1. Create your main folders based on the list you made from the general tips and the questions you asked yourself. For me, it was Avatar, Blender Classes, Blog Now, Boxes, Home, Other, Photography & Blogging, and Work. For you, it may just be Avatar, Home, Boxes, Other. If you're a store owner, it may include your store in the main folders.
NOTE: Make sure you have three * before each name of these folders so they will appear at the top of the list.
2. Make sure you've hidden your system folders. Then drag everything in the folders to your main inventory. Most of us have thousands of items in the Object folder so you can leave those items and deal with them later.
3. Beginning at the top, file everything into their perspective folders until your main inventory folders show up at the top of the list. Keep filing until your main inventory shows only your system folders that have stuff in them (like your calling cards folder or favorites and outfits... you cannot get rid of those) and your main inventory folders you created... like this:
Textures Note: For textures in your Photos and Textures folder, move those to a subfolder in your ***Other folder. I put mine in *Textures for the time being. You'll go through these in a later phase.
At this stage, your folders will look very messy. You may feel a bit overwhelmed at this stage, but keep in mind the next phase will clear up the disorder with subfolders. Enter into Phase Two!
Phase two consists of two parts (the third part is optional, but you'll eventually end up doing it so may as well get it out of the way now) that may take you several weeks to months to complete. It took me months to get through, but I also had a lot going on. If you file more often, it may take you a few months, but if you're like me, it could take up to a year (depending on what number you started with).
- Unbox all of your unopened boxes... any package that you find that is a product that's not opened yet, open it. Sometimes you can add many, sometimes you may end up only being able to rez the item. The goal is to unbox all of the packages that you've not opened yet. Then drag them into the folders that fit for that item.
- Starting with the "Avatar" folder, create several subfolders depending on your needs. For example, my folders consist of I have Accessories, Body/Head, Clothes, Hair. It will be different for everyone. Refer to the list you made. You might find you want to add a folder for Bakes on Mesh. This system is fluid! Change it if something doesn't work for you and try something else!
- Begin sorting the boxes in your Objects folder. Rez the items you don't recognize on your land or at a sandbox and decide if you want to keep them or throw them away. Do a little at a time since this step will take several days, depending on how many objects in your Object folder.
Note about Boxes folder: If you find your folder becoming too full like I did, you can use an organizer to store your backed-up boxes. I used Go Frock Yourself - Organizer.
Phase 3 consists of filing all your items within your main inventory subfolders into further subfolders. I will demonstrate it.
My inventory has ***Avatar. Inside that folder, I have *Accessories, *Body/Head, *Clothes, and *Hair... I may move my roleplay and costumes into this folder as well in the future, so I might end up with a fifth folder called *Roleplay/Costumes.
Creating your subfolders is very easy. Take the *Accessories folder from my inventory as an example. I have a lot of accessories, but you may only have a few so your folders will look different from mine in this example. For this folder, I started with the simple subfolders for accessories that I knew I had. Example: *Anklets, *Armbands, *Bags, and so on. So with this step, you first create some subfolders within your *Accessories folder based on the list you made in the beginning. Similar to:
- After you create your sub-sub folders, start filing into them. As you come across something that has no sub-sub folder, create it using the same method depending on what it is...for instance, if you have an item that is a mask, but you don't have a folder for "masks" yet, create one. Continue this method until all of your accessories are filed away.
- Repeat the above steps for the other sub-folders in the ***Avatar folder. For me, I have *Accessories, *Body/Head, *Clothes, and * Hair folders. Each of these folders has sub-folders that let me continue to divide the items down. For example, in the clothing subfolder, I have subfolders for pants, tops, and dresses. Model your folders on the list you made at the beginning and what you have in your inventory.
As you go, you’ll develop other phases as you figure out what you need your inventory to do for you. This tutorial is just a stepping off point to help you along the way. I wrote this as a way to help my friends with their inventory when they were struggling with it. There is no one way to do this; there is only the way that fits for you. I found when I first started this, my inventory was out of control. I was stressing trying to find items for each blog post and other events for activities in SL.
A few other things you can do when you’re bored and don’t want to work on organizing. You can set your inventory filters to each type, specifically Landmarks, Notecards, Animations, and Scripts. Then delete everything that you do not need. Delete all the landmarks from the store folders or things you bought. Learn to use the Teleport History and Search feature in SL more to get to where you need to go. See below for the list broken into chunks:
- Landmarks: Delete all landmarks that you absolutely do not need from folders.
- Notecards: Delete any notecard that is not needed, but keep anything that tells you how to use a product.
- Animations: Delete any animation that says “hold” or any kind of shopping bag animation.
- Scripts: Delete all scripts that are from boxes, join group scripts or config scripts found in shopping boxes. Make sure you keep your build scripts.
You can also search for specific terms like Thank You, Marketplace, READ ME, please read, and about. These items aren’t really needed after you read them the first time. I also delete copyright notecards because I already KNOW that these items are the copyrighted product of the person I bought them from. If you have full perm mesh items, you should already know the rules before you use them, etc. These are the only items I will keep copyright notices in so I can go into the card and see where I can use that mesh. Otherwise, on things that are not full perm or transfer, I delete this notecard.
The other thing that I go through and delete are Ad pictures from boxes, but I ONLY do this after I upload it to my CTS wardrobe. Doing these simple things, brought my inventory down about 20,000 items in addition to what I had already deleted.
As of today, I have around 88K inventory count, which is down from 179,000 items when I started last year. Like I advised at the start of this post, sit down with a piece of paper and write down your needs making a list of your categories and really think about what you need, and then go from there.
This is a system only you can devise that will fit how you live your Second Life. It’s also something you can transfer outside of SL into other areas of your life from Hard Drive organization to your blog. Have fun with it and try not to overwhelm yourself. I’ll write more about my current system and how it incorporates into CTS wardrobing for me…No one can really tell you how you live your life in Second Life. I can give my method, but it might not be right for you. Devise what fits for you. This is how I do it…Share your posts about how you organize in the comments! I’ll check it out! Have a great day, Adventurites! ~LA
CTS Wardrobe – By the time I am finished organizing my inventory, I plan to have everything listed on my CTS Wardrobe. This way I can go to it and see what a pose looks like without having to start it inworld. I can see what a hair looks like without opening up the Ad or putting it on. I can look on my CTS dashboard and then search for the item inworld. It is handy for more than clothing and attachments, I also use it for poses, furniture and landscaping items as well.
Go Frock Yourself Organizer – I use this to store my saved boxes. It is copy so you can use as many as you need to store items you don’t need to keep in your inventory. For me, I use it to store the saved store boxes.