May 5, 2011

Tips & Tricks: Inventory Reduction & Organization

You know those new shows that you see so often on reality TV about hoarders?  Yeah… go ahead. Admit it.  Raise your hand if you are one of THOSE people in your virtual lives.  You go to find a pair of jeans and it takes you twenty minutes.  You rummage through your objects folder for a specific piece of furniture and it ends up missing.  I was one of those types.  One of the notorious SL hoarders.  That was until I decided to take action.  With the help and encouragement of copious amounts of coffee, more spare time then I knew what to do with, and tips and tricks from in world friends, plurk friends, and many others I finally decided to get organized.

About five months ago my inventory was sitting at just under 50,000 items.  I couldn’t find anything.  At all.  I got so tired of looking for a specific pair of shoes or a shirt that I’d been wanting to wear that I would just give up and go shopping, spending unnecessary lindens when I had the exact item I needed somewhere buried in my messy virtual closet.  It was quite shameful really.  In my real life I’m relatively organized and neatly kept, but in my virtual life I was a slob!

Bear with me because this post will be lengthy but I do hope that it inspires you to do what I did, and take initiative in organizing your own inventory and your virtual life.  Linden Lab says on their Wiki that inventorys with over 10,000 items can cause lag for you in world.  Whether this is a rumor or not I’m unsure, but I did see a slight different in my own performance after I organized.

I’m not quite done with my inventory organization but I can tell you i’ve gone from just under 50k to just above 11k.  *beams proudly*  I hope the following helps you as it did me.

Inventory Organization

The first step to a great inventory is organizing what you have.  While I organized I got rid of all of the unnecessary things I didn’t use any longer.  Having the folders you want in advance helps to put things into places while you go.  Below is a detailed outline of how my inventory is set up.  You can obviously organize yours into your own personal set of folders but this will give you an idea of how detailed I was when I went about my organizing.  Feel free to use this and add your own personal flair to it. I will list the generic standard folders given and then the folders i’ve created right after to show how I’ve broken my inventory down.


– ao

– couples

– dance

– huds

– misc


– avatars

– eyes

– fantasy

– hair

– makeup

– nails

– shapes

– skins

– tattoos


(i never keep these.)


– accessories

– bodysuits

– coats

– dresses

– eighties

– goth

– gowns

– lingerie

– pajamas

– pants

– shirts

– shoes

– skirts

– sports

– swimwear


(whatever i’m wearing at the time listed here)




all my gestures. i deleted all the ones i never use.


All of my landmarks listed on an organized NC.


I check this often


(empty…but i’ve heard can be useful)


– business

– special

– important

– roleplay

– misc


– 7 seas

– building

– food/drink

– home/garden

– pets

– tools

– toys

– misc


– flickr

– friends

– good times

– harlow

– rl

– misc


(all my scripts are here. i have a limited few useful ones)


(empty for me)


– texture organizer (filled with all my textures. I use the Kinex one)

– folder of my boxed up textures


(empty this daily)


– All my AO animations

– NC for built in AO

Altitude (personal folder) (personal folder)

Photography (personal folder)

The Pixel Bean (personal folder)


Tips and Tricks

Now that i’ve given you a personal look inside my inventory and some ideas for how to start organizing your own lets move onto some tips and tricks you can use to jump start and maintain your organized inventory.

1. Be honest with yourself. This was one of the hardest things for me to cope with when deleting old stuff for my inventory.  There is no such thing as a rational hoarder.  Ask yourself…Will I ever wear this again?  When was the last time I wore/used it?  Will I miss it if it’s gone?  Things become outdated in SL and quite honestly you probably have quite a few items stashed in folders that you’ve either forgotten about, or found a better replacement for.

2. Delete the unnecessary. So many folders when you purchase an item contain extra NCs, extra LMs that you already have copies of, useless scripts and so on.  Get rid of them!  Also once you unpack the folder, most of the time it’s unnecessary to keep the box or bag that the product came in.

3. Lots of textures? Invest in an organizer. Best decision I ever made.  You can put all your textures into it, take it up as ONE item and box up the rest of your textures to store at a low capacity in your inventory.  Plus all your textures are organized into categories.  I use the Kinex organizer and I am OBSESSED with it.

4. Use two windows when organizing. Some viewers may not allow you to do this but if you can, you go to “file>>>new window” in your inventory window.  This will bring up two windows which makes it super helpful when organizing and deleting items.

5. NC your LMs. I’ve put all of my landmarks into an organized, alphabetized, and categorized NC.  This way you don’t have a ton of LMs clogging up your inventory and they are all on one simple NC.  Super duper helpful!

6. Filter Search is handy! If you go to the top of your inventory window on some viewers (I use Phoenix) you can do a filter search and search by the type of item that is in your inventory.  This is very helpful when wanting to delete all that “extra junk” out of folders including textures, ads, NCs, and extra LMs.  It also helps me catch duplicate items easier…which leads to my next point.

7. Check for duplicates! So many times when you put a piece of decor, or unpack an item you take it back up into inventory when you are finished with it.  Many of these items are copyable and then create duplicates in your inventory.  All unnecessary to keep.  Going through your folders and getting rid of these will lower your inventory count quite a bit.

8. Box old photos. If you have a lot of photos that you can’t bear to part with (and I think it’s silly to get rid of the memories as well) box them up into a prim and take them back into inventory naming them something such as “Photos Spring 2011″ etc.  This way you still have your photos if you ever want to reminisce but they are all stored in a single prim and keeping your inventory count low and clutter free.

9. Remain organized. Anytime I purchase something new I first go through the folder and “clear out the junk”.  Then I put the folder in the appropriate location after I’ve used it.  As a blogger often times if it’s an item I want to blog I put it in the “Blog this” folder within my “” folder.  This is so helpful if you receive a lot of review copies as well because you don’t lose track of what you still want/need to blog in the future.

10. Nightly sweep. At night right before I go to bed I check my lost & found to make sure no items have been returned to me.  I then delete any NCs, LMs, random textures i’ve received that I do not want to hold onto.  I then empty my trash! This helps me keep my inventory organized daily so I never get to a point where I’m overwhelmed and holding onto a junk filled inventory!

I hope this blog post really motivates you to get organized!  Feel free to pass it along to anyone and post it on your own blog referring back to this.  I would love for this to be helpful to anyone and everyone!  If i’ve forgotten anything feel free to comment below and leave your own tips and advice!  I would love to see how other people stay organized!  Thank you again to everyone who offered their advice to go along with this post! :) Happy organizing everyone!



  • Great list and tips, Harlow! I loooove a good inventory purge.

    • Thank you sweetie!! It felt good to purge that’s for sure! :)

  • I am very impressed. Did you have goals? Like, I want to get rid of 100 items today? Or did you just keep at it until you got to a number you considered manageable?

    • I drank a lot of coffee and just kept chugging along. LOL!

  • Fun to see your list. Mine is similar except that I never keep shapes or gestures and I have a ton of content creation stuff that I can’t delete. I, personally, have never noticed a difference in performance before and after a big inventory toss. I am guessing that is The Labs WANTING us to keep things down. Then again it might depend on your system and connection; mine is good.

    I also have hundreds of animations which I have categorized. I have tossed the ones that don’t work for me and that I don’t like but I am guessing about 500 which I actually DO USE – LOL. So, I am currently around 26,000 — up from a long time 15,000. I also have class stuff and lesson plans and tons of very excellent homewares and plants. So in my mind I am doing well. Your tips were all good ones.

    One thing I read in another inventory hint list was to search for scripts and delete all the unpacking ones you get. You can also search for pose stands (I actually never use them any longer but one is plenty)and duplicate landmarks — for that matter duplicate anything as long as it is copy. I use my landmarks too often to deal with notecards, but that is a good idea too.

    Also, for anyone packing up things for safe keeping, here is a “learned the hard way” tip. Make a BRAND NEW BOX each time. I though I was so clever and packed a bunch of things in a book and kept it rezzed in world (things have disappeared many times from my inventory over the years – I have little faith). Then somewhere along the line the BOOK reverted to its empty state taking all my goodies with it. That was long ago, but I have had similar things happen so brand new box and I personally would have one in my inventory and in world for copy items.

    People using a Viewer 2 can of course use the new Outfit method delete any old outfits; that saves tons if you are like me. I doubt I will ever be in the Viewer 2 camp unless LL closes the grid to Viewer 1s (unlikely). So I just go through old outfits now and then carefully deleting COPY items *wink*.

    Oh the joys.

    Fun to read. Enjoy that good feng shui.

    • Chic! Wow! I so enjoyed reading your added advice for this post! I’ve had quite a few “learn the hard way” moments myself in SL. I guess that’s the only way for us to learn and NOT make the same mistake again eh? Thank you for taking the time to write this out and add to my post! <3

  • Great post Harlow!
    My Inventory is more or less like yours.
    In clothing I also have sub folders for colors inside the clothes types, for hair with types of hair (long, short, up-dos…)
    As for the LMS, I separate the notecards in types (like clubs, exploring, Clothing Stores, Furniture…)
    Trying to keep it under 55k LOL
    Keep up the good work :o)

  • This is an awesome post! I am always trying to clean out inventory but now I think I will go by these tips here! Thanks bunches.

  • […] A wonderful man bought me this dress not to long ago and I totally forgot I had it! Which I do often. And is also why I am in the process of cleaning my inventory. Doing a total overhaul, thanks to reading a certain post on Harlow Heslops’ blog. It was all about cleaning your inventory, and how much it actually makes  a difference. Make sure to check out that page here! […]

  • […] need my Second Life experience was much smoother.  Need inventory organization tips? Check out my tips on […]

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