SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Inventory sorting: I’m on a mission!

OK, I had to clear my cache last time I was on SL, and when I logged today I sat here for flipping EVER while I waited for it to load. The horrendous total that greeted my eyes was just short of 30,000 items.

I have a 30K inventory O_o

Something needs to be done, damn it. And the first thing I did was open up a few of those folders to take a peek, and I asked myself the same questions I ask when I’m reluctant to throw anything out of my RL wardrobe: “Well, are you ever gonna really wear that? When was the last time you did wear it. Do you even like it?”

The simple answers to those questions were: “Nope. God knows; I can’t remember! Um, probably not.”

Buuuuuut-but-but-BUT! If you’re anything like me, you just hate throwing things out, right? Never know when they may come in handy, yeah? Which is why that old t-shirt that’s three sizes too small is mouldering and growing new lifeforms down the back of your wardrobe, under the piles of shoes and old smelly trainers that you tell yourself you’ll keep for ‘dirty jobs’ like painting and gardening…

Yeah, yeah. Every excuse under the sun. No more. I’m cracking my knuckles and getting stuck in.

Step 1: Delete the obvious.

I have all the Eloh skins, in all the colours. Each set of skins comes with the same eyebrows, the same two licensing and info notecards, and the same LM to Eloh’s Another Shop store. While I’m realistically not going to wear all of those skins, I’m going to be boxing them up for a free girl’s starter kit very soon, so I don’t want to archive them just yet. However, I only need one of those licensing notecards and one of those LMs, and one full set of the eyebrows. So I’m deleting the others. I’m also deleting all the ‘hovertext’, ‘floating text’, and ‘hovering text’ scripts that I can find via search, and as many of those “thanks for buying my stuff!” notecards that don’t have any useful things in them, such as a landmark I might not have.

Step 2: Make a LOT of boxes.

I’m going to be archiving everything I don’t want, rather than just deleting it. So, rather than rezzing a new box every time, I’m rezzing one box, then holding down shift and dragging a new box from that one. Selecting those two, I shift-drag to create two more. Link those four, shift-drag… now I have eight. You get the picture. Much quicker to click each one in turn than to create it. And because I like little details, I put a nice wooden crate texture on the first box before I started creating all the others.

Step 3: Start archiving.

This is the bit that takes ages, but my inventory is fairly-well divided and sub-divided into folders by now, so I can open up each folder and archive them all in turn. First to go? Oh God, those freebie animations that we all have. Why do I keep THOSE?! I never use them. Well they’re going into one of those boxes, damn it.

Step 4: Little and often.

I’m not going to get bogged down in this, but there’s going to come a time when I’m sick of doing it. That time will, I suspect, be when I’m at the stage of having to try on outfits to see what they are (one good reason why I never delete the snapshots that content creators put in with their creations: they help me to see exactly what’s in that folder!) So once that point comes, I’ll take it five outfits at a time. The stuff I’ve not worn in ages, or that doesn’t fit with Mar’s image as she looks now, I’ll archive.

I’d already archived and deleted a load of skins by the time I took this little screenshot, but this is where I am right now:

The animations are currently going into an archive box. Gestures (which I never use but seem to have hundreds of) will be next. Let’s see if I can get down to 25K by the end of today…

ETA: Well, it took a while, but I did it! I’m down below 25K at last, and here’s the proof:

Poor Mar sits down to have a break:


August 3, 2008 - Posted by | inventory management, mar's ponderings, second life |


  1. Hello again! I have a quick question for you. I tried archiving some of my items from inventory as you suggested above. Is there a way to get an item or two that I’ve archived and put back into my inventory without having to copy every item archived???
    I hope my question makes sense :)

    Comment by trishagelber | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi, Trisha :)

    Yes, there is. Just rez the prim that you archived the items into, then look in that prim’s Contents tab. Click the item(s) that you want and then just drag them into your inventory again. If they are items you can copy, then you’ll still have them in the archive prim, and also in your inventory, but if they are no-copy then you’ll lose them from the prim and will have to remember to re-archive them later.

    Comment by Mar | October 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. Worked like a charm!!! Thanks again for sharing your SL wisdom with the rest of us :)

    Comment by trishagelber | October 13, 2008 | Reply

  4. I’d like to add a quick hint: Whenever I throw stuff into archive boxes, I put (arc) at the end of the name. That way I know it’s one of my own archive boxes, as opposed to something from a store that hasn’t been unboxed yet. It also makes it easy to find them in my inv – just enter (arc) into the search and all those little boxes show their shiny faces.

    Comment by Firebird | April 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. Good tip, Firebird. I usually start mine with ‘Archive’ (or a shortened version, such as the one you gave).

    I do need to start archiving again. It’s a never-ending job. My inventory has crept back up again after all the recent hunts and whatnot, and my in-world time has been limited so I tend to grab, take pics, then log off to do blogposts, and never get back to the archiving thing. Bad Mar, no biscuit!

    Comment by Mar | April 24, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thanks so much for this site, I just came upon it as I was pondering how to organize my inventory. You have some great tips that I want to put into play.

    My first “silly” question is when one builds a box to archive, can one transfer an entire folder or do you have to open the folder and then put into the box contents. Because if the folder is named so you can recall what it is, if you have to archive the individual items, they dont have the name by which you had originally filed.

    Or am I doing something wrong?

    Please advise when you can. Thank you so much.

    Comment by Karrie | September 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Karrie :)

      To answer your question (which isn’t silly at all!), you can’t archive a folder. If you try to drag a folder into an archive prim, only its contents will transfer to the prim. Because of that, if you want to archive several different foldered outfits into one prim, you need to put each outfit into its own prim first, and name that prim after the outfit: something like Archive: Red Ballgown. Then, take those prims into inventory and move them from inventory into the main archive prim.

      It’s a bit of a convoluted way of doing things, but sadly it’s the only way available to us at the moment.

      Comment by Mar | September 17, 2010 | Reply

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