SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Inventory Sorting: Baby Steps

*cracks knuckles* Right. Here we go.

We begin with our Kissed Hunt and Greatest Love Hunt inventory sorting marathon, and we start with baby steps. You’re probably staring, slack-jawed, at your inventory right now. I’d lay money on there being a lot of folders sitting below the final main folder you’re seeing, right?

OK, the first thing we’ve got to do is section stuff off. Right now, looking at that bewildering mass of hundreds of folders is very likely making you want to turn off the computer and go do some gardening/bellybutton fluff-picking/anything that gets you out of having to do something about it.

Hop behind the cut. Today is going to be all about sub-folders. These tips will work for any mass inventory-sorting session, but it’s especially good for hunts and for when you have a lot of items from one store or area.

The first thing you need to do is open up a second inventory window. If you don’t know how to do that, then in your inventory menus it’s File > New Window. Drag the second window alongside the first. Now it’ll be much easier to drag and drop stuff.

In the left window, open your Objects menu. Right-click the Objects folder, select New Folder and call it: !    KISSED HUNT. (Four spaces after the ! – this will pull it to the top of the folder list in your Objects folder) Then do the same again and call the second new folder: !    GREATEST LOVE  HUNT. (Four spaces after the !) This is assuming you did both hunts.

Now, in your right window, click the first folder you received in the Kissed Hunt. Hold down SHIFT and scroll down to the last folder from the hunt, then click that. All the folders in between your two clicks from that hunt should now be selected. Now drag those folders over to the left window, and onto the !    KISSED HUNT folder. Don’t move too slowly, or the left window folders might scroll and open, in that annoying way they have. Do the same thing for the Greatest Love Hunt items.

You’ve now sectioned those off into single folders that you can work with, and already that’s a much less oppressive feeling. But there’s still a good 200+ items in each of those new folders, right?

Split them down again. In the left window, open the !    KISSED HUNT folder and create four new folders: KH 1-50, KH 51 – 100, and so on until you’ve covered the whole number of items (I didn’t actually finish the hunt, so I’ve no idea how many items there are in total!) You don’t need the ! and spaces trick for this bit.

Head into the right window again and scroll up to find the ! KISSED HUNT folder in there. Again, hold SHIFT and click the first folder, and then the 50th folder. Drag those across to the left window and into the KH 1-50 folder. Carry on with the rest of the Kissed Hunt items. Then repeat this whole further sub-foldering process with the !    GREATEST LOVE HUNT folder.

OK, you now have sub-folders containing just 50 items each. You’ve gone from having a bewildering mess to having a do-able amount of folders. You can focus on just those 50 items at a time.

Head one folder level up (to the !    KISSED HUNT level) and create another new folder: UNPACKED.

Next, in your Objects folder, create another new folder (if you don’t already have it) – !     TO BE ARCHIVED (five spaces after the !, which will put it above the new Kissed and Greatest Love Hunt folders).

The last part of this bit is to create a new notecard in each folder. For the Kissed Hunt, call it KH LMs, and for the Greatest Love Hunt call it GLH LMs.  Your Object inventory folder should have the following sub-folders and notecards in it (although I’ve not put anything in most of my sub-folders yet) –

The next bit is important. RELOG. If you’ve been logged into Second Life for any amount of time, you’ve probably acquired items that will be clogging your Recent Items inventory tab, and you want that as empty as possible. So log out and log back in again.

OK, open up the first 50-item folder and start unpacking. If you have the prims spare on your land (and the space available) drag the first 10 or 20 hunt gifts out (without unpacking each) to save having to keep scrolling up to find where you’d got to, once the items start rolling into your inventory.

Some of the boxes might be no-copy. These will disappear from your inventory when you drag them in-world. If you intend to archive them, you’ll need to make sure you take them back into inventory. The safest bet is to take every box back into inventory and then delete the duplicates (they’ll be in the folders with the original boxes that didn’t disappear). You may find some of the boxes are completely empty once unpacked, so those can just be thrown away.

Unpack those 10 or 20 boxes, then take them back into inventory. Delete any duplicates that appeared in the original folders. Then drag the next 10-20 out, until you’ve finished that first 1-50 sub-folder.

Next, open up all the folders in the 1-50 folder, hold CTRL and click each of the boxes inside. Then drag all of them into the !     TO BE ARCHIVED folder. Delete the now-empty folders that contained the boxes. You’ve now opened the first 50 boxes.

Head into your Recent Items inventory tab. In there you’ll see all 50+ (some hunt prizes contained more than one object) items you’ve unpacked. Open up all the folders, hold CTRL and click all the landmarks you find, then drag them into the KH LMs notecard.

Once the LMs are in the notecard, delete them from the folders. Make sure you save the notecard regularly.

Delete any hovering text, give inventory, rotation and other scripts you find in the folders, plus any notecards that (once you’ve given them a quick look-over) aren’t of any actual use. (Useful notecards tell you how to change colour/texture, resize the item, work the radio etc. Non-useful ones say things like, “Thanks for buying this item!” or are in a language you don’t speak.) Delete anything you know you already have: primarily pose stands. You should just be left with the items themselves, and nothing else.

Hold SHIFT, select first and last folders, then drag those across into the UNPACKED folder inside your main hunt folder.

Head into that UNPACKED folder. Now you have two choices. You can either file and sort the items, unseen, into your inventory’s main folders (not recommended!) or you can take the time to try on all clothing items and throw away anything you don’t like. Be ruthless with this. Can you see yourself ever wearing that? Is it specific to Valentine’s Day and something you wouldn’t normally wear, such as a dress covered in hearts that poufs red particles, or something? If you really don’t see yourself wearing it, then chuck it. Your inventory’s heaving enough as it is.

Work through that entire UNPACKED folder of 50 items. Sort as you go. Got something with several outfits together in the same folder? Take the time now to make new folders in the relevant top level Clothing folder, and sort them out. In this example, the Alphamale gift comes with a multi-layer army t-shirt, a beanie hat, and a pair of jeans. I filed the beanie in Clothing > Accessories > Hats, and created new folders for both the jeans and the army t-shirt layers, and filed those in Clothing > Pants, and Clothing > T-shirts.

This is what I mean by ‘baby steps’. Deal with smaller, workable quantities of items – in this case, just 50 hunt gifts – and you won’t get overwhelmed and give up. It’ll take a while to work through all the hunt gifts like this, but do one full set of 50, then take a break. Come back and do the next 50, or do those on another occasion. The important thing is: you already have them sectioned off in their own folders. You’ll know how far you’ve got, because unpacked folders are empty, with no little ‘open’ arrow beside them:

And those folders won’t be clogging up your main inventory, making you throw up your arms and leg it off for a stiff drink.

Good luck!


February 22, 2009 - Posted by | hints and tips, inventory management, second life


  1. Dammit! Why oh why didn’t I find this before I unpacked 230 boxes from the GL Hunt and everything else I found on the way?? My inventory is a mess. Ah well, I’ll know better next time. I’m off for that stiff drink you mentioned now:)

    Comment by Blanche Blaisdale | February 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Ouch! Yes, Blanche, it’s harder to sort a messy inventory (as I know only too well!) or a part-unpacked series of items than it is something a bit more well-ordered.

    I guess one day we’ll all attain that dream of an organised inventory. Until then, it’ll be Christmas every day as we find stuff we’d completely forgotten we had (or that we’d accidentally dragged and dropped into the wrong folder!)

    Comment by Mar | February 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. I have a couple of suggestions for improving your technique:

    1) Don’t wait till after the hunt to make those folders, do it when you find that first prize. Use Recent Items to make regular deposits into this folder, and you won’t have to wade through them later.

    2) You do not have to log off to clear your Recent Items – just Show Filters and set it to show what you received in the last hour.

    Comment by Firebird | April 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Very good points, Firebird. Filing and sorting as you go along is much better than leaving it until the end of the day, primarily because by the end of the day (especially after a long hunt) most of us are pretty knackered and just think, “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow,” and before we know it, we’re snowed under.

    Comment by Mar | April 24, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] Baby Steps – sorting the mess of boxes and folders from two Feb 2009 Mega Valentines hunts […]

    Pingback by Inventory Management 101 « SL for Nowt « Ashes To Ashes, Sale To Sale | July 15, 2009 | Reply

  6. Heya Mar,

    I just found your blog and started reading your inventory management series. Thanks so much for taking the time to give us these tips, they are all very good but the one I am currently drooling over is the creating of a new Inventory Window to do drag and drops. I KNEW there had to be a better way than scrolling all the way up or down through my inventory every time I wanted to drop something into a different folder. This tip alone will make sorting my inventory so much easier!

    Thanks again and I’ll be adding your blog to my blog roll at Best wishes!

    Comment by Bryn | July 20, 2009 | Reply

  7. Hi, Bryn :)

    Oh good lord, you were scrolling up and down? That must have driven you crazy! I’m so glad the tips helped, and especially the new window one.

    Comment by Mar | July 20, 2009 | Reply

  8. […] up to you). You might want to have a folder with all your landmarks from in-world hunts (see this post for my tip on that!). You might want to keep a folder for Sales/Hunts I Don’t Want To Miss […]

    Pingback by Inventory Management: Notecards « SL for Nowt | November 13, 2010 | Reply

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