Organizing Your Inventory Part 1: Decluttering

This will be a two-part series giving some tips on organizing your inventory in Second Life.

I know people who have 50 000+ items in their inventories randomly scattered around who spend hours upon hours trying to find a single hairstyle or a piece of clothing, desperately hoping to remember the shop name or at least whether the item came in a box or in a folder.
If you recognize yourself in this description at least partially, this post is for you.

On the other hand, I am an organizing enthusiast, I make subfolders in folders in folders representing all sorts of categories.

  • For example in my “Body Parts” folder there are folders named “Hair”, “Skin”, “Shapes”, “Eyes” etc.
  • In the “Eyes” folder there are different subfolders for blue, green, grey, brown and even strange eyes.
  • And the “Blue eyes” folder also used to contain “Free blue eyes” and “Full perm free blue eyes” subfolders.

Wait… what? Why should I keep the full perm blue eyes anyway – they seem ugly and outdated!
I slowly came to realize that I had all these subfolders in folders in folders containing… junk.

The first point I am trying to emphasize here is:

You can’t organize clutter.

Before even trying any kind of categorization for your inventory, you have to get rid of anything you don’t really need, use or like. This is the reference point to start from.

The problem with junk in your inventory is that:

  • you lose time whenever you try to find something
  • it makes you procrastinate forever and feel bad about yourself – probably you have that “I am not organized enough”  or “I should categorize my inventory” feeling, but you don’t even want to start, you already feel overwhelmed in the face of this giant pile of 30 000 tattoos or ball gowns.

The second point I want to emphasize is:

“Junk” in the sense I use it is a personal concept, it refers to the stuff that clutters YOUR OWN inventory. As you know, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. You have to decide for yourself which one of your stuff is worth keeping, and which one is simply preventing you from finding the things you  really like.

With these thoughts in mind, during the last months I started to declutter my own inventory very vigorously.
I can give you some suggestions or rough guidelines that can help you get rid/let go of all the stuff in your inventory that is a pure clutter:

  • All too obvious freebies (since your first days in SL probably) that any casual newbie has in her inventory. Plus, most of these things can still be found easily later (in case you really miss them, which I doubt) in… the freebie packs for newbies.
  • Freebies from hunts you don’t really like and wear but feel like “ought” to keep just because you spent some (or lots of) time and effort to find.
  • Any piece of clothing, jewelry, body part or whatever you haven’t used for… like… months? Years? Get rid of it! Let go of the excuse “But I may need it later”; chances are you won’t need it, never! Plus, the quality of designs in SL got a lot better since 2006, so do you really need to keep that cheap textured fashion and system skirts anymore?
  • Any piece of clothing, jewelry or whatever that doesn’t match anything else you have and simply ruins your overall look.
  • Any body part, piece of clothing or accessory that doesn’t present you in your best light and doesn’t make you feel like the most fabulous, awesome and cool avatar under the SL sun! (In the end, it’s all about loving yourself, isn’t it? And since SL gives you the opportunity to be anything you want,  to look however you wish, and to feel beautiful, sexy and shining all the time, why should you keep anything that makes you feel less?
  • Notecards you never read (and probably never will), textures you never use, and landmarks to places you are not interested in visiting anymore (some of these places have changed locations long ago anyway). For me these were the easiest to get rid of, I deleted them in a bulk.
  • Pieces of furniture you don’t use and don’t like anymore (and don’t fit the overall style of your home or store).
  • Poses, animations and the like that make you feel and look awkward. (For example I got rid of all my gestures. I was never ever using them).
  • What about all those gadgets and accessories which only function is to be fun? If they don’t make you laugh anymore, or at least smile, why should you keep them? For example, I have a ghost dress with a dancing animation which I am personally very fond of because it brings some pleasant memories; that’s why I decided to keep her.  I am also a fan of all those food accessories, like bowls of cereals on your head. But how many variations of lollipops a girl may need?

Some other things are specific to the activities a person is engaged in. A builder will have a different type of clutter compared to a club owner, etc. (For example, I have a big collection of hair and clothing I keep for the sake of photographing my shapes. I had to let go of the outdated stuff. )

But whatever your SL activity, the rule of thumb is: Get rid of anything you don’t need, use and/or love. Simply delete it. (And don’t forget to empty the trash can immediately, before you have changed your mind).

WARNING: If you have an inventory of 100 000 items, you’d better not try to purge it all at once or you could quickly burn out. Start small – your inventory didn’t fill up in a day and probably won’t get fresh and clean in a day either.

Also, if you have that many stuff, probably it wouldn’t be wise to spend 2 minutes on each piece in your inventory reflecting: “Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it?” Sometimes it’s better to do like I did, and delete in a bulk – the whole folder “free blue eyes” went in the trash can as soon as I realized I didn’t need to keep it.

Remember, it’s not “all or nothing” activity, don’t overthink it and don’t overdo it. Make it fun, make it a play – you could challenge yourself on how much junk you can purge in 20 minutes? Life (also the second one) is better while playing games.

Do you have another idea that can help getting rid of the unnecessary stuff in our inventories?
I would also like to know how this system works for you: was it easy to implement? What’s the end result? Please comment!

The second post of this short series can be found here:  https://dagmarshapes.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/organizing-your-inventory-part-2-creating-folders/

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One thought on “Organizing Your Inventory Part 1: Decluttering

  1. Pingback: Organizing Your Inventory Part 2: Creating Folders « DagMar Shapes

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