Inventory Bloat – Thanks, BOM!

Who has the biggest inventory?

Now that Bakes On Mesh (BOM) has hit the grid, things have changed.

While I am excited for all the old (and new!) stuff I can now wear easily with BOM and without faffing with a zillion appliers, I am NOT excited about the inventory bloat I see headed my way.

Unless you’re an old SL’er from way back, like me, you may not remember how all the system layers worked.  But we never had enough of them.  When mesh bodies hit the grid, suddenly everything became appliers (HUDs with whatever you needed to wear/apply loaded into them).  So instead of 20 thongs in 20 colors in my inventory, I had one mesh thong, and HUD that would let me change it into 20 different colors.  20 items vs 2 items was a blessing for my inventory.

But now that system layers are back with BOM, I can easily see my inventory creeping up every time I buy something.  Because some people will want the system layers, but others will still want the appliers – so creators will provide them all.  Who doesn’t want to keep their customers happy?

But that means I could end up with 24 items – the 20 BOM system layers in different colors AND the mesh item AND the HUD/applier.

I may have to become ruthless when it comes to new purchases.  I’m still on the fence about unboxing my old inventory stuff as well.  I mean, while it’s great that I can wear a skin I purchased in 2013, do I really want to?  Is it worth spending the time unboxing everything just to see?

When I box something up in RL, my rule is that I haven’t needed it in 6 months or longer, it goes.  It clearly wasn’t something I needed.  (There are exceptions, of course – seasonal clothing and decorations, things like that.)  But since my SL inventory is, in theory, infinite – maybe they can just stay in boxes for now and I can wait another 5 years for a trip down memory lane.

We’ll see.  In the meantime, I definitely have some purging to do!  If you need tips for managing your own inventory, I’ve written some tips and tricks here.  It’s still useful information. 🙂

Inventory Organization

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I like to think of myself as a very organized person.

I make lists, I keep a calendar of activities, and I plan ahead.

Because I like things to be organized, I keep my inventory organized.

My husband is just the opposite.

His inventory drives me batty and I’ve been known to log in and secretly organize his inventory while he is elsewhere. 🙂

Of course, then he complains he can’t find anything, because why would you look for pants in the folder labeled ‘pants’?

After coming across yet another post about organizing inventory, I started to wonder how other people organize their inventories.

Or if they even bother.

There is no universal ‘best way’ to organize, and some of the advice I’ve read on the subject seems backwards to me.

I have no idea how people with large inventories don’t go crazy – mine is sitting at around 36K at the moment, and that seems hugely wasteful to me.

Especially as I know that fully half of it is stuff that I a) probably will never use, b) stuff I haven’t used since I got it, and/or c) stuff I should just toss.

Yet as ruthless a declutterer as I can be in RL, I’m a closet hoarder in SL.

I can’t bear to just throw things away.

I have no idea why.

One of my goals this year was to go through my wardrobe and pare it down.

It’s a project that I’ve been working on slowly.

Nai’s 365 challenges have given me an excuse to gallivant all over SL in various outfits, taking pictures.

For whatever reason, after I have taken a picture of the outfit, I have no problem at all tossing it in the delete pile.

I guess I need some sort of memento of it before I can get rid of it.

Which is okay – I’ve been taking more pictures, exploring SL more, and working on my photography skills all at the same time!

I’m slowly working my inventory number down (except for all the darn sales that seem to be going on!) and I thought I’d share a few organization tips.

Take them or leave them – as I said, there’s no ‘universal’ advice for organization, just pick what works for you. 😛

One of the first things you need to know to organize your inventory is the hierarchy of folders (which you can change).

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There are two main folders in your inventory – one labeled My Inventory and one labeled Library.

The library folder is full of basic, generic items that are provided to every avatar in SL.

For the most part, I think pretty much everyone ignores this folder.

Most of what’s in it is old, clunky, ugly, and not really useful.

Everything else you buy or collect goes in the My Inventory folder.

You can choose how folders are displayed – under the little gear button at the bottom left of the inventory window.

The options are ‘sort by name,’ ‘sort by most recent,’ ‘sort folders always by name,’ and ‘sort system folders to top.’

System folders are the folders that have a little icon on the folder – things like gestures, favorites, scripts, etc.

You cannot delete system folders.

Since I have other folders I have created I want displayed first, I do not sort system folder to the top.

I use ‘sort by name.’

A trick for naming folders so that they appear in the order you want is to include other characters.

For example, I want my blog folder (which contains items related to my blog) to always appear at the top.

But ‘blog’ starts with a B.

Any folder named with an A will sort and appear above it.

So I add other characters.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, odd characters sort differently (characters like *, {, #, ~).

How do you know which characters will sort where?

There’s an ASCII character hierarchy – see here if you’re interested.

The top three ASCII characters are !, “, and #.

I label my blog folder ‘!Blog Stuff’ and it will go to the top of the sort.

Also, the number of characters makes a difference.

So a folder named ‘!!!Misc’ will sort higher than a folder named ‘!Dances.’

The next big step in organizing your inventory is to make folders for various like items.

I have folders with labels like blog stuff, house stuff, stuff for building, etc.

You can make sub-folders as well.

In my ‘clothing’ folder, I have sub-folders with labels such as ‘pants,’ ‘shirts,’ ‘shoes,’ and ‘dresses.’

Under dresses, I might have sub-folders labeled ‘cocktail,’ ‘ballroom gowns,’ and ‘vintage.’

The ballroom gown folder might have sub-folders of colors – blue, red, green, etc.

Of course, you may have a completely different system that works really well for you.

If you do – please share!

I’d love to know how others keep their inventories organized. 😀

How Do You Organize Your Inventory?

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Maybe I should ask whether you organize your inventory. 😀

My inventory isn’t huge (only 35K), but it is certainly large enough for things to get lost.

One of my pie-in-the-sky wishes has always been a way to search your inventory by creation and/or acquisition dates.

If I could sort by age, it would be so much easier to decide whether or not to chuck something, based on how long it’s been gathering dust in my inventory.

I love to shop.

And with the number of free/inexpensive items available in SL, I am constantly picking things up that I think I can/will use in a dance routine.


So I pick it up, put it in my inventory, and then promptly forget all about it.

I do keep my inventory organized.

I have clothing in one folder, with subfolders like shoes, sweaters, dresses, etc.

So I would find my Maitreya shoes in the clothing>shoes>high heels>Maitreya folder.

I have a separate folder for routines.  That folder has subfolders for costumes and accessories.

But again, stuff gets lost.

And these days, it’s rare to get an outfit that actually contains a picture of the item.

Consequently, I have no idea what the ‘Celtic Crimson’ coat looks like without trying it on.  (The coat is actually grey, FYI.)

Many times, when trying to decide what folder to put an item in, I’m in a quandry.

It’s green, but it’s also a dress, but it’s latex, it could be futuristic, but could also be  . . . etc etc.

I’ve purchased several items over the years to help, including a fancy wardrobe organizer.

But frankly, it would take me a year to go through my entire wardrobe to label everything.

And that’s just clothing!

So how do you organize your inventory?

How do you know where to find things when you are building a set?

Putting together a costume?

Do you group by style?  Color?  Mood?  Era?