UPDATED! True Second Life Confessions: How I Deal with an Inventory of 240,000 Items

Sweetheart, I *wish* my inventory were this tidy, neat and organized…
Photo by Jamesthethomas5 on Unsplash

The avatar that, over time, has become my main avatar in Second Life is named Vanity Fair. (I got very lucky; the last name “Fair” was only available for a two-week period back in 2008 and I snapped up that name immediately.)

Back in August 2017, when I first started this blog, I wrote:

Ooh, shopping!  It just sends a shiver up my spine.  Vanity Fair, my supermodel avatar in Second Life…has an inventory of exactly 160,760 items, as of this morning. (I can stop shopping… ANY. TIME. I. WANT.)

Well, as of today, Vanity has an inventory of exactly 239,322 elements. No, that is not a typo! (Elements is the word used by Linden Lab for the total count of items and folders in your Second Life inventory.) But by any count or measurement, Vanity has a rather serious inventory problem. I don’t know of any other avatars that have such an overstuffed inventory (although I’m quite sure that there some avatars on the grid who could give me a run for my money).

Yes, people, Vanity is a hoarder. (Oh, the shame of it all!) Someone call the TLC television network people! This could be a new reality show 😉

You wouldn’t know it to look at her, would you? Vanity seems like such a sane, model citizen, a pillar of the community! You wouldn’t know it to look at her lovely, tidy, neat Linden Home, either:

Now, I should state, in my own defense, (erm, I mean, in Vanity’s defense… oh. bloody hell, you know what I mean to say…) that the major reason her inventory grew by a whopping 80,000 items since August 2017 is that Vanity is the girl who hits all the major shopping events and sales in Second Life in order to obsessively vacuum up all the gifts, freebies and bargains. No stone left unturned, no gift left untouched.

And it’s not as if I haven’t tried to clean out my inventory. Lord knows, I’ve tried. Two years ago, I made a very half-hearted attempt to clean, by using my inventory filters to select all items older than, say, 4,000 days, and I started throwing out the very oldest stuff. You might not even have known that you can do that! Here’s how it works in the Firestorm viewer (sorry, but I never use the standard Second Life viewer, so I can’t tell you what the equivalent commands are):

But I hesitated throwing out even the oldest system layer and flexiprim clothing. Why?

Well, the introduction of Bakes on Mesh means that you will still be able to use all those items on your mesh avatar. In fact, just within the past week, Catwa and Signature have both issued a Bakes on Mesh update for their products, and Maitreya has as well, for their popular Maitreya Lara mesh female avatar body. (While the standard Second Life viewer now supports Bakes on Mesh, the Firestorm viewer does not yet support this feature. But I’m pretty sure it’s coming soon.)

Here’s a YouTube video explaining how the Catwa and Signature Bakes on Mesh works:

And another video demonstrating the new Bakes on Mesh relay HUD for Maitreya:

So, you see, I need to keep all the old stuff. It might be useful someday 😉

Yeah, yeah, okay, I know. I know. I have a problem. Vanity can’t let go.

Now, you might wonder, what kind of impact does an inventory of almost 240,000 items have on my Second Life performance? You might be surprised to learn: very little. First, I have an absolute beast of a computer, to be able to run an Oculus Rift VR headset and explore various social VR platforms like Sansar and High Fidelity.

But there are times when having such a large inventory affects my enjoyment of Second Life. The worst thing that happens is when I click on the Recent tab of my inventory, to sort items by most recent. And I wait, and I wait, and I wait, for the display to catch up. When I click on the Worn tab of my inventory to limit the display to just the items I am currently wearing, that tends to take a while too.

But other than that, things run pretty smoothly. I’m racking my brains to think of other times when Firestorm slows down just for Vanity (as opposed to an alt with a much, much smaller inventory), and really, I can’t think of anything at the moment. (If I do think of something, I will just add an update to this blogpost.)

Now, you might also ask: Ryan, how the hell do you FIND anything? Well, a couple of years ago I learned an extremely valuable search tip for finding things in my inventory, using multiple keywords connected by the + sign. For example, to search for items that have both the words pink and earring, in either order, enter “pink+earring” in the search box:

I swear, when I first learned that I could actually do this in the Firestorm viewer, I just about fell over in shock! How had I been playing Second Life for so many years and not known this tip?!?? So I share this tip with you and hope that you find it useful to navigate your inventory, too. Here is the page from the Firestorm viewer website that explains in detail how to use all the features of your inventory window. Read, study, and learn.


In these pictures, Vanity Fair is wearing:

  • Outfit: Dany by Seniha (Lucky Board prize; the Seniha group is free to join, and there are many lovely group gifts available to pick up)
  • Shoes: Adore shoes by KC Couture (only L$50 for a fatpack of 20 shades to match just about any outfit)
  • Earrings: Sienna earrings by Lazuri (a free gift from last year’s Pumpkin Hunt for Parkinsons event; every single aspect of these earrings is recolourable or retexturable! They go with everything!)
  • Hair: Dasha by Truth Hair (my favourite hairstyle; L$250)

Vanity is also wearing:

UPDATE Sept. 8th: Another consequence of Vanity Fair having such a huge inventory that I forgot to mention is that when I exit the Firestorm viewer, there is a noticeable delay before the program shuts down completely. With my alts, I can exit Firestorm almost immediately.

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3 thoughts on “UPDATED! True Second Life Confessions: How I Deal with an Inventory of 240,000 Items”

  1. Nit-picking. “Elements” is a term introduced / used by the Firestorm TPV. The official LL term is “Items”, and does not include a sub-folder.

    Reading inventory blog posts always amuses me; I’ve been nigh-on 13 years active in SL on this account, and my “active” inventory rarely exceeds 10,000 items. But then, I’m pretty brutal with stuff and have a strict approach to inventory management which involves “boxing” stuff + re-use of original packages (with copyable items) and, yes, a routine use of the trash can.

    I also admit that I am OCD when it comes to inventory, and my particular in-world interests perhaps make it easier for me to manage things than others.

    I intentionally do not buy masses of clothes and accessories since swapping to mesh, for example; I have a wardrobe of stuff I like to wear and occasionally top that up with a “must have” here and there, so my clothing /accessory “space” is minimal compared to others (this additionally allows me to avoid using the Outfits option, and bloating my inventory with dozens upon dozens of links).

    As a builder / landscaper, it’s also easy for me to box and order a lot of my inventory so I can pull / unpack / use items required for projects, then delete afterwards, knowing the original items are still boxed and ready for the next time I need them.

    At some point, I might do a tips’n’tricks piece on inventory (and include some of the Lab’s “golden rules” + examine some of the myths of inventory. But then again, we all have our own ideas on how “best” to do things…. 🙂 .

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