I admit it: My main avatar in Second Life, Vanity Fair, is a pack rat.
Vanity is the avatar I tend to trot out to pick up all the free gifts at monthly shopping events, snap up all the group gifts at stores, and patiently wait for her letter to come up and collect the lucky chair and lucky board prizes. And, as a result, she currently has a Second Life inventory of (does a quick double-check) 268,957 elements (elements is an SL term of the total count of both folders and items within folders)!
Now, over the past 13 years, I have tried to use third-party inventory systems, such as the inventory box system by Bright, to store items that I didn’t think I would need to access frequently, but still didn’t have the heart to completely throw away. For example, back in the day (circa 2008 and 2009), I used to scour the House of Heart store for freebies during their regular hunts, and I had amassed quite a few of their flexiprim hairstyles as a result. So I packed it all up in a Bright inventory box (L$600 on the SL Marketplace), on which I could do keyword searches on in local chat to retrieve items (e.g. “/500 brown” would pull up all hairstyles with “brown” in the description).
But unfortunately, I ignored one of the cardinal rules of inventory management: I did not do the work to keep my inventory neat and tidy as I was accumulating new items! I didn’t do this boxing-up work consistently over time, because setting up and packing the Bright boxes, then deleting the original copies, took a lot of time. In an older home, I used to store these boxes in my attic (they are one prim each when rezzed in-world). But, in my new Linden Home, I need every available prim space I can get, so they now sit in a quiet corner of my inventory, mouldering away.
There appears to be no upper limit on how many items you can have in your inventory. Up until now, I have not had too many problems dealing with such a massive inventory, but somewhere between 250,000 and 260,000 elements, my viewer performance began to degrade significantly.
For example, when I clicked the Recent tab on my inventory, it would take one minute or longer to get a full display. Signing out would take well over a minute as well, unless I forced Windows to shut down the process. Sometimes, that would lead to inventory corruption, which necessitated a trip to a quiet sim to clear my inventory cache and reload my inventory from scratch, which would take up to an hour or longer. (By the way, if you ever need the step-by-step instructions on how to do this in Firestorm, here they are.)
After several months of deterioriating viewer performance, I need to face facts: it’s way past time to clear out Vanity’s old stuff to make way for new stuff.
Fortunately, it is a relatively easy matter to sort your inventory to show only the oldest items. It’s a three step process:
- Click the Recent tab, then click on the tiny gear in the bottom left of your Inventory window, and select Show Filters from the menu that pops up;
- In the Filters menu, click on the button that says Older Than;
- Enter the number of days (in this example, 4,000 days, which will pull up all items in inventory older than 4,000 days, approximately 11 years.
Now I can go through all the items in your Recent tab, and delete them. You probably already know that you can use left mouseclick and then Shift-left mouseclick to select the beginning and end of two or more items at once. The selected items will then be highlighrted, and then you can right mouseclick on them and select Delete, to remove many items at once from your inventory:
Any older items which I cannot bear to part with will go into a new Bright inventory box. I can store up to 1,000 items per box, which replaces a thousand items in my SL inventory with a single element. Between deleting items and boxing them up, I hope to reduce my inventory size to somewhere under 250,000.
Inventory items you delete are moved to the Trash folder (which gives you an opportunity to retrieve them back into your inventory should you change your mind). Every so often, as your are deleting and boxing up items, you should click on the tiny gear icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your inventory display, and select Empty Trash, to remove all these trashed items from your inventory, once and for all (please note that this cannot be undone, and you will have confirm this task):
One final tip: you’re probably going to be unpacking a number of boxes to see what they contain. Find yourself a quiet sandbox somewhere to do this work if you don’t own any land with rezz rights.
Wish me luck! This is going to be a months-long project.
If you have tips, tricks, and tools which you have found useful to manage your inventory, I would love to hear them! Please feel free to leave a comment, thanks!