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[GUIDE] Spring-Clean Your Inventory for a Happier Second Life!

Torley Linden


Spring is in full swing, and that goes hand-in-hand with spring cleaning — which includes your Second Life inventory! Wait, what's that? You dread opening up those dusty folders with hundreds, even thousands of items that you've never used. I bet that rings a bell.

Have no fear. While the psychological burden may initially seem like a mountain, taking small steps is the key. Cleaning your inventory isn't exciting compared to hanging out with friends in cool places, but each of these tips only takes minutes, and when combined, will help you feel sooo much better after decluttering! Plus, did you know a smaller inventory loads faster and uses less resources? It's not the same as going green in the physical world, but it helps. Let's get started with this video tutorial, then I've got written tips that expand on what I show, along with direct links to those sections of the video:

Get Your Total Item Count

For fun (or abject horror), start typing something — anything — in the Filter Inventory field. Your item count will rise above, until it's done loading. You can compare this to what it is when you're all done.

Don't be hard on yourself, though: this count includes Library items which you can hide, since they're not actually yours.

Make a "Temporary" Folder for Sorting

Right-click the My Inventory folder and select New Folder. Name this folder "Temp", or if you want it to stand out, something loud like "~*~ TEMP ~*~". Drag items that you're not sure of into here, so you can sort them out. This prevents them from clogging up casual folder browsing.

You can extend this concept more specifically. For example, create a "Temp" folder in each main folder like Objects.

Sort the "Temp" Folder

Here's a basic process that I've refined over time:

  1. Put on some mood music to get you in the zone. (I usually bliss out to ambient, but there was that one time I rocked out to 
    in an aggro loop... yes, there's an emo Torley... sort of.)
  2. Teleport to a clean surface, like a white skybox or a public sandbox. I have a flat platform which is set to Full Bright (neutral lighting), and makes it easiest to see what I'm placing.
  3. Drag and drop objects from your "Temp" folder inworld, so they rez and you can see what they really are. This is useful if you have a lot of generically- or identically-named stuff (like lots of objects named "Object"). "No copy" objects are removed from your inventory after being rezzed, so take them back from inworld if you want to keep them. Otherwise, you can delete the inworld instance.
  4. Move objects you want to keep to another folder. You may have an existing sorting scheme. I have "Archive" folders for objects dated by month, because I often have memories attached to objects of how I got 'em.

Depending on the land, you should either clean up after yourself or let auto-return take care of it. In the latter case, multiple objects returned to your inventory simultaneously appear in your Lost And Found folder as coalesced objects. Like the Trash, you can easily and permanently delete its contents by right-clicking it and selecting Empty Lost And Found.

Continue Onto Other Item Types

Objects are just one inventory item type; you surely have clothing, notecards, textures, and so on. For each item type, I like to go through them as a batch. These tricks make it easier:

  • For animations, gestures, notecards, scripts, sounds, and textures (including those in your Photo Album): hold Shift key while clicking to select a range of items, or hold Ctrl while clicking various un-adjacent items in a list, then right-click and select Open to open all those items in a single window. This makes it easier to browse each item and decide if you really want to keep it.
  • For clothes and other wearables, it can be a good idea to have a minimal, "neutral" avatar so you can easily see what's added upon wearing. While an ideal one isn't provided off the bat, I suggest making a nude/underwear outfit of your fave avatar. This also accurately reflects your bodily proportions, which matters because just like the physical world, wearables look awful at the wrong size.
  • If you want to save a texture to your local hard drive but no longer need it in your inventory: double-click the texture and click the Save As button, which saves it as a TGA file which can be opened or converted by an image editor like FastStone Viewer. (This only works if the texture is fully-permissive, like in-Viewer pics you take that end up in the Photo Album.)

Eliminate Useless Redundancy by Deleting Duplicates

You don't need more than a single copy of an item in your inventory if it's copyable, so after you've checked goods out, select dupes and hit that Delete key. But before you do, be aware:

Items with the same name aren't necessarily the same. For example, if you work on an object inworld and take it back into your inventory, it keeps the same name. This is confusing if you also keep older versions of it. You can click the little gear icon at the bottom and choose Sort by Most Recent. Also, learn from many great content creators: append a version/revision number to the item name. I sometimes type the date in the name as a self-reminder.

Landmarks are one of the most notorious types of dupes. Here's why: many, many stores give a landmark in each product box. While this is initially useful to find your way back if you want to buy more, as shown in the video, the WORLD MAP dropdown shows landmarks from every folder in your inventory — and isn't smart enough to hide dupes. If you don't use that dropdown, this doesn't matter to you, but otherwise, you can filter (search) your inventory for those dupes by name, then delete them.

Furthermore, I don't keep many landmarks: since any landmark can be converted to a standard web link known as a SLurl, I save SLurls on the web instead, like in my Flickr exploration albums which have the advantage of loading quicker and giving me higher-resolution visuals.

Delete original boxes — MAYBE. There are two schools of thought: some Residents prefer to keep original boxes of copyable items because they're a backup if things go awry, while other Resis feel secure not having them around, after expanding the contents into a folder. My recommendation? It really does depend on the specific items. Boxes for non-copyable objects can probably be tossed away because they're just empty shells — unless you like the box design itself. Also, a growing number of merchants offer automated delivery if you lose something, so take that into consideration.

Ye Olde Art of Cube-Stuffing

If you've spent any amount of time with veteran Residents, you may have caught wind of "cube-stuffing" lore. Cube-stuffing is exactly what it sounds like: archiving a bunch of items in a cube and lowering your inventory item count. This works because object contents aren't tallied up in the total. You can cube-stuff items you want to backup and preserve items you seldom use, yet don't want to throw away.

  1. Right-click and select Build on a parcel of land you have build permissions on. The build tools open.
  2. Click the parcel to rez a cube.
  3. In the build tools window, click the Content tab.
  4. Drag inventory items you want to archive into the Contents folder pane. (Advanced usage: You can drag items directly onto the cube itself, but there's a subtle exception: Dragging a texture onto a prim applies it to a prim's face, unless you hold the Ctrl key while doing so.)
  5. Once you've stuffed the cube, click the General tab to give it a meaningful name and date so you remember what's inside later.


  • While there's not a strict upper limit for how much you stuff in a cube, note that loading the item list can be extremely slow once you get into the hundreds of items. Also, there are no sub-folders: dragging nested folders breaks their hierarchy, so cube-stuffing isn't that useful for original outfits.
  • Unfortunately, you can't search the contents of an object as you can with your inventory.
  • Some Residents keep stuffed cubes out on land where it won't be autoreturned, so they have backups in case of inventory loss — since the cube isn't in your inventory, it won't be affected. However, it will be affected by land changes, so be sure if you're going to do this, rez the cube somewhere stable.

This information is provided so you're aware of the possibilities. I don't really cube-stuff anymore and have grown more forgiving of letting my inventory count (it's at 13,362 right now) grow over the years, with the tradeoff that I'm more aggressive about deleting clutter. In first life, there was an insightful Lifehacker post on this titled "Rethink Your Stuff: What to Splurge On, What to Toss". While we avatars don't need beds and our shoes aren't going to wear out, sentimental stories attached to an object still matter to many of us!

Remember to Empty the Trash!

It's garbage day! After all the above, right-click your Trash "folder" and select Empty Trash. Then check your total item count and congratulate yourself — your future self will say thank-you too, when they find something you couldn't. ;)

Explore Resident-Created Inventory Organizers

While the above has mainly focused on trimming your existing inventory, this is closely related to ongoing organization. Searching the Second Life Marketplace yields dozens of "inventory organizer" matches that are designed to overcome system limitations, and further automate the above steps. For example, texture organizers can make it easier to browse through visual previews instead of muddling around in folders.

In case you're wondering, I don't currently use a specialized inventory organizer, but am discovering many cool tools as I rebuild Torley island.

Further Learnin'

You can see general inventory management tips in our Knowledge Base — note some of that info is stale and I haven't gotten to updating the videos.

Have an inventory-cleaning tip that leaves you feeling like sunshine? Let us know in the comments!


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This is great Torley I sooooooo need the help! I have only been in SL for 6 months (and I was away for two of those months) and I already have 11K. I had given up hope. :( I have kind of been using the Outfit Folders as a way to organize things but now you have given me some tools that will (hopefully) help. ;)

BTW do you do RL closets? :)

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this will come very handy since I love hunts and I got more than 51K items, I will do my spring cleaning this weekend  Or at least part of it LOL

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This cube stuffing trick is going to come in really handy!! I'm very much of the school of thought of keeping boxes - but if I can stuff loadsa boxes in one cube and just take the cube back into my inventory this is going to save looooooads of space. Brilliant tip, can't wait to try it out later! Thanks xD

My own tip is sorting activity specific 'stuff' into folders named by sim; for example my RP invent is in one folder, my hosting information and gestures and cards are in folders by club.

EDITTED to add: I'd really like to see more functionaility in the search filters (unless I've just not found it yet) that enabled me to specifically bring up all skins only, all tattoos only, all jacket layers only, etc.

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@Keli RL, what's that? ;) Hehe, in RL I strive for minimal belongings, I've been converting what I can into digital forms. I always have a huge sigh of relief upon decluttering, or feel good giving unused stuff to thrift shops. Hopefully someone(s) will find a better use for that.

@Darcie55 Ah yes! All those hunt treasures add up — think about what you really use regularly, your favorites. Actually, that brings to mind: I also have FAVE folders for stuff like attachments (like certain HUDs) I use across many outfits. I wish there was a one-click way to "star" items (as you can on various web services, like Gmail... or even the 5-star rating system that iTunes has), then hide unstarred stuff. That would approach inventory management from the other end but be quite complementary.

That brings to mind an issue we come across a lot: I wish for it to be possible to browse inventory visually. Whether that's auto-generated previews like a floating 3D hologram (which seems very hard from the last time I asked), or even a way to link textures to folders so you could browse folders akin to iTunes album art, with picture previews of their contents. I know many creators already include a texture inside an outfit folder, showing a model wearing what's inside. The point is to obsolete the necessity to rez/wear things to find out what they are, which is disruptive if you've already got plans in motion. Thankfully, saving outfits helps you restore.

@Juliette Let me know how it goes for you! What you mention about sorting by sim is a great one if you have different "modes" where you need different item sets ready. It kind of parallels the real-world mindset of switching gears as you transition from work -> home life, or even between multiple jobs. Most of us wear a variety of hats. :)

I agree about filters, they haven't been changed in years but with the post-Viewer-2.x improvements for wearables, there should definitely be more fine-tuned options.

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This was of a massive help. Inspired by this post, last week I removed about 13,000 things from my inventory, deleted about a hundred outfit lists and put everything into hierarchical folders, and SL is already better for me. So much better.

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Thanks for the info Torley!

5 years and I have never once attempted to organize my inventory..

But I have been wanting to download all my snapshots.

I had a lot of fun starting from my first snapshot and viewing them all in the order they were taken. Kind of fun strolling back to those old memories.

It tells a story lol

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aiuto per favore non so il nome del mio avatar.. ce qualcuno che mi puo aiutare sono nuovo e non tanto pratico


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You CAN cube stuff outfits, but there is a trick to it.   You put the single outfit into one cube.. and name it the outfit name... Then take that cube into your inventory.  Once you have done that, you can put THAT cube into the CLOSET cube's objects tab. If and when you decide to pull that outfit out of the closet cube it will come back to your inventory in one folder as an outfit.

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I've just arrived...  I am a newbie as a teacher of HE disabled students, some of whom are on a creative degree, Second Life is used as a forum/space/performance destination as part of one of their  Multimedia Creative Performance modules, therfore I'm learning from the bottom up in order I can best support them, know how to take evidence snapshots, be in world with them as they 'perform', assist them practically, if I can learn it adequately, quickly enough.  Bought premium membership to enable myself to 'hit the ground faster......' so to speak, this initial tip to 'stay tidy and categorise', is not in my reallife nature, but is proving necessary more and more on a practical level.....with three children and a busines and heading a charity, I've had to become a filer not a piler as I am innately - although I do admit to having an assistant now for work and a housekeeper at home to assist - I'm disabled to and so to be walking is something unusual to me, I ponder as I type what the disabled populous is on SL, do peeps refelect their truth or fly, walk dance and move as they can't.......


Anyway thanks for this tip I'm grateful for any help, assistnace, freebies, tutorials or guides - even personal guides, do they exist?


Thanks loads so far.......from a rubblish newbie - I'm still just a cloud of energy, cn't even see myself.......arrgghhh, certainly don't have anything to dress in.....and with no body that'd be hard.  Have done the IP tutorial for making stuff though so that's one thing ticked off the virtual list I could do with and can move around and sit and stuff - and walk upstairs after some practice,lol.....


Thanks again folk and creatures and lovely creations


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I now can see myself and change my appearance - but as soon as I achieved this it seems my ability to teleport and go anywhere has been lost - goodness this is proving so much harder than I ever imagines.......I'm in Meadowbrook, have a house but can't go home.  the map comes up when i click telport nothing happens.....and I thought I was ready for  the newbie areas and to get learning now I can do anything, is there a problem the region is kickapoo I think?


sorry Im a Newbie and trying soooooo hard to learn I really am.


Kind regards!



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I have to say this is one of my favorite videos!  THE NUMBER 1 AND 2 THINGS I CONSTANLY DELETE: objectswith no names, and notecards. I do not have food in my inventory, but there are 65 horses in 1 box xD

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Hi.  Can I copy my current folder into another called MyOutfit No1 and so on. So each time I find a current outfit that I like I can save it under MyOutfit No X. Thanks :)



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I have done other programming but am a novice scripter in SL. However it would seem to me that either SL or some creative person could run the UUID of any item and see how many other cases of the UUID exist and report it back to the user. I have occasionally found that a texture with one name actually thinks it is a texture of a different name because it was copied and renamed, (but still has the old UUID) so an unknown number of that sort of thing exists.

If that became a standard thing in SL the total volume of folks inventory would drop significantly.


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Awesome video. I am at that process of deleting stuff from my inventory. I would like to make a comment about keeping boxed stuff, and cube stuffing. Cube stuffing works GREAT for keeping the original boxes of items. I also have a question about organization. Unless I misunderstood, you had mentioned soemthing about creating a blank or empty avatar and organizing your inventory through that. However, how is this possible? Wouldn't that only work if your items are transferable? 


Thanks again for the video. You are awesome Torley! Hopefully I can meet you one day in world! For the poor horder in the video, I created an Egg in a Cage she can have *LOL* 

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Oh i have started my cleaning, i have so much to do ... lol i might just give up half way , but hey thats half cleaner than i started :P

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First, thank you to Torley for the wonderful value he continually brings to SL. And for this very helpful post; i'll be trying more of these suggestions soon.

Next, in Torley's kind group reply above:
'by Community Manager Torley Linden ‎03-31-2011 07:32 AM - edited ‎03-31-2011 07:32 AM'
there was mention of the idea of visual inventory. I may be one of the residents referred to ;) as i would really like to have one :)

Desiring enough to have posted requests in the past. And a more recent one which (fingers crossed) may be relatively easy to create/integrate? Specifically (but summarized): being able to view our 'purchased' marketplace items in the same format as unpurchased.

Since they have relation and the topic came up briefly, I'll try posting a link those posts..


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i am a sl hoarder and i do not want to clean  (sticks out toungue) pppbbtttthhhhhhhttttttttttttttzzzzzzzzz   .......... jk   =0)






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I regularly spring clean my inventory but still manage to accumulate 40622 items! Alot of which is down to the fact I am a builder. I am the worse for keeping too many copies of everything though. Next job for me is to clean out the virtual wardrobe!

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Very useful information.  I laughed out loud at the video titled "Confessions of a Second Life Hoarder."


You are hilariously brilliant!

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