Inventory Sorting Tutorial Pt 1

Inventory Sorting Tutorial Pt 1

June 24, 2011 |  by  |  inventory sorting, tutorial

I’ve always whined and groaned about my bursting inventory but never had the guts to do anything about it. If you’re anything like a large percentage of sl-ers, the idea of inventory sorting usually brings upon that “ARGH” face – I completely get it; I’m like that too! I feel your pain! But there comes a time for everyone when enough is enough, and I know my time is here because I can no longer remember what’s inside that deep black hole also known as my inventory.

Finally I decided to set aside some time to not only sort my inventory but also take screen captures of every single item inside my inventory. Sounds crazy? Me thinks so as well, but I wanted to share my process with you guys so it can serve as a tutorial or a tips and tricks to inventory management – maybe it’ll benefit some of you out there. At the same time, honestly, I hope that by doing this, I’ll actually complete this task and have some form of motivation to finish.

When I initially began sorting, I had about 80k+ items, which is insanely a lot, if I don’t do anything about this, by the next few months with my shopping habits it can easily reach 100k. But what I’m trying to say is, if I can begin this process at 80k, I’m sure most of you can as well! This is by no means the best way to document your inventory, however, if you’re a visual person like I am, this method will help TONS.

That’s the biggest question “Where to begin?”; I find that the least intimidating way to start documenting, is by first doing a rough sorting – just to break down your inventory into very general categories. This initial phase is not to do detailed analysis, but very quick categorizing to help yourself.

I made a folder and labeled it “!Rough Sorting”, the exclamation point keeps it staying right on top of your inventory so you can easily find it. In there I created these rough categories. (I’m using Firestorm Beta Viewer incase anyone is interested) Make your own rough categories, anything that works well for you.

This is the time when you pull out 2 inventory windows and start pulling folders into respective categories using just the names of the folders. A lot of times the names of the items are on the folder itself. For example: “(NO) Floral Pullover Sweater – Pink” This clearly belongs in the tops section. The example below shows how each folder probably already tells you what item it is, if not just expand and check it out.

*click for bigger image*

Don’t worry too much about putting items in the wrong folders, you’ll probably only do that a few times and it’s not a biggie because this is a rough stage. This method is so you categorize without the need to rez/load anything.

So after hours of pushing everything into neat folders, your inventory should look less crazy and intimidating, now you have them like so: (oh! ignore the inventory count – this is after I’ve sorted for a bit so I deleted a buncha stuff, pretend it’s a whooping 80k at the moment)

*click for bigger image*

You can take a break and you know… get a cup of coffee and just relax. A lot of times most people stop here and go “I’m satisfied by how small my inventory looks right now,” but! Honestly speaking, this is such a rough sorting that you probably will still be confused as to what is what. So this is the time to tell yourself “I CAN DO THIS” and just keep going.
Every time I leave my inventory this way I end up regretting it after a month or two, because it gets messy all over again. So this time I’m being good and continuing… The next stage is a little tedious but it will be worth it!


I’ll be doing Hosiery next, this category for me isn’t too large or too small which is ideal for starting out. If it’s too small you get complacent and lazy after finishing, if it’s too big you lose interest. So I’ll post up the 2nd part real soon, but for the moment why not give this rough sorting a try and feel proud of yourself for being so disciplined?

Good luck!


  1. YAY! invo sort-er anya.

    Good luck! lol

  2. me also say good luck maimaifaise! <3 looool

  3. I thought I was pretty organised before but dayumm. You’re gonna put me to shame! This is fab, thanks Anya!

  4. newreem & tomoyo – LOL thanks evil faises, I need support on skype too pls kthxbye <3

    Katey – Awww it’s usually a big buncha mess, this is the first time it’s looking semi decent. Thank you Katey! :D

  5. Merci! I really enjoy seeing how people attempt organizing their never ending inventories and helping others in the process. Thanks so much for this tutorial and I look forward to future ones.

  6. :( :( I feel stupid to ask, but… how do you open 2 inventory windows? XD

  7. Arianna – My pleasure! I’m glad it’s helpful somewhat, I’ve always enjoyed asking how people sort their inventories on plurk and I love seeing different methods to learn from. So I hope this will help some people who find it difficult to figure out how to begin~

    Doremi Aww not stupid at all! Took me a long time to figure out too, I made a little image and will cover it a bit more in the next tutorial but here’s an image that I hope helps. I’m using Firestorm Beta viewer but the process and buttons should be the same for Viewer 2.0

  8. Thank you!!!
    I use phoenix viewer atm and the inventory window is a bit different from viewer 2 but I eventually found a way to have 2 inv. windows on phoenix too. (I admit it wasn’t actually hard to find, I just had to do “file–>new window” with my inv open.
    I wanted to try firestorm too by the way. With Phoenix viewer shadows don’t show in snapshots, and I try to use kirstens viewer for that, but apparently with that viewer I can’t load textures on objects (they are all blurry and never fully rez. if the object is something I am wearing, after detaching and reattaching it, the problem gets solved.. but it’s kinda hard to make it if the blurred texture is on a object that doesn’t belong to you, in front of which you were just panning to snap pictures for your blog XDXD).’s firestorm? are shadows working fine?

  9. Doremi — no problem! Are you on a windows computer or a mac? I’m using a Mac and I haven’t been able to get any shadows on any viewer, not even Kirstens :( I finally got it with the new SL Viewer 2 and now I can see this in Firestorm as well. For me the shadows on Viewer 2 were a lot smoother, but I run it faster on Firestorm. So I loooove working on Firestorm, I can take shadow pictures at 3000px over, it has a small line running across, but that applies for all viewers.
    I suggest putting on everything and rezzing it completely, choosing a pose and just getting your entire shot on low before changing your settings to shadows, because it’s alot faster that way then working straight out from shadows~

  10. I am on windows and atm I’ve tried phoenix, kirsten, snowglobe and official 2.0 viewer. I really liked how kirstens graphics looked, btw. it had a ‘depth of field’ feature which really made snapshots more realistic. Unfortunately it really hates me because textures on objects just never rez completely. I have tried so many settings, I have tried turning graphics to extra low, the shortest drawing distance possible.. nothing helped :S it was quite weird because the first days it worked fine, then a day it stopped loading them. I tried to leave the avatar there and go eat and come back after 1 hour.. still blurry (unless I detach and reattach them). the funny thing is that I have the same problem on 2 different pcs in 2 different locations with 2 different internet connections XD
    As for 2.0 and snowglobe, shadows looked pretty weird on my pc, they were flickering all the time, appearing/disappearing and I eventually got annoyed :D So I came back to phoenix, where shadows don’t show on snapshots but if you just don’t turn them on, it works pretty well and it’s my favourite, also because it has the old user interface XD I eventually ended up placing shadows manually in my pictures with photoshop, but I actually think the viewer ones looked more natural.. Sooo as a last try I’ll download firestorm and see how it works :D

    Anyway thank you so much for taking all this time to make this great tutorial for us!
    And sorry for annoying you with my blah blahs on shadows and not working textures XD <3

  11. Doremi — omg totally not annoying, I know how you feel, I go crazy with viewers ALL the time until I found Firestorm. Before this was always Emerald and then Emerald was gone, I just kept using default because nothing else ever rezzed for me.
    The depth of field feature is in Viewer 2 and Firestorm as well, but not sure how well they will run, for me I like DOF in Firestorm, doesn’t lag me as much as Viewer 2. But quality wise, both are very similar. I didn’t know depth of field worked with “low” graphic settings? I always had to set mine to high or ultra.
    For some viewers textures won’t load for me until I right click the item, then it will start to rez, i’m not exactly sure why that is so. But have you tried that? I usually rebake before I take blog images, then that split second when you rebake, the graphics become more sharp and crisp — not sure if it’s an actual technique or i’m just abusing rebake button.
    I always add shadows manually on pictures too :( But I do love how shadows look on viewers! I just wished I was better at windlight!

  12. Oh I love your way of sorting. I kinda started the way you did way back and its a mess now, but I am starting all over using your method.
    Now my big question: what do you do with complete outfits? break them up in different folders or make a folder Complete Outfits? Its what I did until now. But maybe braking them up is better?

  13. Cats — For complete outfits I actually broke mine up into separate folders, the only one that I didn’t would be outfits from special events like “Designers United”; I usually make a folder called “Clothes – Events” for these sorta things.

    Something like that :D But for every other sets I will always break them apart and create folders for them! I hope that helps!

  14. It does Thanks! maybe I get a little braver and brake them up too. It does force you to mix and match a bit more right? lol Im at the rough sorting stage yet. Chapeau for you, I “only” have 13K but Men! it a lot I’m glad I don’t have your 80K /me grins

  15. Cats — I’m going down pretty fast now seeing I’m deleting tons of old skins and hair~ So it’s not as scary as it normally is haha… but yes! I believe breaking them apart is great for bloggers, it helps us find things alot easier and mix and match even more. Which is always a good plus!

  16. sweetpea violet

    you can also open up another inventory window by just clicking on the little suitcase that is right beside the + sign I also did this to may inventory took me a week to do it but it is good and organized now i couldn’t believe how many doubles of stuff i actually had

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