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Who's in charge: you or your inventory?

I was interested to read Kit Meredith's account of how effortful it sometimes was for her to change outfits and find things in her bloated inventory. I completely failed to identify with her on this, or with the friend she mentions, who strips down to her underthings before logging out in order to force herself to change outfits.

Here's what I didn't get: why would any fashionista have to force herself? I'm by no means the most avid shopper I know, but in Second Life I have literally hundreds of gorgeous outfits begging to be worn on any given day. (In First Life it's exactly the same, except substitute "several" for "hundreds of", "serviceable" for "gorgeous" and "usually available" for "begging"). Far from having to force myself to change, I generally try to force myself to wear something long enough for it to get some use before flitting to another folder and putting on something new. Not a bit fashion-obsessed in First Life (although I'll admit I've gotten a bit more interested since becoming a Second Life fashion addict) in Second Life I dress to suit my mood, which typically means changing several times a night: clothing, underthings, jewelry, hair, shoes, skin, wings, sometimes eyes ... often I change outfits in less than 30 seconds, provided I know what I want to put on! Usually I change in public, doing it in an order that prevents me from being indecent (*first* add everything from the new outfit, *then* right click on the folder for the old outfit and select the take off clothes option once you're sure the new things are rezzing).

So I realized that I may have some advantage in using my inventory over some of my friends and acquaintances. Maybe I'm doing some things that it would help to share.

First of all, I wouldn't be able to play the game Kit talks about (even though it sounds like a great game!) where you pick a letter and a number to randomly choose a folder from your inventory to wear. The thing is, all of my wearables are tucked away in uberfolders to sort them out: clothing, body parts (including skins), costumes, hair, wings...well, here's a picture. I've broken my inventory into two windows so that you can see the whole thing in one picture.

Kate's inventory organization

You'll notice I have "new" versions of most folders. This was from my project where I snapped pictures of myself in everything I had so that I could choose what to wear visually and remind myself of forgotten outfits. Things that I acquired since my last inventory photo session are in the "New" version of the folder. I haven't kept up the inventory pictures (it's neat, but too time-consuming), but the division of folders has been very useful! The "new" folder contains things I bought recently and may not have had a chance to really try out yet; the "old" folder contains old standbys.

I of course have a couple of folders for wings (a separate one for Jen Shikami wings, since I generally always know whether I want to wear Jen Shikami wings versus Material Squirrel wings or something else). :) You may not need those...

I also have some special folders to help me clear out clutter. I freely admit that my "freebies" folder is full of miscellaneous junk, most of which I'll never use, and the same is true of my "objects" folder. But whenever I dig something out of one of those folders that I would want to use again, I move it to a better-named folder and have it easily available...so I very rarely have to go into those folders at all.

Each of my main folders (clothing, body parts, and so on) has an "attic" folder, where I put anything I'm pretty sure I don't want to wear but am not ready to delete out of hand. This gives me a high Q-to-C ratio in the parts of my inventory where I actually look for things to wear.

I separate costumes out from other clothing, since when I'm looking for something to wear, I generally know if I want to dress up as something or simply want an outfit to go dancing in.

And separates have two different folders than the main clothing folder, since most of the things I buy are for coordinated outfits. When I want to wear a top and a skirt that didn't come together and that aren't being plucked from outfits, it's a lot easier for me to consider all of my top options and then all of my skirt and pants options.

Speaking of tops, you can see my first folder is called .Top Objects (the period makes it appear before the others as long as you choose alphabetical sorting in the menu). This contains my two main animation overrides, my Animatifier (a tool that lets me do all of the built-in movements, like jump for joy or smile or fall down dead), my high flight bracelet, my main hug and kiss tools, and anything else that I would often put on, especially after starting from zero (for instance, because of having dropped my mermaid folder on myself and later changing back to human).

Oh yes: in my Avatars folder I have the various versions of me (black Kate, Japanese Kate, faerie Kate, mer-Kate, and so on), each in a single folder with the exact set of things I need to wear to transform into that version, including a go-to outfit for that avi. That means I can become a mermaid or change race by dropping a single folder, which is handy! From there I can change outfits if I need to.

To keep toys and business and projects and things from taking over my inventory, I have a folder for gadgets and toys, a folder for my store, a folder for my Meetaverse project, and so on. Anything that doesn't have a place to go will fill up my inventory with visual clutter, so I make a spot for it!

All of this organization may seem like an unattainable amount of work, and it did take some doing a year and a half ago or so when I first did it, but once you have it, maintaining it takes very little time (I did some maintaining before taking the picture above, because I hadn't cleaned the thing up in a month or more, and it took only five minutes!) as long as your categories are well-chosen for you. As to the initial effort, you *don't* have to do it all at once, and really, aren't there times when you're just standing around talking anyway and could be organizing while you chat? And of course it all saves you a lot of time when you're actually getting changed.

By the way, the single most helpful hint I can give you for putting things into folders is to mention that your inventory's file menu has a New Window option, which will spawn a copy of your inventory. So you can scroll through one window and drag things into folders in the other. Much easier than trying to drag them up and down through interminable scrolling!

Hope that wasn't too much information. :) But if you feel like it's hard work to look through your inventory, maybe a little organization would make you happier.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm no longer feeling like wearing a little white dress and need to use the inventory search box (very useful! do you use it?) for the term "black leather"...

^^^\ Kate /^^^


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)
Apart from organising a system of folders to keep things in, the most useful thing I have ever done for my inventory was to create a folder marked: !Unopened or not looked at yet.

The ! also makes it sort to the top of the list underneath my "Objects " folder. Whenever I buy something or pick up something (I love treasure hunts), or receive a group gift etc that I am not going to open and sort right there and then, I move it into the !Unopened folder straight away instead. The "Recent" tab lets me find them easily to move them to !Unopened.

This stops things getting scattered through my inventory and lost and forgotten and also gives me something to do in a quiet time - go through the !Unopened folder. It's amazing what you find in there sometimes - things you had completely forgotton about. If I don't think I will wear or use the item for whatever reason then I delete it immediately. If I do like it I move it out of unopened and into its proper folder.

The !Unopened folder has been the saviour of my inventory!

The hardest thing to organise though is hair! I'm yet to discover the perfect system that will let me find just what I'm looking for straight away.
Aug. 15th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
Oh, that's a very good point! I have a folder like that too, "New Things to Look At", which I forgot to mention...but I don't use it as carefully as you do, and it sounds like your way could work especially well. Thanks!

^^^\ Kate /^^^
Aug. 15th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
i am teased by friends and family because in SL my inventory showed a marked level of OCD, while in 1stL i am not always so organized. i can always find what i'm looking for in my inventory, my only problem is keeping the number down. i'm at 18,389 now, and only because i've been stashing things in boxes around my house. i'm in the middle of just biting the bullet and deleting all the old freebie stuff that i never ever wear anymore because i have such beautiful stuff.

i know what you mean about wearing something enough times to get some wear out of it. however, i have my outfits (full outfits only, not separates) organized by color because i've found that most often i'll go into my inventory thinking "i feel like wearing blue/orange/grey today" it works for me.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Kate Amdahl

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