Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My SL Chores

I never have to dust my house in SL, and hallelujah for that. I don’t have to launder or dry clean my pixel wardrobe or polish my pixel boots, and I’m pretty happy about that too. It’s impossible to leave socks lying around, bills strewn across the kitchen table, or dirty dishes piled in the sink, and those are just a few of the ways that SL is superior to RL. (Also, teleport anyone?) But just because we aren’t burdened with the same chores that we have to complete in RL doesn’t mean that there’s no work to be done.

Cleaning inventory is probably the SL chore that we all do most often, and like everything else in SL, there are different ways of tackling that task. Some people tidy up as they go along, deleting notecards and landmarks and the boxes that their clothes came in as soon as they’ve looked at them. These are the Efficiency Experts, who know exactly what they have in every folder and can produce it in the blink of an eye. They often have shockingly low inventory counts, keeping the contents lean by deleting items as they introduce new ones. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Hoarders, who let things pile up until it becomes unbearable. I’ve known people who became so overwhelmed by the contents of their inventory that they simply abandoned it all together, jumping ship to a new av with a new empty inventory rather than wading through the thousands of folders, objects, animations and gestures.

Myself, I fall slightly to the Efficiency Expert side of the spectrum, not because I don’t let things pile up (I do, especially notecards, which I have a particular phobia about deleting – what if I need the contact information and policies of a long-extinct hair store?) but because when I do organize, my organizational systems border on obsessive. 

A sample of the notecards that I've been unable to part with. Yes, all of them are from 2008 or earlier. No, I don't speak Turkish.  And, no, I don't know why I felt compelled to retain a notecard entitled, "How to wear your Pants."
I’ve spent a lot of time setting up subfolders, sub-subfolders, and often sub-sub-subfolders. The default options of Clothing, Landmarks, Notecards, and Objects are completely inadequate. In my Clothing folder, for example, I have folders for Accessories, Bottoms, Costumes, Footwear, Outfits, and Tops. The Bottoms folder houses subfolders for Drawers, Kilts, Pants, Shorts, and Swimwear; the broad category of Pants is further broken down into Jeans-black, Jeans-blue, Jeans-other, Overalls, Pants that are not jeans, and, my favourite category, Sexy pants. This latter, you see, allows for some subjectivity – it makes the system personal!

Case never met a sub-category that he didn't like.
I’ve often thought that I could make my fortune in SL if only there were a means to allow one person access to another’s inventory. I’d gladly spend hours setting up the subfolders and sub-subfolders and filing away items in their appropriate location. I’ve actually done this in the past for my RL BFF: she logged in, set herself to “busy,” handed me her laptop, and had me sort and categorize about six months worth of purchases, hunt gifts, group notices, and landmarks. Unfortunately, my filing system was a bit too particular for her liking. “I don’t need ‘Dresses-Long Sleeve,’ ‘Dresses-Short Sleeve,’ and ‘Dresses-Strapless,” she hollered when I was done. “And I certainly don’t need them sorted by length and color! Can’t I just have ‘Day Dresses’ and ‘Evening Gowns’?”

I was horrified. The categories she was suggesting were too broad, barely better than the default folders. “You’ll never find anything!”

“I’ll never find anything now!” she hissed. “How am I supposed to know whether you’ve decided a dress is fuchsia, pink, or magenta?” She took her computer back in a huff and, as far as I know, her inventory has returned to looking like her RL closet, with everything she owns in a confused pile at the bottom.

Okay, so it’s possible that my career as an inventory organizer would be short-lived but surely there are others who get satisfaction from a well-thought-out and carefully categorized inventory. What’s your secret to inventory organization? My process could use some refining!

Because this is what happens when I don't keep up on tidying my inventory. 

1 comment:

  1. And despite all this organization, it still takes you an hour to get dressed. :P