Unpacking Boxes, and If It’s Free, Why Do I have to BUY It?

Almost everything you buy in SL comes in boxes. One of the best tutorials I’ve found on unpacking them is on Shynee Jewell’s blog. When you’ve read that, come back here for an explanation of why you have to BUY things that are FREE.

Why Do I Have to Buy Free Stuff?

It’s quite simple, really: unless someone gives you something in SL, the only other way to obtain it is to buy it. But here’s the deal: if the vendor or seller has set the price at $L0 (zero Lindens), you won’t be charged anything when you “buy” it.

A few older vendors will charge you $L1, but will immediately refund it to you. And no, I have no idea why they do it that way. There are some things that man (or woman) was not destined to know.

And that, dear reader, is that. Opening boxes isn’t all that hard. Just remember that you have to be in an area where building is allowed, and to clean up after yourself. Some items will be copied to your inventory, in which case you can pick up the box and keep it in your inventory. Others will be transferred, leaving an empty box. In this case, you should delete the box.

Why Boxes, Anyway?

Think of boxes as SL’s version of ZIP, TAR, or similar compressed files. It’s an excellent way to keep files together.

Here’s an example:

It’s a box of clothing I purchased. In my inventory, it’s displayed as a simple box icon. But when I drag it to the ground, it becomes the cute truck the designer created for it. This is where I would right-click on it, wait for the menu to fill with the contents, and select “Copy to Inventory.” In this case, it’s a Copy rather than a Move, so I will then return the item to my inventory. If it had Moved the contents, I would then delete the empty box.

And here are the results of unpacking the box:

This particular item comes in 7 versions, each one suited to a particular avatar style. It also contains a link to the vendor’s store, in case I want to shop there again.

And that, dear friends, is pretty much all you need to know about boxes. Now go out and shop!


Help! I Can’t Find My Stuff!

Or, Inventory Management in Second Life

When you create your Second Life (SL) account and log in for the first time, your Inventory has approximately 150 objects in it: clothes, shape, skin, etc.; in short, everything that makes you you.

As you accumulate more stuff, your inventory grows. Eventually, you’ll  reach the point where you’ll want to find something, only to end up asking yourself “Now where the heck did I put that thing, anyway?”

Here’s an example: I just created a brand-new account using a classic, bare-bones avatar. Jenny is a well-dressed business executive:


This is her initial inventory. It has 143 items (NOTE: The “3463 elements” notice at the bottom includes all the items in her Library folder, which every SL account comes with).


Again, I’m using the latest version of the Firestorm viewer, just because. Both Firestorm and the official SL viewer do a pretty good job of organizing your inventory by various classes. But what if you have an inventory item that doesn’t fit into any of the given categories (folders)? What if you don’t want your Body Parts folder to be all jumbled, with hair, eyes, shapes, skins, etc. all tangled together?

Here’s the secret: you can create new folders in your inventory! And you can create subfolders within those new folders! Here’s my inventory:

As you can see, I have 1653 items in my inventory. I’ve also organized them into various new folders. For example, under Body Parts, I created a Hair folder, and inside that folder, there’s one for my A&A hairstyles.

I’ve done the same for various other body parts:

Even these folders have subfolders. You can chalk it up to my OCD, or just take it for what it is: a way for me to quickly find exactly what I’m looking for.

Just remember one thing: the longer you wait before organizing your inventory, that harder it will be when you finally get around to it.

See you next time!

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