A player standing in Pierre's Store next to the backpack upgrade while they have a full inventory.

Stardew Valley: How to Increase Your Inventory

You're going to need a bigger backpack.

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Maya is a professional writer currently based in the South of England, with her niche being esports and video games. Having written for several popular websites, Maya thinks she has a trick up her sleeve for most games and is passionate about sharing them!

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

When starting out in Stardew Valley, you’ll get 12 slots of inventory space. Two inventory upgrades can be purchased from Pierre’s General Store:

  • The “Large Pack” gives players 24 slots total and costs 2,000g.
  • The “Deluxe Pack” gives full access to all 36 inventory spaces and costs 10,000g.

Utilizing Chests and the hotbar are two crucial ways of managing your limited inventory space. Using the bin or dropping items can also free up spare slots if you’re really tight on space.

Unlocking your full farming potential in Stardew Valley hinges on effective inventory management. This becomes especially difficult when you only start with 12 slots. Before you can blink, you’ll have run out of space! You need to start expanding and optimizing your inventory space for stress-free gameplay.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Increase Your Inventory

    An example of a starting Stardew Valley player's inventory, with only 12 slots.

    Upon starting a playthrough of Stardew Valley, your inventory will consist of only 12 slots—which is only one row. As you can imagine, this gets pretty tricky when navigating the mines or collecting different quality resources, filling up your inventory almost immediately.

    Luckily, Pierre’s General Store comes with some convenient options if you have the coin! At the start of the game, the upgraded backpack slots are available in Pierre’s shop above the “For Sale” sign. The “Large Pack,” which is red, increases your inventory space to 24 slots and costs 2,000g.

    The next upgrade, the blue “Deluxe Pack,” expands the inventory to the full 36 slots and is a whopping 10,000g. If you’re tired of seeing the “Inventory Full” notification popping up, saving for these upgrades is a must.

    Tips for Reducing Inventory Clutter

    Have you ever accidentally pulled out some Wood instead of a Pickaxe inside the mines? This may mean you’re not managing your inventory space effectively! Don’t worry, there are some tricks you can use to never run out of inventory space when you need it most.

    Plan for the Day Ahead

    You should only ever carry the bare essentials on you at all times, especially at the start of the game when you only have 12 slots. For example, if you’re having a day out in the mines or quarry, consider leaving your farming tools like the Hoe, Watering Can, and Fishing Rod at home. You also won’t need materials like Wood or Clay in your inventory either.

    Utilize the Hotbar

    A player in Skull Cavern with an effective hotbar setup, which includes their Sword, a Pickaxe, Bombs, Food, and a Totem.

    The hotbar is the best way to effectively manage your tools and goods, consisting of the first 12 slots in inventory. You can use the Scroll Wheel or designated hotkeys corresponding to the slot. To change the current hotbar, press “Tab” on PC to rotate to the next inventory row.

    You should place frequently used items on the hotbar for quick access, like daily tools, Food, and a Totem for teleportation. This is particularly important during combat or other time-sensitive situations to avoid accidentally holding the wrong item. We recommend placing your primary weapon as your first hotkey to whip out in sticky situations.

    Unlock Junimo Huts

    Junimo Huts become available once you’ve completed the Community Center’s “Bulletin Board” bundles or the Joja Community Development Projects. These magical structures automate the harvesting process, as these cute little apple-like creatures do all the hard work for you, reducing the need to carry farming tools like the Hoe or Scythe.

    Use Chests

    Pink, purple, turquoise, and lime green chests along a road in front of a house in Stardew Valley.

    Just like your inventory, Chests are another means of storage. Luckily, the crafting recipe for Chests is available at the start of the game and only requires 60 Wood. Thanks to Chests, you can store useful items and resources inside to avoid cluttering up your inventory. You can even color-code Chests, so you know which one contains particular items! For example, you can make gray Chests for ore, green Chests for crops, etc.

    Be careful with your Chest placement—NPCs will destroy them if it’s in their walking pathway.

    If you want to befriend or romance some Pelican Town residents, place a Chest outside their house and fill it with stacks of their favorite gifts for easy, stress-free present-giving. This saves you from lugging around countless items. Or, if you frequent Robin the Carpenter’s shop, you’ll be better off storing your Stone, Hardwood, and Wood near her house to save time.

    Sell the Excess

    You should always make sure to sell extra items for which you have no use or plans. For example, if you’re fishing for a specific aquatic creature, you should sell the spares whenever you get a chance. This will save you inventory space and also make you extra money in the long run.

    Especially while harvesting crops, you’ll notice that the same crop yields four different quality items, ranging from Normal, Silver, Gold, and Iridium. This means that there’s a possibility you’ll get four different item stacks. To save space, if you have more Silver and Gold crops, you’ll be better off selling those instead of a small stack of Iridium crops.

    To Drop or Not to Drop?

    An example of a player throwing away Trash using the "Bin" feature in the inventory menu.

    Players can always discard any items they don’t want, either by using the Trash feature on the right side of the inventory menu or by dropping them on the ground. While these two options seem interchangeable, they have two completely different functions.

    • The Bin: When you put your items in the Trash, they are immediately disposed of and cannot be reclaimed. You should only bin items that have zero gifting or selling value. If you have extra resources, you can upgrade your Trash Bin to give you a percentage of the item’s value when discarded.
    • Dropping: Once an item is dropped on the ground, it’ll simply stay there. Unless you interact with it, this item will remain on the ground. This means players can drop items they plan on picking up later once they’ve made space in their inventory.

    Inventory management is the key to thriving farm life in Stardew Valley. With a spacious, organized inventory, you should be well-equipped to tackle any challenge thrown your way, from constructing new farm buildings like the Silo and Barn to obtaining the rare Prismatic Jelly.

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