It’s not exactly a difficult process, though.
I’ve around level 45 and honestly most of the time I’m unequipped when moving. I keep necessary stuff on my hotbar for emergencies.
Usually it’s like this.
Up: My weapon, usually a 1H sword
Up-Right: My shield.
Down: A truncheon mostly, maybe extra pick or tool for hunting stone/ore or wood.
Down-Left: My pick.
Left: My hatchet/cleaver
Up-Left: Either a skinning knife or food
Right: Usually this one gets changed by situation the most. Waterskin during travel, building pieces during construction, and so on.
Down-Right: When slaving it’s a binding, sometimes a torch otherwise.
If anything for a QoL, I say give us the ability to have a secondary bar.
For PS4, at least, it could be done as follows:
While L1 is held, press down on the Control Pad to swap between hotbars. Even if the second bar only gave us an additional four slots it would be a nice improvement.
A definite QoL addition would be to save a preset hotbar. Say whatever you currently have in the 8 slots, save a template of this. So you can fill 8 slots with building pieces and placeables for construction.
Then when you are done, the template is applied and those items in your inventory are placed back in the hotbar slots. No hassle with fixing it all again, or struggling to build using only 1-2 slots.