I’m not sure about you, but puzzles are one of those toys that just irritate me no end.
I am constantly picking up puzzles pieces off the floor and no matter how many times I sticky tape the boxes closed they come open and the puzzle pieces come spilling out all the time.
Having a three year old that enjoys jumping on the boxes doesn’t help much either.
This means I always have a pile of puzzle pieces in the house, this results in what I call “extreme puzzle building”. This is when you have all the pieces for about 30 puzzles in a pile and you need to sort them all out and see which puzzles are missing too many pieces and which are still fine.
By too many pieces missing I mean when your child does the puzzle and starts screaming blue murder with frustration because only one third of the puzzle is there… then it is time to chuck it out otherwise it will drive me completely bonkers.
You know those moments when you feel you can’t take any more? And then you hear a blood curdling scream? And it is over a missing puzzle piece?
Oh yeah those moments.
Now even when all those puzzle pieces are in the right boxes, storing puzzles takes up space and when you have as many puzzles as we do (probably well over 30 kids jigsaw puzzles) it becomes a big problem.
My son just loves not only jumping on the boxes but also throwing the pieces around. Oh my, he sounds seriously destructive doesn’t he? Honestly I think he is just a normal boisterous and mischievous three year old, but yes adding him to the mix of 3o puzzles in boxes is just not a great plan.
Jigsaw Puzzle Organizer?
So during the Christmas holidays I had enough of all these puzzle pieces. I searched online for jigsaw puzzle organizer ideas and there were a some but a lot of them looked quite expensive and most didn’t seem to fit the needs I have. I want the pieces to stay in the right place and I want to be able to store all of the puzzles in a compact and easily stored away way.
The answer was quite simple.
I bought a lovely box with a lid from the Crazy Store for about R150, then I bought loads of Tuffy Bags – not the plain zipper bags, I bought the slider bags which are way more tough and hardy. Also they stay closed without a problem which is what was seriously needed here.
We went through all the puzzles one by one and when we completed one we popped all the pieces into one of the Tuffy slider bags. Then I cut out the small image of the puzzle from the box and stuck it with wide sticky tape on the front of each bag. Maybe not the neatest and most attractive way of going about it but it does the job and you can see which puzzle is which from the outside of the bags.
One by one we got through those puzzles and they now all live in one big closed box which is awesome. All the puzzles are stored together in one small, compact space where none of the pieces can escape their individual bags or the big box.
I now keep this box up in the top cupboard and if my kids want to do some puzzles I bring down the big box and let them choose a puzzle to do.
I highly recommend you give this a go mommies, we have not had any problems with puzzle pieces since!
What my sister also did was whenever she bought a puzzle she labelled all the pieces on the back of the puzzle with a letter or number so if the pieces are spilled you can see which pieces belong to which puzzle by simply looking at the back of the puzzle piece.
Oh that is quite a cool plan, thanks for sharing Shereen! That will certainly come in handy, I will slowly start implementing that to on our old puzzles and as soon as we get a new one.
This is brilliant!!! Guess what we doing this weekend 😛
Enjoy Tamara, its a pain to sort out in the beginning but once you do your puzzles will be nicely organized!
I did exactly this – great minds think alike 🙂
I’m going to also do what Shereen’s sister did, it is an absolutely brilliant idea.
Thanks for the post!! Going to try share it on social media to help other moms!
LOL Michal, it really is so simple, especially when I was searching for how to organize puzzles and there were so many ideas that still left a lot of issues that I was trying to avoid.
Yes I also love Shereen’s suggestion, it makes total sense. It will just take me a little while to get to all of them 🙂
Excellent useful idea!!!
Thanks Lynne and Shereen
Haha i am no fan of puzzles myself when it comes to missing pieces
But my late mom always taught us to put it back in box in a packet this way if it falls out its in packet. Depending the size of puzzle pieces we also use to use bank bags
Useful tips thank you puzzles is one of my son favorite I those ice cream containers with the pictures of the puzzles that’s inside so he just looks at the pictures and he knows which one to play with it
Ill be getting plastic contianers big enough for the puzzle cut the picture and add in with the puzzle but to make my life easier ill give 1 puzzle at a time that will ensure they dont mix with one of his other when he starts building puzzles.
I also do the numbering of the puzzles, cause becomes frustrating when your little one wants to break all puzzles and I make sure the puzzles are completed before putting away. numbering makes my life the most easy from all.
I used his little takkie boxes for the puzzles and stick the picture on the top of the shoe box.
The small puzzles I keep them in strawberry punnets [plastic containers] with the picture on top.