Hi everyone! I don’t know about you, but we have a lot of puzzles. And they all come in various sized boxes.

The kind where the edges split and then you have to tape them back together.

And then when you put them in a ‘puzzle area’ they come apart anyway.

So you have puzzle pieces all over the place.

Lost.

You know…puzzles.

IMG_9199web

 

Well today I’m here to help you eliminate puzzle chaos!

I love puzzles, they’re great educational tools, but I have to confess that I hate the stray puzzle pieces that inevitably end up laying around here and there. So I set out on a mission to organize our puzzles.

IMG_9192web

I was loitering in our local craft store and ran upon these 5×7 plastic photo cases. They looked like something handy, then it dawned on me that they would be a great way to store our puzzles!

 

IMG_9197web

So if you’re interested in taking this venture with me, grab yourself a few of these sweet little cases, some scissors, some packing tape, and all of your puzzles and let’s get started!

Here’s what our puzzle mess looked like before…and no this isn’t all of them, I just didn’t want to scare you right off the bat.

IMG_9187web

 

Step 1: Place your puzzle pieces into the box just to make sure they even fit first.

IMG_9195web

 

If they do, cut off the top image from your puzzle box. You will want this to identify the puzzle, and also to have as a reference when working the puzzle. Tape it into the inside of the box using clear packing tape. When you close the box you can see the puzzle image clearly.

IMG_9194web

 

These boxes have snaps on the sides, so they’re nice and thin. Plus if you use them they’re uniform and stack well. One thing to check is the clips on the ends though. Some of the boxes didn’t clip well, so you’ll want to make sure you get ones that snap good. Otherwise…puzzle pieces galore and we can’t have that now can we!

IMG_9196web

 

For our larger puzzles I found this bigger clear container. It was at the container store and the handles actually snap the lid into place. They’re also great for stacking. We use them for our larger wooden puzzles. this keeps the pieces from going all over.

IMG_9191web

 

Finally we stacked all of our puzzles nicely into one of my Ikea bins, and put it back on our shelves.

IMG_9201web

 

I had a couple bins left over and decided to use them for some of our preschool manipulatives. They’re great for this purpose too!

IMG_9200web

 

And voila’ that’s our new puzzle solution.

I hope it helps relieve you of some of those annoying stray puzzle pieces and brings a little organization to the chaos!

44 Comments

    1. We’ve been doing it that way for years too. Because you always finds stray pieces around the house. A little time consuming the first time but well worth it. Every puzzle that comes in gets the treatment now, it only takes a couple of minutes to do

      JoAnn
    2. This tip was one I got some years back and is so helpful when you find a random blue or green or white piece and have no idea which actual puzzle it came from. It takes just a few moments when a puzzle is completed to turn it over and do. A letter code for the actural jigsaw and then a numbering ssytem such as A 1/24 A 2/24 and this way can also be a quick way of knowing if you have all the pieces to hand.

      Roz
  1. If the plastic boxes are not affordable for some of your readers (it wasn’t for us), using gallon ziplocs was a solution for most of our puzzles. I included the picture of the puzzle in the bag. Using ziplocs actually takes up even less space and can fit in places a plastic container might not. IKEA has some nice zip close bags in various sizes that provide a bit of color as well.

    1. We use ziploc bags for this purpose as well and it works great. I would recommend using the ones with the little zipper close which is great for little fingers! I organize a lot of our lessons and materials this way, then I just throw each bag into my preschoolers work box and she unpacks and packs it back up when she’s done.

      Lara
    1. I put all my board games in a box… I labeled each board piece and then put all the pieces in freezer (since they are thicker) bags according to the size I needed. I didn’t cut the boxes since I had the instructions for each game and put that facing out with the game name on it. It reduced so much clutter and saves a lot of space. When we want to play a game, instead of tumbling boxes, I pull the whole box down and pull the bag and board we want.
      I like the idea if these boxes instead of the bags too… These would be easier to stack. Plus labeling the side will make it easy to find too.

      Natalie
  2. This is super adorable! For anyone on a tighter budget (like me!), I’ve done the same thing but with Ziploc bags (in various sizes based on the puzzle). Not quite as pretty but much better than the boxes and much cheaper than individual bins. 🙂

    Emily
  3. We use the plastic “school supply” boxes for many of our puzzles. Very affordable as well. Sometimes the puzzle picture is too big to fit on the front, but then we just take a picture of the completed puzzle and tape that on the front. 🙂

    Angie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.