Quite a while back, we bought Little Mouse a set of puzzles. It was a box including 12 puzzles – 4 x 48-piece puzzles and 8 x 100-piece puzzles. At the time, she was just beginning to do 48-piece puzzles, so we kept the 100-piece ones packed away. Recently, I noticed she was breezing through the 48-piece puzzles without any issue at all. I decided to pull out some of the 100-piece puzzles to challenge her with. With a little help she has put a few of them together and loves it!
There are pros and cons to buying puzzles this way. One big pro is that it is a very inexpensive way to get a lot of puzzles. The big con is they each come in a non-reusable bag. It was no big deal at first. I just put them into Ziploc bags with a label of what the puzzle was and how many pieces were in them. This definitely worked well when there were only 4 of them. Once I realized I would be adding 8 more to the count, it really began aggravating my OCD. Having bags of puzzle pieces crammed onto a shelf was really not going to be good. Just thinking about it was making me cringe. The actual look of it was terrible. The puzzle shelf was so cluttered and unorganized. I knew I had to do something. The other thing I didn’t like was even though Little Mouse is beginning to read, she still has a hard time knowing which puzzle is which, so unless I pull one of these puzzles out for her to do, she overlooks these ones and opts for one with a picture on the box. I can’t blame her. I too like looking at a picture of the puzzle I’m putting together so I know what it is supposed to turn out like. The bags just weren’t going to work any more!
I vaguely remembered seeing a blog post quite a while back about organizing puzzles, so I went searching for ideas. This is what I found. It was so easy, inexpensive, and now the puzzle shelf looks amazing!
This is what the bags of puzzles looked like before.
I went to a craft store and bought 5 x 7 inch clear picture storage boxes. Put the puzzle pieces inside and then using clear packaging tape, I taped a picture of the puzzle on the outside of the box.
Little Mouse can easily open the box and it securely snaps closed so the pieces don’t fall out.
With the pictures on the box, Little Mouse can now go pick out which puzzle she wants to do and not have to guess at what it will look like. She also has a sample to follow.
The after shot of the puzzle shelf. I love how nice and neat it now looks!