Puzzles. They sit there on their shelf just taunting my organizational needs with their pieces and boxes and boards and mismatched shapes. My kids love them, but with a toddler and a preschooler, we have everything from the simple board puzzles to the floor puzzles to everything in between. All different. So how to make sense of all these moving parts?
The Container Store, natch! I went hoping to find a magical puzzle organizing section (they don’t have one), but did walk away with these bad boys:
I should mention that I found something wildly similar at Ikea.
For most of our puzzles, the pieces fit neatly inside these plastic boxes. (Much to my chagrin, there are still one or two outliers who may make their way to Goodwill as a result…)
Thanks to these boxes, I can stack all the puzzle boards on one shelf and keep all the boxes neatly organized in their own labeled basket or piled on top of each other.
To make things easier for the kids, I took pictures of each puzzle fully assembled, laminated the picture and velcroed the image onto each box.
Before you go thinking I’m one label shy of crazy, here’s my thought process: the puzzling needs of the kids will certainly change over time, and by using velcro, I can swap out pieces as needed for newer more challenging puzzles!
The kids don’t always keep to the system, so periodically I have to go through the boxes to make sure pieces are sorted. But… when they’re not in use, the puzzles can be easily tucked away… and when we get the puzzling bug, everything is easy to access! (While the laminator was warmed up, I also took the opportunity to update my basket labels with some pictures.)
(While the laminator was warmed up, I also took the opportunity to update my basket labels with some pictures.)