I love the progress that Kate has shared with us, of our Abandoned Farm Buildings. Kate received this landscape jigsaw as a gift last Christmas. It got us thinking about how to store jigsaw puzzles in progress. We don’t always finish our latest challenge in one sitting. Depending on the difficulty they can take a few days to a few weeks to complete. It then becomes important to have a designated place to store your incomplete puzzle.
General Tips for Jigsaw Puzzle Storage
Of course, a flat and stable surface is a must for puzzling. As well as a place to keep all the pieces together. Storing them away from direct sunlight, to prevent fading or damage to the pieces. Below I’ve listed some regular and DIY jigsaw puzzle storage options. Some of which I use in combination together and others I’ve yet to try.
Roll Up Puzzle Mat or Roll
A roll up puzzle mat allows you a surface to assemble on and then when finished for the day, roll it up and store it away. Enabling you to gain back precious table space. When I started puzzling a mat was my first buy. But my first mistake was buying a poor-quality mat! The felt material fibres would catch on my fingers or nails and get stuck between pieces. Not an attractive look when you try to photograph your most recent challenge. Neoprene jigsaw rolls are available if you are not a fan of felt and would like to avoid this problem.
The Box and Lid
Generally, before I bought trays, I liked to use the box and its lid as temporary storage. This would keep all the pieces safe of course and worked well for smaller puzzles. But it allowed for only limited sorting of the pieces if needed.
Use Puzzle Sorting Trays
Recently I purchased my first set of stackable coloured puzzle sorting trays. They have been very helpful in keeping all the pieces organised by sorting into colours or shapes. Being stackable makes their footprint small while not in use. This is great when space is premium or to keep the table area tidy.
I have seen some cute puzzle piece shaped sorting trays that I would also like to try. And of course, kitchen serving trays work as well.
A Puzzle Board or Portable Puzzle Board
I’m yet to try a dedicated puzzle board or a portable one. I currently use either our kitchen or dining table. Unfortunately, I have learnt the hard way. Losing a piece recently when moving an incomplete jigsaw and pieces from one table to another.
A board that tilts up would be my ideal set up. Enabling the best view of the puzzle and most come with some storage. But I don’t have the space to keep one when not in use. So that makes the idea of the zip up portapuzzle more attractive to move and store a puzzle to free up space. I did find a cool little Ikea puzzle table / hack for puzzles in progress; storage on wheels. A DIY storage option of a board that rolls away under the couch or sofa, for the handier of us.
Designated Jigsaw Puzzle Table or Area
Well as mentioned one of our tables (dining or kitchen) is usually my go to place for puzzling. It’s not a storage space but it does lend itself to making a puzzle a community collaboration in our household. It means as a family we all end up joining in to complete a jigsaw together. Either at the same time or at different times when the kids, hubby or I are passing by.
Be careful though, in our house the chairs of the table need to stay pushed in. There is a certain family member that likes checking out the table for yummy snacks if given the opportunity. I’m always concerned he will grab a piece or scatter them enough to lose a piece. Ahh, the joys of Australian wildlife or more precisely owning a Jack Russell Terrier!
Updated to add that I now have a designated table space for my puzzling. The old homework station the kids used is now clear for me to use. With the major bonus of its location in the family room where everyone is at some point during the day.
How to store jigsaw puzzles in progress – Conclusion
In summary, there are a variety of storage methods to suit the needs of enthusiasts. Whether that be roll up mats, sorting trays, dedicated boards or designated tables. Each method has unique advantages and disadvantages. With a little research, the enthusiast can find a suitable storage method. One that will help them organize and protect their collection. While also allowing for easy access and enjoyment of their pastime.
If you would like to share images of your jigsaws either in progress or completed, please do. I would love to see them and share on our social media pages. Remember to tag your images with #printsbywallabypuzzles.
If you have a jigsaw storage product you would like to feature, please get in contact.