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Jigsaw puzzles have seen something of a comeback in recent years. A number of us chose to beat lockdown boredom with a tricky puzzle and then realized the satisfaction that can come from the challenge of creating and framing a custom jigsaw puzzle. There are a number of jigsaw puzzle sorting strategies that can help speed up the process of finishing a puzzle, including preparing your workspace with a puzzle board, making sure all pieces are right side up, and sorting pieces by shape, color, and design.

The more pieces your puzzle contains, the greater the challenge and the more satisfying the final result. However, sorting the pieces can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating task. 

To help make the process more efficient and enjoyable, we have put together a collection of ultimate jigsaw puzzle sorting strategies. Read on to uncover some of our top tips and tricks!

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Prepare Your Workspace

One of the best ways to ensure you set yourself up for success with your puzzle is to prepare your workspace before you start. Make sure you have a clear, open space that is flat and smooth, and remove any clutter or other items before laying out the puzzle. 

Opt for a light surface or, if possible, a dedicated puzzle board, such as one from MakeYourPuzzles, to help keep your pieces together and reduce the risk of any getting lost or going missing. There is nothing more frustrating than reaching the final stages only to discover that a crucial piece has vanished!

Using a puzzle board is also an important element of caring for your custom jigsaw puzzle, ensuring that you have a smooth base to work on and reducing the risk of something spilling on your pieces.

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Flip Over the Pieces

The next step is to take some time to ensure that all your pieces are facing the same way so that you can see the patterns and colors at a glance. This is important to do before the next step and will make it faster and easier to see which pieces you need.

Sort the Edge Pieces

Once you prepare your workspace and turn over all the pieces to face upwards, the next move is to start separating all the edge pieces from the rest of the puzzle. Lay out the edge pieces in a separate pile or on a large flat surface, making sure to keep them organized and easily accessible. 

These pieces have straight edges and will form the border of your puzzle. This step will give you a clear starting point.

Sort by Color and Pattern

The next step is to organize the remaining pieces by colors and patterns. This can be great for identifying and isolating different areas and sections of the puzzle. For example, if you have a 500-piece custom puzzle that features a beach scene, gathering all the blues together can help you start on the sky, while the lighter yellows and oranges are more likely to be the sand. 

By creating groups of specific colors and patterns, you can work in a more organized, logical way, and this decreases the chance of losing a crucial piece.

Sort by Shape

Once you have your groups of colors and patterns, you can then move to sort by shape. This is similar to finding all the edges, but focusing on the interlocking pieces that make up the puzzle's main body. By grouping similar pieces, you can easily spot and grab a piece when needed, making the puzzle-solving process smoother and stress-free.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the best jigsaw puzzle sorting strategies is a crucial element of ensuring that your puzzle-building experience is fun. By organizing pieces according to shape, color, style, and pattern, you can minimize potential stress and focus on helping your final image come together in a process that is as relaxing, therapeutic, and enjoyable!

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