Tackling a Jigsaw Puzzle? Start Here

If it’s been a while since you tried putting a jigsaw puzzle together, you might want to think about taking on the challenge. Why? Well… why not? There’s plenty to like about jigsaw puzzles. Tackling one can be an enjoyable and productive way to pass time. They’re also one of very few pastimes that can be both relaxing and intellectually stimulating at the same time.

Working on a jigsaw puzzle demands your full concentration. The intense focus it requires can help take your mind off other things in your life that may be stressful. The process also takes reasoning and strategic thinking, which helps keep the mind sharp. Of course, assembling a jigsaw puzzle involves plenty of effort and time, but it’s time and effort that’s spent on something that can be satisfying and enjoyable.

Once you finish a jigsaw puzzle, you’ve accomplished something tangible you can look at and take pride in as a “job well done.” Here are some steps that can help make working on a jigsaw puzzle a bit more organized.

A few helpful tips...

  • Find a flat surface with plenty of space to work on your puzzle, a spot where you can leave everything until you’ve finished the puzzle.

  • Spread out all your puzzle pieces before beginning, turning over each piece over so you can see its image.

  • Separate edge pieces from interior pieces and sort pieces into piles based on where in the puzzle they most likely belong.

  •  Group together pieces with the same distinguishing colors and features, looking for minor variations in color that may help pinpoint their exact location.

  • Divide pieces into smaller groups by shape. For example, pile those with one tab together and those with four tabs together.

  • Begin the process by assembling the puzzle’s border first, locating the four corner pieces of the puzzle and then assembling each edge.

  • Focus your attention on one specific portion of the puzzle at a time, working with one group of puzzle pieces at a time.

  • Take plenty of breaks so working on the puzzle doesn’t become a source of stress. Walk away from the puzzle for a while can give you a fresh perspective.

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