jigsaw puzzle

Pandemic Countdown Week 4: Puzzles

Have you been puzzling up a storm during covid? This pandemic has shown us that the world can be divided into people who love doing puzzles – they enjoy the relaxing challenge, the delight of a puzzle in progress, the triumph of a puzzle well done – and those of us who would rather do just about anything else. No judgment, obviously. If puzzles are your thing, have at it. But if they’re not, and you still have a collection of puzzles hopefully waiting for you to discover their merits, consider letting this Saturday be the day you put them out of their misery. If you haven’t cracked the box open yet during covid, it will not happen.

Just like knitting, where some people find the clicking of needles a therapeutic, soothing sound and others like me knit angry little sweaters with tight, fused stitches, puzzles are great if they work for you and miserable if they don’t. Bending your neck over the table for extended periods of time is a literal pain. Finding and keeping a space for a large puzzle can be a challenge. And even if you love puzzles, do you love them so much that you glue them together and display them on your walls after they’re done? Some people do, but if you’re not one of them, when are you planning to revisit that puzzle?

Where to Donate Jigsaw Puzzles

Puzzles are highly donatable, although if you give one with a piece missing, karma will get you. If you’re ready to let those pieces stop rattling around in their box trying to get your attention, head to your nearest thrift store and send them on their way today.


  1. Great points. FWIW, nursing homes are a wonderful place to donate jigsaw puzzles, especially if the colors are bright and cheery and the details are not too small/fine. The problem with jigsaw puzzles is that if you don’t finish it, you can’t put it away, and an unfinished puzzle just looks like clutter, and a finished puzzle just looks like, well, a picture on a the table. 😉

  2. My family always does big, crazy puzzles during the holidays. It’s perfect to focus on something constructive while relaxing and you can always walk away and return later.

  3. I love a good puzzle. But not necessarily the kind in a box. Although, I do think puzzles are genius for kids because it really makes them think, understand shape, and size and learn how to put pieces back together again. It’s a great learning tool.
    When I’ve helped clients organize kid’s toys (I’ve done this for my own children and now my grand child)
    I labeled the back of each puzzle piece, one number for all the pieces that belong in a puzzle. I read that Linda does the same. It is time consuming but it sure helps when pieces are missing or out of their boxes.

    What a fun post!

  4. I will admit that I don’t like doing puzzles most of the time. However, on family vacations, we always do a group puzzle together and love it! It’s fun to see the different puzzle strategies, work collaboratively, and focus in this unique way. We get to experience joy, satisfaction, humor, frustration, and love. Towards the end we’re convinced that one piece is missing, but then it appears.

    I’ve helped many clients with sorting kids’ puzzles. We used a variety of strategies to keep the pieces together because often the boxes break or are missing. Ziplock bags holding the puzzle pieces and a cut out of the puzzle picture works well. Coloring or numbering the back of the puzzle pieces (one color or number per puzzle) in case they get separated works too, although it’s time-consuming.

    My mother-in-law always had a card table set up and a puzzle going. And my youngest daughter and husband regularly do puzzles.

  5. Puzzle karma–love that!

    I wanted my kids to engage is some puzzles so I’ve been putting them out one by one on a back table for our whole family to complete together. I find if they only have to do a few pieces, they’re less overwhelmed but at the same time they’re still acquiring critical thinking and spatial skills and engaging in teamwork.

  6. I’m a puzzler! I love puzzles. I like to do them with the picture there so I know which pieces I may be seeking. My sister says that’s cheating – oh, well. And, once I get the puzzle together it gets broken apart, put back in the box and donated out.

    1. I don’t think that’s cheating, Diane – puzzles are for fun not scoring points, LOL. When my kids were little, they liked to do the same puzzle over and over again, so I got into the habit of keeping them. But no one’s done a puzzle around here for about a decade – time to follow my own advice 🙂

  7. Yes, we were puzzling. We did a bunch of them, and then dismantled them and donated them. Except for a couple of 3-D puzzles that my husband did. He put those up on display in the basement. I’m tolerating them for now LOL!


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