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5 clever ways to organise kids’ puzzles

Puzzles are an extraordinary educational tool but they’re also a complete nightmare to clean up and keep organised. There are all kinds of specialty trays you can buy at the toy store, but they are often expensive and only hold a handful of puzzles.

Here are some easy, cheap and cheerful storage ideas, which even the kids can get a grip on using.

Plastic button sleeves

This is the cheap and cheerful method that we use. At the end of the day when you can’t bear to pick up another toy, all the pieces get thrown into a plastic sleeve. Works great for board puzzles. For a jigsaw puzzle, I would stick the completed image on the sleeve for reference. Bonus is the sleeves are solid enough that they can be filed on the bookshelf.
Puzzle organisation

Mesh wash bag

Similar to above and probably even cheaper, is using a mesh wash bag. Bonus is the bag can be washed if they get too dirty from little fingers. Throw all the bags in a large storage container to store.

View more storage solutions at A Little Delightful

Colour code puzzle pieces

This is a great idea for making the clean up an activity in itself. Use coloured baskets (or boxes) and add the same colour to the back of the puzzle pieces which belong to that basket. You can use coloured sticker dots or just draw them on with a texta. This is great for older kids who know their colours so they can put away their own puzzles.

View the full tutorial at Smart School House

Paper trays

If you have the space, these make everything look super-tidy. These types of trays are easy to find in craft stores in the scrapbooking section or stationery/office supply shops.

This great idea from The Navy Stripe

Recycled boxes

Have a look at what you already have – reduce and reuse! This clever mum used recycled courier boxes, stacked and glued together. They can be decorated if you wish. Costs almost nothing and you’re reusing something that would have normally gone to landfill.

Clever idea from Liz 2.0


Note: I have seen some posts encouraging the use of large zip lock bags for storing puzzles. This is concerning as these bags are a suffocation hazard, especially for little kids. Try one of the methods above and happy puzzling!


Do you have any great tips for storing children’s toys? Leave us a comment below.


  1. April 11, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Oh I love this! Particularly the mesh bags as I’m trying to reduce my plastic use 🙂

    • April 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

      Thanks for reading Clare 🙂

  2. November 13, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Some great ideas! Finding lost puzzle pieces drives me crazy! Pinned & shared 🙂

    • November 13, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      It’s like they grow legs sometimes isn’t it!? No idea how those puzzle pieces get into the strangest places.

  3. November 11, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    What a clever idea! We do mix up lots of puzzle pieces in our household. This is a great way for the kids to get involved in sorting them out.

    • November 12, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      Thanks Tina 🙂

  4. November 6, 2015 at 7:13 PM

    These are great ideas! We don’t have many puzzles, but they seem to take up the most room on the shelf all the same!

    • November 20, 2015 at 9:18 PM

      Thanks Emma 🙂 They can get so messy, so quickly.