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How to complete a jigsaw puzzle quickly

Sorting your puzzle pieces early can save you a lot of time when it comes to putting together a jigsaw puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are great when you’re looking for something relaxing to do, but it can also be fun to challenge yourself to complete a puzzle in record time (and by record time, we mean your personal record – but if you wanna go for the Guinness World Record, we support you!)

If you want to spice up your puzzle routine by challenging yourself to complete it fast, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help keep your speed up and stay on track! Also be sure to check out the video below by Karen Kavett (@KarenPuzzles on YouTube) who shows you how to do a jigsaw quickly using our puzzle, ORIGAMI!

TIP ONE: Give yourself time and space to focus

If you’re setting out to complete a jigsaw puzzle quickly you need to create the right environment. It sounds obvious, but think about it – if you’re trying to differentiate between fine details on tiny pieces and your dog is barking, it’ll probably be harder than usual to focus.

There’s also the space thing to consider – if you’re sorting a tricky 1000-piece puzzle and don’t have enough space on your table to get a good view of all the pieces, it’ll slow you down. You may even want to choose your puzzling location carefully; you don’t want to start using the dining room table only to have to pack everything away when the family moves in to eat dinner. In short: take some time before starting your puzzle to get that perfect combination of maximum surface space and limited distractions.

TIP TWO: Study the image!

Before getting started, take time to study the image. This is important for two reasons: deciding on your puzzling strategy (yes, really!) and understanding some of the puzzle’s finer details.

Your puzzling strategy should be based on the actual image. So if you’re tackling a puzzle like POOLSIDE, an edges first approach is normally the way to. But when working on one of our gradient puzzles (like PIXELS, GRADIENT or GEOMETRY) it can be better to pick a random section of colour and slowly watch the gradient build from there.

Paying attention to details early in the process will make completing the puzzle much easier. For example in CELESTIAL, there are several parts of the puzzle that feature shades of green – organise your pieces nice and early so you don’t waste time confusing emerald green with light green or yellow!

What's the quickest way to complete a jigsaw puzzle?
Some puzzles take longer than others…

TIP THREE: Sort your pieces carefully

This may seem like an obvious step but there are ways to make sorting your pieces even more efficient, which can make the whole puzzling process faster! Again, having enough space for thorough sorting will be a big help. You can use puzzle sorting trays or household items like old shoe boxes or zip bags to keep everything nice and organised!

Here’s a quick guide to sorting puzzle pieces:

  • Flip all the pieces over so you can see their details. You can do this by laying them all out in rows and columns or you can go piece-by-piece as you sort through them fresh from the box!
  • Find all of the edge pieces. This helps you construct the classic ‘frame’ which usually makes everything else much easier! And if the box gives you the puzzle dimensions, you can use that to help figure out how the border looks to speed up the process!
  • Sort by colour and pattern. If you want to complete a puzzle quickly you need to take the time to fully sort out your pieces early in the process. In a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle for adults there are going to be tons of fun details to add a certain level of difficulty, but that means you need to pay close attention to avoid wasting time. Take the time to sort your pieces by colous, patterns, and details to speed along the process.
  • Sort by shape. For some puzzles, there’s no option but to sort using the actual shape of the puzzle pieces. This can happen when the pieces look extremely similar, and it’s then simply a case of working through methodically until you find the one that fits. Having all of your pieces organised by shape will make this bit much faster. Depending on the space available and organization tools you have you may sort within each basic color section for added efficiency. The more you sort early, the quicker you’ll be able to piece the image together!
Sometimes sorting by shape can speed up your puzzling process!

TIP FOUR: Take one section at a time

Once you have your border established and pieces are sorted, you can start building off the border to fill out different sections. For puzzles with clearly defined sections like the bright and solid birds in ORIGAMI it may be quickest to build each little image in turn. Start with high-contrast pieces or images that stand out, like those featuring text or faces. When all of these sections are done you can then place them in their spots within the border and then fill in the background.

TIP FIVE: Ask a friend for help

Unless you’re aiming to complete the puzzle on your own, getting some help from a friend or family member can be a big help and make it all more fun! They can help sort, construct individual sections, and give you a second opinion to the frequently asked question, ‘What do you reckon, does this piece go here?’.

TIP SIX: Keep yourself engaged

Whether you’re going for a record or just challenging yourself, dedicating to finishing a puzzle fast can lead to a bit of burnout. Listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep yourself going (just make sure to make your selections before you start puzzling!). To avoid bouncing around and losing track, try mixing up what you’re working on! Focus on one small goal at a time like finishing the border, building each section, and sorting by details.

Puzzle nerds, we wish you the best of luck on your speed-puzzling quest. Let us know what strategies, tips and tricks you use – either in the comments below, or connect with us @cloudberriesofficial!

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