Along with the companies that make hand sanitizer and toilet paper, puzzle manufacturers and sellers have been doing a brisk business lately. With everyone confined to their homes for the past few months, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had more time for slower-paced activities. If your family has hopped on the puzzle bandwagon and either ordered some new ones or broke out the puzzles hidden in the back of the closet, have we got the tiny hack for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Find a bulletin board
If you don’t have a dedicated table for doing puzzles (which I’m guessing applies to most people), you may struggle with where to put the puzzle while you’re working on it. You don’t just want to leave it on the floor for people to trip over, but if you try to pick it up to move it, there’s a good chance you’ll ruin all the hard work you’ve already put into the project. Sure, you could use your kitchen or dining room table, but you’ll probably need those surfaces for other activities, like eating. So what’s a puzzle-lover to do?
For easy moving, do your puzzle on top of a bulletin board—that way you can just pick it up and transport it to any spot in the house without breaking it. This tiny hack comes courtesy of a very smart friend of mine who posted a photo on Instagram of her two daughters putting a puzzle together on top of a bulletin board. When a commenter inquired about the method, my friend informed her that it was to make the puzzle easier to move. Genius!
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And this isn’t something she thought up during the pandemic—it’s a technique she’s been using for years. If the kids want to work on the puzzle, she can move it into a corner, so they’re not right in the middle of the room. And if they’re working on it at night, they can put it in front of a light. So many options!
Why a bulletin board?
If you’re wondering what makes a bulletin board so ideal for this use, let us break it down. While you may be familiar with a similar strategy involving doing a puzzle on top of a piece of cardboard, you should know that the bulletin board method is superior. First, if you’ve ever tried doing this with cardboard, you know how slippery that sucker can get. And, if you’re using a deconstructed box, the cardboard may be creased, so the surface isn’t completely flat. The smooth (and potentially uneven) surface may cause the puzzle to slide all over the place (including off the cardboard completely).
But a bulletin board isn’t quite as smooth as cardboard, making the puzzle pieces stay put. On top of that—and this is key—bulletin boards usually come with some sort of built-in frame. This way, even if your puzzle does slide around a bit, it won’t slide off the board completely (unless you deliberately dump it). The frame also makes it easier to pick the bulletin board up and move it around your home. You’re welcome.