Every puzzler is different, but for me sorting is the worst part. It’s a necessary part, at least for me, but it’s the part of puzzling that gives me the most anxiety and it’s just no fun at all.
Many people don’t sort, other than the edge pieces, but that’s something my OCD won’t allow me to do. Scrabbling through the box looking for pieces makes many people happy, I’m just not one of them.
My next puzzle – a 2000 piece (not the one shown above) – is being sorted at the moment, and it feels as though it’s taking forever and a day. When it’s finished I’ll be glad that I’ve spent the time sorting, because in addition to the edge pieces I’ve pulled out, there will be plenty of little sections in their separate containers ready to be dumped out and assembled. But when I’m in the middle of it – it just feels like drudgery.
For me, part of becoming familiar with the pieces starts with the sorting and laying the pieces out. It’s my first look, and I touch and look at every piece to see if it’s part of a section I’m pulling out or if it’s just going to be put on a tray; I’m getting used to the colors and patterns, and it helps me later on in the assembly.
Pulling out pieces to start working on after the edge is assembled is almost always necessary for me as well. I love being able to start right away putting something together once the edge is done. Unless the image is very difficult there are usually several sections that can be pulled out during the initial sorting, and it makes me happy to get to the puzzling right away. If it’s a collage I can zero in on a bright color or unique pattern, or I can set aside all the pieces with words or letters, or even pull out all the sky pieces; it all depends on the image. No matter what pieces I pull out, being able to start assembling something immediately after I put the edge together makes me happy.
I know all these things, and sorting is necessary for me and the way I puzzle – but I still hate the sorting. 🤷♀️