Where was Milton’s Swingline Stapler?!

They switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll set the building on fire… 

Ahhh–Office Space.  Gotta love it.  Back when I taught Cost Accounting I did a whole lesson on Office Space . . . it was relevant, er, sort of.

Anyways, back on track–what do staples have to do with Mr. and Mrs. Bunches you ask?! Well, lately, we’ve been drowning in staples.  Why?  Well, because that’s what happens when you rip out 1,800 square feet of carpet . . .

You’re left with tack strips (which are nailed down), and carpet padding (which is stapled down).

And, when you live in a 5o-year old house that’s had carpet installed at least three times over the years, well, that means that there are A TON of staples in the floor.  And I mean a ton!

The good news though?  The hardwood floors are in FANTASTIC condition!  The bad news–well, haven’t you figured it out by now?  The STAPLES!  And whoever did it clearly didn’t use Milton’s Swingline since there were a ton of double, triple, and even quadruple feeds on the floors . . .

But, once we were armed with screwdrivers and needle-nosed pliers (or in my case, my trusty Leatherman), we just got to work . . .

Use the screwdriver to lift, then the pliers to grab, twist, and pull.

And just repeat that 332,845 times.  Seriously.  Basically, we looked like this all weekend:

Our backs were killing us!  Carrie–we totally needed a yoga break!

See that bucket of junk next to me in the picture up above?  That’s what we pulled up from the floor.  We filled that at least 4 times over.  Ugh.

But once everything was pulled, then with just a quick sweep . . .

We had beautiful floors!!!!!!  Here’s a quick before and after for ya:

Master Bedroom BEFORE:


Family Room BEFORE:

And AFTER (clearly, we’ve also started priming the walls in there, but more on that misadventure in another post):

And the biggest room of the house, the combo living/dining room BEFORE (note the dark walls in addition to the mile of cream carpet):

And AFTER (we painted the walls Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White, but we still need to paint all the trim):

Such an improvement, huh?!?!  But boy did it leave us tuckered out . . . especially my Mr.!

But isn’t it worth it?  Check out those gorgeous stairs!  (That was a total bonus btw–we thought for sure we would just find plywood underneath the old grungy carpet, but nope–this house keeps surprising us, and beautiful oak stair treads are just the latest.)  Here’s the before to remind you of how far they’ve come:

Up next?  Well, despite looking beautiful in pictures, the floors are kind of a Monet–they look good from far away, but up close they’re a bit of a mess.  So we’re having them refinished.  And that brings me back to the dilemma of what color to have them finished (which I posted about ad nauseam here).  I have until next Tuesday to make a decision (that’s when our hardwood refinisher guy is starting) and I’ll show you the options tomorrow.

Milton Waddams and his Swingline stapler image from here.


  1. Wow! Are you guys ever in luck! That’s so great that the floors were in such wonderful condition. But my T-9 vertebra is just aching with empathy seeing those photos of you guys hunched over all weekend : ( What did you decide for the finish??

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