Today I spent about seven hours taking up the carpet in the dining room. Seven hours? It was supposed to take about three. Am I that slow? No.....it's a big room, and there were a few hangups.
But I did learn a bit.
1) Think about the future. The first carpet installer who laid it down many, many years ago didn't. Either that or he heard the term 'tack strip' and decided that it should be changed to 'nail forest. That's right. What should have been easily pulled up by loosening a few tacks turned into an ecstatic, blissful experience that included breaking up the wooden strips and prying up nails. One minute spent pulling up a three-foot strip turned into ten minutes of jerking, prying and yanking.
2) Do the whole job. My husband's ancestors had a major dislike of painting or staining the center of the room.
3) Replace what you destroy. When I finished prying, pulling and dragging, I wanted to damp mop with Murphy's Oil Soap. My husband had broken my mop while cleaning something outside (!) and failed to get another one. I had to settle for vacuuming and feeling part of the debris hit my legs as I did.
4) Don't do major projects with a busy houseful. My two youngest were at daycamp, and the only one at home slept all day. It would have taken three times longer if I'd had to stop regularly and referee squabbles or make lunch.
But it's done now...and it's not beautiful. It's lived in . Historic. Part of family history. If only we knew the story of those 2 inch holes in the middle of the room.