How Do I Remove the Staple?
Many collectors use a pocket knife or small kitchen knife to "shuck" their covers. Carefully bend up the two ends of the staple, turn the matchbook over and gently pry and pull the staple out. (Some collectors use small needle-nose pliers to do this). Once you have removed the staple, discard the matches.
How Do I Make My Matchcovers Flat?
Pressing the covers flat makes them look neat and stay in the album better. Lay a stack of covers end to end and front to back, so the folds are evenly distributed. Put the stack between two small pieces of wood or heavy cardboard, and wrap them tightly with strong rubber bands. Set them aside for a day or two. You can also press them in a book or clamp, or under weights.
For another quick shucking technique and more information on preparing matchcovers, check this article.