Have you ever found that a hinge or screw has come loose, only to find that the wood that it has been screwed into is now stripped and far too large for the screw? If so, here is my number one Do It Yourself tip revealed to me by my father just 6 months ago. Since that time, I have fixed the shutters on my home, several doors, cupboards, outlets, you name it. If the screw doesn't fit anymore, this may be the best advice you've been given.
a few quick minutes
To help give you a visual on how to do this, I'll walk you through our last project. The hinges on our linen closet door had become loose. When I went to tighten them, I found that the wood surrounding the screws was burrowed out, allowing for absolutely no grip with the screws.
Here's the quick, but effective, fix that even a child can do.
Step 1: Place the end of a toothpick into the hole as far as it will go. Break it off as flush with the wood as possible. Continue adding more toothpicks until you have filled the hole. No need to to stuff it, but fill it completely.
Step 2: Using the screwdriver, drive the screws back into place. The toothpicks will provide a surface they can grip to.
Did you inadvertantly lose the screws over time? Sometimes, the wood has been so stripped for so long that you may have lost a screw or two before you even knew there was a problem. I've found that the toothpicks allow for a lot more leniency when it comes to replacing screws. I just find screws that basically fit and fill with enough toothpicks to give me a good grip.
Step 3: Done! All we had left to do was rehang the door.
Now, I said earlier that this project was easy enough for a child to do. This particular project was brought on when my 7 year old decided to kick the linen closet door when he was upset. Since he had caused the problem, I had him fix it. He did the whole project, from start to finish (besides removing and hanging the door, of course) by himself with me just describing the steps to him as I did above. It was simple for even him.
Good luck and happy fixing!