I fear you can't really avoid getting stuck by applying a specific strategy, it really depends on how good the game design is, and many P&C adventures are occasionally lacking in that department.
However, when I play P&C adventures, the most basic strategy is to scan every room your in, examine any hotspot you can interact with, pick up everything that isn't nailed down, talk to everyone, exhaust all the options before moving onto the next room. Don't just run around from one room to the next, thinking you can always come back and examine it later (you probably can, but this method is inefficient and makes you prone to overlook something due to impatience and repetition, it may cause you to run around in circles soon).
As a sidenote, old Sierra adventures like the King's Quest series are not the easiest to get into, I think in one or more of the earlier ones you can even get into a dead end. In any case, for the older Sierra adventures, I guess the best strategy is: Save often, and in as many different slots as possible. (Because every screen probably features at least one way to kill you, and should you run into a dead end and know what caused it, if you've saved the game at many different stages, you might be able to continue your playthrough by reloading an earlier savegame and this time avoiding what got you trapped.)
And a psychological advice, based on personal experience: If you're anything like me, best try to avoid walkthroughs as long as possible, because once you've looked up one thing, you'll soon come back to look up another once the next problem presents itself. You will get lazier and more and more impatient, and the more often you use a walkthrough, the less happy you will be with the game and yourself. Sometimes I make a note whenever I had to check a walkthrough and write down the reason why I hadn't managed to solve the puzzle on my own. It's interesting to compare afterwards, how much of it was due to my own impatience or serious oversights, and how of much of it was due to really bad game design (often it's a combination of the two, like the game teaching you certain rules that you come to take for granted, only to suddenly break them without notice).
Post edited June 11, 2017 by Leroux