A simple way to start is to not let the holiday season catch you off guard. In between shopping, baking, and preparing for houseguests and travel, take a little time to help your children prepare for the post-holiday onslaught of stuff. If you and your little ones are prepared, you're less likely to be caught off guard.
Try doing either a pre- or post-holiday purge. Let your child know that presents are coming and that he is going to need space for all those gifts. Your child can help make space by letting go of a few items. You might try leaving a box in your child's room marked “Give away” and let him slowly fill that box.
Sometimes it is not just the idea of getting rid of things that can be disturbing to a child, but also the quick pace that his parents use for such efforts. By leaving the box in his room, you allow him to take his time and make thoughtful decisions about what stays and what goes.
Be sure that the storage in a child's room is easy to use. Drawers that are hard to open will be ignored, as well as shelves that are too high (unless you place a footstool in the closet). Your child's favorite books and toys should be within easy reach, while out-of-season clothes can be stored out of sight.
If you want to sweeten the bait a bit, let your child know that every item he places in the box is likely to be replaced over the course of the holiday season. Especially if your family is large and into gift-giving, it is safe to assume that no matter how many items your child decides to purge, more will come in than go out.
While your child anticipates his holiday gifts, many children around the world have little to look forward to. You may want to encourage your child by explaining how much joy he can bring to others by sifting through his things and picking some high-quality, gently used items to share.
One of the reasons that clutter so easily gets out of control is that we forget to expect it. Certain seasons of life invite clutter. If you're preparing to bring a new baby into the home, for example, you can expect that, although your baby will be small, baby items can easily overwhelm a small space, especially if you haven't taken time to empty-out drawers and shelves before the big event.
Ideally, before a holiday, the birth of a child, the start of the school year, or any event or season that is sure to bring more material items into your home, you can prepare by making space. If you can keep a few empty drawers available, more stuff doesn't have to mean more stress. With a little bit of planning, you can create space for your child's room to grow with his needs.