We don't live in a huge place (2bed flat) but it just just dawned on me what a mammoth task it is going to be to get this all packed up with two toddlers in tow. We are waiting for local searches to come back any day and hoping to get an exchange date soon after that. Am I jumping the gun by starting to think about packing a few boxes?
Have you looked at packing services? It might not be as expensive as you think and saves so much time and effort. Push for a reasonable exchange date - we got stuck exchanging and completing on the same day and it was very stressful.
I had a week in between exchange and completion. You start calling removals companies as soon as you've talked about possible dates with the vendor and try to get it pencilled in with the removals company at that point.
Start packing and decluttering as soon as you can, it will make it easier the sooner you start.
I just had to arrange it for the planned moving date and hope... We had a 3 month old baby at the time. Stressed does not describe it! The chain was short but people kept messing about. Still, all worked out in the end!
We had ten days between exchange and completion last time and would never do both on the same day, but we have acres of stuff, even after a serious declutter, lol!
Problem we had was that it was immediately prior to Christmas (completed 16th Dec) and all of the companies we had quotes from were pretty booked up.......and wanted payment in full up front (around £4k) which we weren't prepared to do till we had exchanged - then by the time we had (our exchange on sale and purchase got pushed back by a couple of weeks), they had no availability.
Fortunately we found another removals firm, but it was all rather hectic and a blooming good job we'd started clearing stuff out to the dump and storage unit well in advance.
Now Christmas is out of the way I guess there will be (a bit) less pressure on removers, but it's never to early to start decluttering!
I started packing quite early so I wasn't rushing around at the last minute and had a good clearout as I went along. Can't hurt to make a start as it is going to have to be done anyway.
Our solicitors said it would have to be at least 10 days between exchange and completion. We exchanged on the Friday and completed on the Monday. I wasn't overly happy but luckily I was pushing for the Monday date anyway and was told there was no reason why not so I booked the movers and told them the situation. They tend to pencil you in until you get the definite date anyway. They are used to this sort of thing.
We moved twice in one year using lads off any van.com - £300 each time and they worked their backs off. If you've not used them before you describe the job you need doing and then they bid for it - you can specify dates etc. The first quotes are usually high but they soon come down. There are reviews too. Just another option should you need to move quickly. Good luck !
I'm in a similar position - probably exchanging next week and I want to have 2 weeks between exchange and completion as there's a lot of work to do on the new house and I want to try and book in tradesmen etc as well as pack. We've had a few hiccups with the mortgage so until we heard last week that we we were definitely going ahead I had been too scared to do any actual packing in case it all fell through! Even now I'm not actually packing, just having a massive clear out, ebaying, charity shop etc. we are actually moving to a slightly smaller house and I can't believe how much crap I have! Luckily only one DS who is at school and I only work part time so have some time to do things. Will probably still go for a packing service though. If you don't have lots of stuff to sort through then I'd get a packing service - I'm exhausted!
I'm an EA and we normally advise people to book removals when you are getting close to exchange and explain that the date is obviously not fixed yet but this is what you are aiming for. Most removal companies realise that untiil you have exchanged you cannot be definite. It is possible to exchange and complete on the same day but most people don't because of having to move lots of stuff - some people even have months between ex and completion. Need to decide based on the rest of the chain.