If you think moving out of your apartment is chaotic, think again. While Donald Trump takes the presidential oath on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, roughly 100 White House workers are getting the 132 rooms at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue ready for the 45th president and his family.
“It’s very busy — you are on your feet constantly, making sure things are going in the right place and in the right way,” Betty Monkman, a White House curator, told the New York Times in a January 20 article.
According to the Washington Post, staff and select outside contractors start working at 4 a.m. to prepare for the “transfer of families,” the majority of which takes place the day of the new president’s inauguration. “We always remember that the house still belongs to the current president up until the time the new person raises their hand and takes the oath,” former chief usher Stephen Rochon told the Post.
While one moving truck delivers President-elect Trump’s belongings on the North Lawn, a separate truck on the South Lawn will lug the Obama family’s remaining items to their rental home less than two miles away. All trucks are escorted by secret service and U.S. Park Police Officers.
Inside the White House, staffers prepare the kitchen and dining room for the Trump family, while plumbers, carpenters and engineers make small last-minute repairs.
Incoming presidents do have the option to redecorate the private second and third floors of the White House. And while President Barack Obama reportedly requested a rain showerhead for his bathroom, President Trump went on the record to say he is focusing on his new job. “It’s a very special place,” Trump told Jake Tapper of CNN on January 1. “I’m going to be working. I’m not going to be decorating.”
However, the NYT reports that Trump wants to swap out the crimson curtains in the Oval Office for curtains a previous president used. Once the 45th president completely moves into the White House, it is historically up to the First Lady, in this case Melania Trump, to complete the rest of interior decoration.
Per the Washington Post, after the day’s festivities conclude and Trump has officially become the nation’s 45th president, the White House staff will expect him back between 3:30 and 5 p.m., at which point he’ll be greeted with, “Welcome to your new home, Mr. President.”
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