Unless you've spent the last year or so living under a rock, you've no doubt heard that we just elected and inaugurated a new President of the United States of America. But have you ever wondered what it takes to transition one First Family out of the White House while ushering in another? As with all matters Presidential, it turns out there are a lot rules and protocols that must be followed. Here are some surprising details about moving in and out of the White House that most folks probably don't know.
1. Staffers have just a few hours, between the new President's swearing in ceremony and the end of the inaugural parade, to prepare the White House.
2. The First Family can decorate the White House to their choosing, but there are several places that are off-limits, such as the Lincoln Room or the Yellow Oval Room.
The Obama Diary
3. To ensure the new First Family feels at home right away, a staff of nearly 100 people are charged with cleaning the house and remove anything left behind from the previous family.
This crew includes butlers, maids, plumbers, and electricians.
East Wing Rules
4. Naturally, the First Family doesn't personally oversee the move - they're busy with the inauguration and parade.
5. Both the outgoing and incoming First Families are, however, responsible for making sure all their stuff is packed.
6. So, how does the First Family get their stuff to the White House? It's up to them. Every President-elect is responsible for hiring movers for any personal items.
There's certainly plenty of room for all of your belongings!
New York Times
7. Moving in and redecorating isn't limited to the personal living spaces. The new administration also needs to set up offices to work out of.
8. The President also gets to choose a chef.
9. Then of course, there's the new ride, complete with state-of-the-art security measures.
Still, it's always nice to take a spin in a "regular" car now and then.
10. The new President can't move in without photos to line the walls. New photos of the President, such as shots from the inauguration, are hung before he moves in.
11. Once settled in, one of the First Lady's responsibilities is to work with the staff to continue the transition efforts and general operations.
12. Moving into the White House sounds expensive! Thankfully, there's a decoration fund designated for some of the new decorations.
This way, the First Family can really make the White House feel like a home.
13. They can also get items from a storage facility, which houses artwork and furniture collected by past Presidents and the official White house curator.
2 Oceans Vibe
That collection is absolutely massive, by the way! It includes paintings by artists such as Georgia O'Keefe and includes furniture like this gorgeous vintage four-poster bed.
House & Garden
14. The First Family can also make some fun changes, too. The Kennedys installed a swimming pool, Nixon added a bowling alley, and Obama converted the tennis courts into a basketball court.
The White House Museum
15. Although the First Lady is responsible for overseeing the decorating, they can also hire professionals to help out.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
16. One really weird rule? The new President and his family and staff aren't allowed to enter the White House until noon on Inauguration Day.
17. Commercial movers can bring trucks in and unload them, but they aren't allowed inside the White House. Only resident staffers are allowed to move the First Family's belongings inside.
18. Here's a pretty sweet tradition: the outgoing President leaves a note in the top drawer of the desk in the Oval Office for the new President. It's actually a well-known tradition, but the public never gets to know what the note said!
Which fact surprised you the most? Let us know!
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