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What Happens When the President Moves?

Moving in the new PresidentWhen a United States President takes office, a lot of people wonder what happens when the new president moves into the White House.  The president-elect is traditionally sworn in on January 20th and moves in that same day.  It is also interesting to note that the current president moves out of the White House that day as well.

It is up to the president-elect to arrange for movers to transport his possessions from his previous home to Washington D.C.  Usually, this happens in advance and all of the president-elect’s belongings are housed in a storage facility near the White House.  For security purposes, the Secret Service oversees the entire relocation process.  The moving costs are covered by the president-elect directly, not the American tax payers.

The new president’s move in day is actually Inauguration Day and the entire process takes about six hours.  Once the incoming president’s belongings are on White House property, the in-house staff takes custody and begins the unpacking and coordination, which is overseen by the chief usher.  Prior to Inauguration Day, the president-elect and chief usher meet to discuss where all the possessions should be placed.

Beginning at 10:30 AM, the sitting president and the new president have tea before heading over to Capital Hill.  As soon as they leave, a staff of 93 switches into high gear moving the sitting president out and the new president in, simultaneously.  Boxes are packed, unpacked, and loaded into vans and military cargo planes.  In essence, it is organized chaos.

Jon Huser

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