While most eyes this past week were on the Capitol in Washington D.C., the most action was happening during the frantic residence changeover less than two miles away at the White House. This is an American ritual you’ve never seen unless you work at the White House, called the “transfer of families.” This is a five-hour ordeal that transformed President Obama’s home into President Trump’s.
Gary Walters, who has choreographed several transfers of families in his 21 years as the White House chief usher calls the process “organized chaos.”
Ann Stock, Clintons’ social secretary, calls the transfer “energizing, but absolutely exhausting.”
If you want to know in detail all of what happens on Inauguration Day at the White House before and during those five hours, click here and be entertained and informed.
According to Bonnie Berkowitz of The Washington Post, “The residence has as many as 16 bedrooms, and carpenters may convert suites to separate bedrooms or vice versa by opening or closing existing doors and wall panels.” Walters said, “…about half were reconfigured during the Reagan-to-Bush changeover to accommodate the large Bush family.”
“The new president’s interior decorator and a few other members of his entourage help unpack and arrange furniture.”
“All boxes are emptied, and clothes are placed in closets and drawers. Unlike pretty much everyone else who has ever relocated, the president will not have three unopened moving boxes sitting in the back of a closet.”
“The First Family’s favorite products were purchased ahead of time and will be ready for them to use — everything from mattresses and linens to shower heads and shaving cream. The first family never runs out of toilet paper.”
Sometime between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m., the Trumps returned to a transformed White House.
As they entered, likely through the South Portico, Chief Usher Reid was sure to greet the Trumps and say for the first time, “Welcome to your new home, Mr. President.”