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What’s it Like to Pack Up the President?

Posted in: I'm a Mover, Mover Stories, Moving Stories

January may be slow for many of us, but for one company things could hardly get any more hectic – particularly on January 20th every four to eight years.

CNN reports that while Trump is down in front of the capitol building taking the oath of office, a team of around one hundred movers were at the White house, involved in a sort of “organized chaos”: six hours to move all the Obamas’ belongings out and, from the other side of the circular driveway, hauling in all the belongings of whoever from Trump’s family is moving in.

To add to the logistical task, more than one moving company was on hand. For several presidential transitions, Office Movers of Lanham, VA have handled the more “official” side of the move, handling the furniture and documents and such. But in December, the parent company of Office Movers called the Kane Company suddenly went out of business. (Be careful when moving into multi-million-dollar facilities, folks.) To fill the void, Washington, DC-based Proven Management stepped in.

Working alongside them is JK Moving of Sterling, VA, who has helped move out personal items for both Bushes and the Clintons.


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Clintons moving. Image from The White House Historical Association

From this bit of presidential moving day nostalgia, we see that a United agency from Little Rock, AK had the honor of moving the Clintons into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1993. They were chosen, we assume, because of their solid reputation as a mover. (Being located down the street from the president-elect probably helped too.) Meanwhile, JK Moving Services out of Sterling, VA, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, was hired to move them out in 2001.

A little more digging told us JK Moving has actually had quite a presidential run. The Washington Business Journal reports that after moving some antiques for outgoing president George H.W. Bush in 1992 they were hired to move the Clintons out, then found themselves back eight years later when George W. and Laura Bush were finishing their time in the White House.

So what’s it like moving the leader of the free world out of his home?

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 10.31.18 AMJK Moving founder Chuck Kuhn says it’s, “…similar to moving anyone else and their belongings. Except for the layers of security. And the extensive Secret Service background checks. And the multi-agency coordination. And of course, the level of access needed to pack the personal items of the president into boxes and drive them across the country.”

Mr. Kuhn lends us an intimate look at what it was like to pack up CDs with Bill Clinton and tackle closets full of Laura Bush’s gowns, reminding us that the most powerful political figures in the world are still just people.

As a bonus, the UK Daily Mail recently took a break from their trashy celebrity bits to offer an impressively extensive rundown of the changes our presidents have made as they moved in, from Truman gutting the White House interior to Obama adding a basketball hoop to the tennis court George W. Bush had installed.

While some may be looking forward to seeing just how lavishly Trump does up the Oval Office over time, the President states in the Daily Mail interview he has no intention of redecorating: “I’m going to be working.”


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