“All first family spaces are cleaned and sanitized at all times, including on Jan. 20,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, who declined to provide more detail, citing security and privacy concerns.
The Bidens do plan to move into the White House on Jan. 20, but they will move in with the bare minimum: There are no plans to immediately bring in an interior decorator or begin personalizing the space.
“It’s a mad dash,” said Betty Monkman, a White House curator for more than three decades who helped supervise the 2001 changeover from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. “Sometimes beds have to be brought in, sitting rooms are converted into bedrooms.”
White House curators will have compiled briefing books and photographs of items from its collection that can be borrowed, as well as blueprints showing the room layouts for the Bidens to review, Ms. Monkman said. The Carters, for instance, moved into the White House with very little of their own furniture, relying mostly on pieces from the permanent collection.
The task for the residence staff may be made even more difficult because the Inauguration Day festivities themselves will be pared down and, possibly, shorter.
Typically, the frenetic day of work begins around 10:30 a.m., after the departing president and first lady leave for the Capitol to participate in the inauguration events. This year, there is no parade and no luncheon at the Capitol, meaning the time to prepare the residence may also be cut short.
The move-out is always more stressful if a president is leaving the White House after one term. “The benefit that the Clintons had was that they knew leading up to inauguration that they were leaving,” Ms. Marshall said. “There was never any question. They really took that last year to plan, to walk through what and how they were going to move out.”