Moving to Pittsburgh


Kind of. Let me explain.

Yes, this spring I will be moving to Pittsburgh. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that the past couple years haven’t been the best for me personally. I’ve been trying to think of ways to improve myself, my life, and my overall happiness. Earlier this year I mentioned the idea of moving to all of you and received lots of heartfelt, insightful comments in response. Some of you said, “get out of town,” while others urged me to stay put. Given the pros and cons of each choice, I decided to meet somewhere in the middle.

After much consideration, I decided to rent an apartment in Pittsburgh, which is just under three hours by car from my current house. I knew that I needed to make a change, and although Pittsburgh hadn’t been on my radar, the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

You may have some questions, so I’ll tell you what I can.

What about your house?
I am not selling my current home. My plan is to spend about 75% of my time in Pittsburgh and the other 25% in Saint Marys. Even though renting an another place is an added expense, it makes the most sense at this time. It will give me the opportunity to spread my wings and try something new without making a drastic move. After a year, if it’s not working, I won’t renew my lease, and my year it Pittsburgh will just be another chapter in my life story. If it’s working, I can decide the best way to proceed from there.

With that being said, based on my life plans, the sale of my current house is inevitable within the next couple years. So, throughout the coming year, I’m going to diligently work to clear the clutter, finish projects, and get the house “ready for sale.”. That way, when the time does come, the place will be ready.

I have set up a security system in my house in Saint Marys, and during the time I’m away, I will also have a bunch of folks who will check on it weekly. However, if anyone else is in a similar situation or has a summer home/vacation home, I do have a couple questions. What do you do about your mail when you are away for an extended time? Also, I’m going to greatly miss planting flowers. Does anyone have an automatic watering system they recommend? Thanks in advance!

What about your grandparents’ house?
I have had and still have the intention of buying my grandparents’ house some day. That option still remains, but it’s not a decision I need to make now. When the time comes, I will assess my current situation and make a decision then.

Where will your cats live?
I haven’t traveled with my cats since I moved them from Philadelphia in 2008. So, I’m honestly not sure how it will go. Though, I’m certain they will adjust. (Any tips for a three-hour car drive with cats would be most welcome.) However, since I will be spending most of my time in Pittsburgh, they will make the move with me. I do plan to come home every couple of weeks for a day or two, but I won’t bring the cats unless I’m in Saint Marys for an extended time (e.g., the holidays).

Are you as sure about your decision as you seem?
There are moments when I’m thrilled and moments when I want to throw up. ( I think that’s normal.) I’m so excited about the blank pages that are before me. I can’t wait to try new things, meet new people, decorate a new space, walk to a coffee shop, take an art class, find my tribe, etc.

However, a part of me is petrified that I won’t make new friends and that I’m destined to repeat old habits. What if I make this move and nothing changes? What if it’s the same old story, just in a new zip code? To be honest, it’s totally possible. Because I’ve been somewhat isolated for the past year, it’s going to be a push for me to put myself out there. And while I’m committed to finding happiness and building a better personal life, I also know myself all too well.

In an effort to avoid the same old story, before the move, I’m committing myself to establishing some goals and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to ensure that I don’t look back at this opportunity with regret.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

Can you tell us more about your place?
You bet I can!

In March, I visited Pittsburgh and looked at several properties. I ended up with one I’m crazy about. It’s a two-bedroom apartment in a new complex. (I’ll actually be the first person to live in this apartment.) While I didn’t “need” a two-bedroom, it’s something that I really wanted in order to have a separate space for work. Since I work from home, It was important to me to be able to close the door at the end of my work day.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

Because I love natural light, the thing that sold me on this particular unit are the huge (almost floor-to-ceiling) windows in the open concept living room/kitchen. There’s also a small balcony off the kitchen. And a rolling island will be provided with the unit.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

The second bedroom (which will be my office) has a similar large window, which will be great for photography. The room that will function as my bedroom has a sizable window, though not quite as grand.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

As you can see, this space has a more modern/industrial feel to it which is quite different from my current home. While I won’t go with an overly modern or industrial aesthetic in terms of decor, I am looking forward to experimenting with new and different ideas. Also, I am allowed to paint and change out light fixtures, so that has me excited as well.

Will you be moving all of your stuff?
No. I don’t plan on moving much. I’m looking to start fresh in this space. I will obviously decorate, but I’m hoping to keep the “stuff” to a minimum. (We’ll see how that goes because I love my “stuff.”) I think there’s joy in the “less is more” attitude so I want to give that a try. Plus, I want to avoid the hassle of moving a lot of stuff if at all possible.

I am very fortunate that my job allows me to share this journey with you. I’m not in a rush to have everything in place and furnished within a weekend. I’m looking forward to taking my time and sharing things with you along the way.

I do realize that having two places will be a challenge because I am going to need duplicates of everything (iron, coffee pot, dishes, etc.) I may end up bringing down extra things that I have here, thrifting some items, etc. I’ve also been saving up gift cards, reward dollars, etc. to help with some of the expense.

Will the move have an effect on IBC?
Yes and no. As I’ve been hinting, you can expect more home decor and decorating ideas will be on their way as I move into this new space. Since I will be living in a new city and be experiencing new things, I assume my content will evolve as it has with other changes in my life. My hope is that it’s for the best. I am totally committed to this little space on the internet and my career as a Lifestyle Blogger so it’s my hope that I will be here for years to come.

Moving to Pittsburgh | Inspired by Charm

I think that about covers everything for now. Obviously, I will be talking about this quite a bit in the future (hopefully not to the point of annoyance). If I missed something here, I’ll probably cover it at a later point. You’re also welcome to leave comments below. I can follow up with another post to answer more questions if needed.

I should be mostly settled (with the cats) in my new place toward the end of May. My lease starts sooner, but I have a work trip to NYC in May (details on that soon) and some other things happening, so it’s going to be a busy month. Before the official move in, I will need a mattress, a few supplies, and cozy spots for the kitties.

Again, I want to thank you for your comments, emails, messages, and support. I know I haven’t responded to them all, and I feel terrible about that. However, they mean so much to me, and each and every one helped me to come to this exciting decision.

I can’t wait to take you all on this new adventure. Look out Pittsburgh, here comes IBC!

Pittsburgh Image Source (Image 1 / Image 2)
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  • Jennifer @ Town and Country Living at

    Congratulations on your new plans, Michael! My hubby is from Pittsburgh (we currently live in the ‘burbs of Chicago). I’ve been to Pittsburgh many times – hubby still has family there. Shadyside is awesome! The South Side is up and coming and has my fave coffee shop – The Bee Hive. I love Phipps Conservatory and Schenley Park. So much to explore and enjoy! But you probably already know this. I especially love the Mattress Factory contemporary art museum on the North Side. The thought process behind the art is what amazes me most about that place. I could go on and on – but you’re probably already familiar with these Pittsburgh hotspots. I’m looking forward to reading more of your story and can’t wait to see what you do with your place in Pittsburgh.

  • KC1 at

    SO excited for you!!! We recently did something similar to what you’re doing and a friend said, “It feels good to write a new chapter” and he was spot on!! Go to USPS online and for $1.00 they will forward your mail. Cats will do better in a cat carrier for the drive. Be patient….it’s a bit difficult to go from a house that had everything you need to a new place that is empty and has nothing. I had fun shopping and decorating the first couple of months and then I just wanted to be finished. We are 4 months in to our adventure and I’m so happy we did it! Good luck and congrats!!!!

  • Laura at

    So excited for you Michael – no matter what the outcome I am sure it will be a wonderful adventure!!! Many blessings to you and this exciting journey!

  • Deanna Tomaselli at

    Congratulations! You’re going to love living here. I am a proud Pittsburgher and my mom and I love your blog for a bit. You are making a great decision! If you have questions or want to meet for coffee or a drink, don’t hesitate to reach out. Email below and my Instagram is @d_ferrari. Good luck!

  • Elle at

    “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I am so excited for you! You inspire the rest of us to try new things and seek new adventures. Thank you.

  • Emily at

    I know your fears. I moved to Boston after college and was terrified. I knew only 1 person in the city, but it turned into the best year of my life. I spent a lot of time alone exploring and doing things on my terms. And in that year, I met my now husband, and friendships that I’ve had for 15 years. You can do this!

  • Mary at

    You can have mail
    Forwarded by the post office at no charge. We did this while we were waiting to move into our new house (was 9 months). BIG QUESTION! Is there a Home Goods nearby? 😉

  • Mairi at

    It sounds like a wonderful adventure without big risks as you haven’t “”burnt bridges” – hope it turns out to be everything you wish. I am looking forward to following along

  • Jill at

    So vey excited and happy for you! I know what you mean about making a changes and yet nothing changes. You’re aware of the challenge though and I believe that you’ll find a community of like minded souls who are thrilled to have to have you.
    Cheers to new beginnings!

  • Julie Blanner at

    I am so excited for your new adventure and beyond proud of you for taking the leap! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.

  • Jamie at

    Good for you! I always love your cats – maybe try Feliway in their cat carriers when you move them since they aren’t used to the drive. Best of luck, can’t wait to read all about it!!

  • Talia at

    I am originally from Pittsburgh and can say honestly, I am a bit jealous! I would love to return to my hometown (just can’t at the present time due to work/business). You will love it there! Wishing you the very best and I love that you are allowing us to follow your journey!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ve always had a soft spot for Pittsburgh. I seem to get their once a year. I’m excited to explore it more.

      xo Michael

  • Colleen at

    How exciting! I love the new place, so different from your beautiful home but I’m sure it will be fun to go in a different and new direction. I’m feeling good vibes for you, there will be so much to do and ways to participate which will feed your soul. And I bet you can do some flowers on that there balcony, that is a game-maker for city living!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      It is so different and that was the goal. 🙂 And yes, will be adding plants to the balcony. I’m excited

      xo Michael

  • Cindy Mandernach at

    Listen to the song “Young Turks” by Rod Stewart. It talks about taking chances and JUST DOING IT!!!

    Go for it, you are young and free and you obviously want to make a change. Embrace it and have fun along the way….


    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you, Cindy! That’s the plan.

      xo Michael

  • MaryC at

    Sounds like an exciting time for you, thanks for taking us along with you on your journey! Best of luck!!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I sure hope so! Thanks!

      xo Michael

  • Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a Pod at

    Michael – we are so very excited for you. You are so brave to seek change to better your life. Best wishes on your journey…you’ve got this!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much!! 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Erin at

    We had business mail in one state and lived in another for years. We rented a mailbox at a ups store and paid them to foward it every week. Not the cheapest solution, but it got the job done.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Erin – I really appreciate this. I don’t have a UPS store. I’ll have to check it this is an option at the post office. Thanks!

      xo Michael

      • Chris K at

        Out here in California we have an independent mail “store” called postal called Postal Annex. These are usually mom & pop franchises so if you have them or an equivalent back east you might be able to make an arrangement with them.
        I love the windows in your apartment. Not so crazy about the ducts above the windows. When there are ducts in a loft space, they are usually up high out of your line of sight. It’s as if they built the apartment as a wannabe loft, without the height. That said, I’m sure it will be a really cool place when you get it decorated. You always seem happiest when you’re decorating. I hope you add more color back in to this one. One of the things I liked best when I first discovered your blog was your use of color. Over time you’ve removed a lot of that color & I would like to see it return.
        Best of luck!

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Thanks for your input, Chris. I don’t mind the pipes. It’s a new look for me. (I’m sure it’s a cheaper option for heating and cooling so a lot of new apartment units are doing it.) I’m sure once the space is decorated, you won’t even notice them. And I totally hear you about the color. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been having a design dilemma with a love for lots of styles. I’m just experimenting to see what works. I think you’ll be seeing more colors soon. 🙂

        xo Michael

      • DeeDee at

        You could also get a mailbox at your local post office. 😀

  • mary blackmer walmer at

    Pittsburgh is an amazing city, my daughter lives there, I am two hours North near Erie. I think your plan is wonderful-we all need to break out of comfort zones once in awhile. And like you said-what have you got to lose? if it doesn’t work out, no big deal, chalk it up to an experience. I think you will LOVE Pittsburgh!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ve always had a love for Pittsburgh for a variety of reasons. I’m excited to experience the city as a resident and explore all it has to offer. Thanks so much, Mary!

      xo Michael

  • Deb at

    New starts are both scary and exhilerating. I wish you good luck finding your tribe. Be fearless, Michael! You can do it!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks so much, Deb!

      xo Michael

  • Alexandra at

    This sounds exciting! I am so happy for you that you found a way to make changes – and that you can come back if it doesn’t work out. Very smart!
    I’ve only ever heard good stuff about Pittsburgh. I am a fan of author Nicole Peeler, and we are friends on Facebook. I keep reading about what she does in her spare time, and it seems Pittsburgh has it all. 🙂 You can subscribe to her FB feed and maybe ask her about what to do, where to go etc.
    I hope you have lots of fun!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you! And yes, that’s my thought too. It’s a change without being permanent. And thanks for the tip on Nicole. I’ve never heard of her. I’ll look her up.

      xo Michael

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