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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  • Lisa at

    I am so excited (and jealous) for you. I absolutely love Pittsburgh. I grew up in Elk County and went to Pitt. Then after college I moved to Maryland and still want to live in Pittsburgh. In fact my husband and I took our sons to the Burgh this past weekend to watch the Pirates play. We stayed at the Wyndham Grand and walked to everything. It is the best. You are going to wonder why you hadn’t moved sooner. What area of Pittsburgh is your rental? South Side, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill?

  • Nancy P. at

    Michael, I am so very happy to hear about your new and exciting adventure! Life is meant to be lived. Too many of us merely exist. We get caught up in taking care of families, or devoting ourselves to our careers, and we forget that once we had dreams and aspirations that may be different than our current circumstances. I find myself in that current predicament at this time. I would love to change my living situation, however, my spouse has no interest in changing it. I would love to move to a place where I could walk or bike to different places, rather than get in the car every time I want to go anywhere. I always admire people that are brave enough to take a chance! I wish you all the good things life has to offer❤

  • Effie at

    Good luck with this new chapter, Michael. Looking forward to all the new content tocome!

  • beverly e at

    Sounds like the perfect solution, Michael. Go for it… your Tribe awaits!

  • Laurie Guzman at

    I just love how you’re always so open about everything. Good Luck and looking forward to watching the next chapter unfold.

  • Sharon at

    Wow!!! So happy for your news. I’m not a steady commenter but have followed right along with you. This sounds like a great move for you – how exciting!!!! Live in the moment. Best Wishes!

  • Jean at

    Embrace the new adventure. Follow your heart and the new path you are on. Wishing you all the best.

  • Julie at

    Hi Michael, Best of luck with your new adventure. When my friend moved to Florida with her cat, the vet gave her some king of medicine that they put on the cat’s paw and when she licked it off, it calmed her down. It only last about 24 hours. Check with your vet it. Enjoy the journey. Julie

  • JessB at

    Awesome news! You’ll love being in a new place. Get out and try things and all will be well.

  • Pam Kern at

    I commend your bravery in taking a big step to change what you are not happy with. I can’t wait to hear what comes next. I am meeting a good friend from Pittsburgh next weekend for an art event in Columbus, Ohio. She loves ger hometown. I wish you all good things in your new adventure.

  • mary at

    As a person who has moved so many times… why would you not? You have the best of both worlds. A new adventure with the security of being able to get away if it doesn’t suit you. There is something to love and learn from in every place I’ve lived. You never know if you don’t go…. Go. See. Do. Live. Love.

  • Anne Marie at

    I am from Pittsburgh, and you are going to love it! People are very friendly and many young people have moved or stayed in the city due to Uber, google and all the new opportunities here. Great restaurants, nightlife, parks and outdoor activities and of course sports! If you ever need anything I will be happy to answer!

  • Sue at

    Am happy for you and all the new experiences that a wait you. What a big step, one I would be afraid to try. Hope you keep all of your blogging followers up-to-date on this new chapter.

  • JeanR at

    Michael, HOW EXCITING! My husband and I, both in our 70’s, downsized 4 years ago to a single story, 2 bedroom home. I’m still working on getting rid of “stuff”, all of which means the world to me. It is NOT easy! But, it is such a wonderful feeling to have less. Really! I did not believe this to be true, but it is. You will have a wonderful time adjusting to your new space and deciding what’s important and what can go. I’ll be anxious to follow your journey,

  • Kellie at

    Sounds like your the man with a plan. It’s always exciting to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. I wish you all the best. Regarding the mail issue, the post office will transfer your mail back and forth. You just have to contact them. My Mom did this when she would go back and forth to Montana. Good luck!

  • Lisa at

    So happy for you and glad that you will be documenting your journey so we can enjoy it too.
    You have such talent and such an awesome outlook that I know you will find happiness.
    Have fun!

  • CK at

    I am soooo jealous! Years ago we lived near Pittsburgh, and absolutely loved that city. Now we’re in Texas, which is also great, but my heart still belongs to Three Rivers and I’ll always be a Steeler fan!! Best of luck in your journey. Can’t wait to hear all about it. I live vicariously through you! 😊

  • Tammy Graves at

    Congratulations! How exciting! As an animal rescuer we transport cats a lot. Start preparing them in their crates now with a little catnip under some bedding. You can add a little on moving day. If they are really stressed you can use Rescue Remedy for pets. It’s all natural. Also remember to keep them safe in a closed room while packing and moving is going on. A stressed cat may bolt.

  • Amy at

    I’ve been following you for awhile but this is my first comment. . .. welcome to ‘da burg! You will love it! I actually live 30 miles East of Pittsburgh. My husband works at UPMC Mercy and is a Pitt grad. We love Pittsburgh. You might want to get a trail bike and hit the trails! The Great Allegheny Passage is an awesome bike trail that offers plenty of riding. Also three times a summer Pittsburgh has what is called Open Streets PIttsburgh. You can check out their website to get the dates. The streets will be closed to cars and open to bikers, roller blades, dog walkers, strollers, skateboarders, etc. We loved it last summer. We also try to see all the CLO summer productions. The tickets are inexpensive but the shows are wonderful. And start following The Pittsburgh Dad videos so you can learn the lingo. LOL. Good luck!

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