What to do with all her stuff?
My MIL came to live with us last May. She had suffered a stroke and while physically able, she has short-term memory loss and mild dementia that prevent her from living alone. We have a mother-in-law apartment add-on with a kitchenette, bathroom, a tiny bedroom and a tiny living room. There is very little room for furniture and it contains a twin captain's bed, a recliner, a table, two chairs, a large book/storage cabinet, and an end table. She is unable and unwilling to make any decisions about a full household of stuff sitting in boxes in our garage. We had to move everything over, including the junk, and much of her furniture is stored at her daughter's house. Since moving in, she has added a cabinet, a bookcase, a large packing trunk, and various odds and ends into the apartment, which is now over-stuffed. I fear it will eventually become a storage shed. Part of her unwillingness to part with anything is due to a belief on her part that she will eventually "get better" and move to her own apartment. Unfortunately, that will never happen. In the meantime, we have lost the use of our garage, which is full of boxes. What I would like to see happen is to get rid of much of the day-to-day items (kitchen stuff she will never use, duplicates, and old bills and the like.) I would want to keep for posterity her memories (photos, cards, letters, antiques). She frets constantly about her stuff, but can't make decisions about any of it and always ends up crying. Do I just learn to live with it? Sneak it to the Salvation Army or the trash? How to other people deal with this. We have spent a few years down-sizing ourselves, so it is difficult to face a mountain of my MIL's stuff.