I've been placed in a strange position. My boyrfriend's mother helped us to get a house and she took care of everything. We weren't sure if the house was going to go through until the very end. So although I noticed my mother-in-law would always bring up "how much she sacrifices for us" I didn't pressure my boyfriend to take over his own paperwork.
She always had the intention of using the "secret or bonus room" in our house. At first we thought it would only be his grandfather's stuff. However she also inherited all of a friend's belongings after their death.
I was ok with the stuff being at the house until some red flags came up. When she inherited her friends stuff she had to keep it at the deceased's house. When the house sold the stuff was still there because there because she wanted to take her time going through it and her life is too busy with her cat shelter to deal with the stuff. I think constantly dealing with the stuff also overwhelmes her. She had no respect that the house was owned by new people. The whole house had to be remodeled and they just kept moving the stuff to work. Eventually they started putting stuff on the curb.
She was also coming over every day because she was lonely and felt she was leading our boyfriend and I's life in a better direction because she knows better. While I understand her life is hard, people have wronged her, and she is lonely; she was constantly trying to take over my life and invade my personal space.
I started to realize that she was not planning on going through the stuff or willing to sell most of it. A lot of it is just junk. There are 5 big garbage bags full of stained sheets from the 70s she's unwilling to get rid of. We had a pretty good relationship until I confronted her about the personal space. Now she doesn't trust me. In an effort to regain control I sold some of her stuff. Nothing sentimental was sold and I passed every sale through my boyfriend. Needless to say she is pissed. The main thing she wants back is a file cabinet, which takes up a lot of space. We offered to buy her a new one when her new cat shelter is rented (not happening anytime soon). She said no she wants that one back. It would only go back in my living room. Btw we are also not allowed to store things in the attic she was mad about that.
If she has so much stuff that she can't fit more in a normal family sized house which she lives in alone, then she has too much stuff!! No one in her family has seen her house in 10 years.
I realized that I have caused her a lot of pain. I can imagine me selling anything hurts her, but it's my house. It seems like a lose lose. If I stand up for myself she hates me and refuses to see anyone for Christmas. If I don't set boundaries she takes over my life.