DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Ron," and I have been together for more than a year, and we now live together. His garage is full to overflowing with his ex-girlfriend's belongings. She apparently left him and all her stuff -- including her four cats -- to marry some guy she met online. She no longer lives in this country.
I'm fine with taking care of the cats; they are innocent and I love them. However, I want her stuff out of the garage. Ron thinks it's "the right thing to do" to keep it until she can arrange for it to be moved to her new place.
Abby, it has been a year and a half! She's not going to move this stuff. I want to donate it or trash it as appropriate, and I don't think legally we have any responsibility to tell her or ask her before we do. What do you think? -- WANTS IT GONE IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR WANTS IT GONE: It would be neither appropriate nor kind to do anything to Ron's ex-girlfriend's belongings without warning. Ron should contact her, inform her that he wants to use his garage for the purpose it is intended, and ask if she wants the items she left to be disposed of or put into storage at her expense. He should allow a reasonable time for her to respond before doing anything, and you should distance yourself from the process.