Short-Term Vs. Long-Term Storage: Duration and Costs

Posted on 18 April 2024 | 5 minute read

portable unit you store

Moving out of home for the first time, or are you downgrading to a smaller home because the kids have flown the nest? These, and any of a dozen other reasons, could see you puzzled about where to store your stuff while you sort out the next chapter of your life. 

You may also need to consider whether to use a long-term or a short-term storage solution. But how long is long-term, and what are the terms for short-term storage? The following article answers these questions so that you can make the best decision for your storage needs. 

Differences Between Short-Term and Long-Term

Before deciding on the best solution, you’ll need details about how short-term and long-term storage differ. 

Of course, the primary difference is the length of time you will be using the storage, but different providers can vary in what they consider short- and long-term. Prices for each solution can vary significantly, so deciding between them can save you money or cost you more for storage you don’t need. 

How Short is Short-Term Storage?

The length of short-term self storage varies between providers. Some will charge short-term rates for less than one month, while others will set their terms to 3-months. Short-term storage is a temporary solution that’s perfect for a range of scenarios. For example, a renovation on a house where you need to protect your furniture against dust and accidents or to get it out of the way so you have room to work.  

Another scenario where short-term storage can get you out of a bind is when you are moving house and have to vacate your current premises but don’t yet have access to the new property. You might also need short-term storage to create extra room for relatives staying for a few weeks, and you need to convert the study or home office into a guest room. 

What Qualifies as Long-Term Storage?

Long-term storage is used when you expect to store your belongings for over three months. People use long-term storage for all sorts of reasons. Homeowners and apartment dwellers find it invaluable for increasing their space to keep items for a hobby, such as restoring furniture or a classic car restoration. 

Small businesses use long-term storage to hold stock, purchase in bulk to save on inventory costs or rotate out seasonal items. The cost of long-term storage will more than offset the cost of purchasing, building, or renting more floor space. It’s much more flexible as companies can upgrade or downgrade their storage according to market demands and seasonal fluctuations. 

Long-term storage is an excellent solution for keeping items in limbo during divorce settlements, military deployment, or keeping an estate after a family member has passed away.

Long-Term Storage Tips

Keeping your items in long-term storage facilities will require preparation and planning to keep them pristine. Invest in good-quality cardboard boxes of a similar size and bubble wrap for fragile items. Doing this will make it easier to pack and calculate your needed space. 

Humidity is a mould and mildew issue for clothing and fabrics that can be solved by sealing these items in vacuum-sealed plastic bags while keeping out moths and other pests. Ensure everything you store this way is dry and clean so you don’t trap moisture inside the bags. 

Stack everything on pallets. Not only will this improve air circulation around the container, but it’s also a great time-saver. You can avoid a lot of back-breaking labour by wheeling a pallet to your front door rather than carrying heavy boxes from the driveway. 

Costs of Short-Term and Long-Term Storage

Most storage facilities in Australia require a minimum one-month term, with rentals continuing monthly. You must pay the full month if you only need storage for two weeks.

The average price for a small storage unit around Australia varies from $105 to $270 monthly for the largest options. Depending on the provider, most storage facilities offer a discount rate for longer terms, which can vary from 5% to 10%.

Flexible Storage at 1800We Store It

Life is unpredictable, so when you’re looking for self-storage, you want a flexible and affordable provider. At 1800 We Store It, we know your storage needs can change instantly. 

Rather than lock you into a long-term contract or even a relatively short monthly one, our storage services are charged weekly. This means you aren’t paying for weeks of storage you don’t need. 

Our secure steel shipping containers keep your items safe and can be delivered to your door. How much time and money will you save by not having to drive to a traditional storage unit across town? Keep the container on your property, or have us whisk it away to one of our storage depots until you are ready to have it returned.

1800 We Store It is making self-storage affordable and more convenient. Get in touch for a quick quote and let us help you get your storage challenges sorted without the hassle, stress, or expense. 


Terry Davison