Much of the progress in improved efficiency in the last 50 years has come from reducing inventory. Holding inventory is expensive. You can't earn interest or dividends on goods you own. Plus, you have to pay to store it, keep track of it, find it, etc.
The Just-in-Time manufacturing process made famous by Toyota focuses on cutting work-in-process inventory -- parts get delivered to assembly line stations just before they're needed. Similarly, containerized shipping has reduced the inventory tied up in transportation because it can be loaded and unloaded faster. At the retail end, Wal-Mart and Costco have radically cut inventory held by retailers through a plethora of techniques, such as using UPC scanners to measure sales and compare them against shipments to keep track of inventory and reorder automatically. (By the way, is "plethora" an inherently comic word and thus should be reserved only for facetious uses?)
The retailers, in fact, have shoved a lot of their old inventory holding costs onto consumers by, for example, selling them cases rather than individual items. Part of the demand for bigger houses and bigger vehicles that has proven so expensive to us as a society comes from consumers taking on more of the burden of storing and transporting goods.
While there has been enormous systematic progress at improving inventory management in the commercial world, there has been very little progress toward Just-in-Time practices in the domestic world. Just as it was fifty years ago, some householders are good at it, some are bad at it. (I'm one of the very, very bad ones, so I notice this lack more). There's just a lot more inventory of household goods to manage today than there was back then, so the need for more advanced household logistics is much greater.