We usually lay everything out in the guest bedroom, and at times look over and make sure we did'nt forget anything..we also use alot of trial size items, ex:
We get trial size toothbrushes and toothpaste, we like to take unused items with us.
We do use a list so we don't forget items like lint brushes, our dress watches, her
jewelery. No matter how many times you have been on vacation and travel its always easier I find to use a list.
Another thing we do is to bring the luggage down from the attic and air them out for a good 2 weeks.
As far as items to pack we start to place items on the guest bed about 2 - 3 weeks prior and continue at a slow pace up till the night before.
I am always the one to fold and pack our luggage, I use to be in the Army and one thing they teach you is how to fold and pack properly, that experience has never left me.
Also just starting to do vacation related things brings the anticipation of going even greater.